#6 Dealing with the Worgen

“Yeh don’ wanna go into that place, master dwarf. Once, the Alliance protected Silverpine Forest and it was verdant and natural. Now, the place is a ghost. Forsaken haunt the trees and mists cloak the ground. Them wizards from Dalaran… they sometimes go inta the forest. ‘Researching the undead plague,’ they tells me. Fools! There be worse things than Forsaken in those woods. The forest is cursed. I don’ mean it’s plague-ridden or there’s poison in the air or anythin’! I mean there’s a curse. And it’s got nothin’ to do with the Scourge! A curse that changes yeh… men, and dwarves, they turn inta… beasts.”

Halmish, warning Brann Bronzebeard about Silverpine Forest

Halmish was right about warning Brann Bronzebeard about Silverpine Forest. The worgen did exist, that much was certain.

After my heart-stopping encounter in the woods, I wanted to learn more about the worgen. It seemed that some Forsaken were already investigating their origins. Word around Sepulcher was that the worgen were summoned by human wizards from a different dimension. By Dalaran wizards, to be precise. All too powerful for their own good, using magic that they barely understand, and messing it up for the rest of us…

I never really cared much for magic – dark or otherwise. That’s why I am sticking to things that I do understand! A melee weapon may seem simple and unimpressive to an untrained eye, but at the hands of a skilled warrior they become deadly tools. Far better than some flimsy frost bolts (as long as I have a pocket healer…. – but enough with the 4th wall breaking!)

The Forsaken had Deathstalkers patrolling the woods, but their numbers were dwindling. If we wanted to stop the worgen invasion, we had to go to the core of the problem; Arugal.

He was residing in Shadowfang Keep; a stronghold constructed before the War.

Shadowfang Keep during the day

Before heading straight to him however, I needed to make sure that the village just south of it was cleared out. Reports mentioned that this Pyrewood Village was supplying the keep with vital reinforcements; food, water and weaponry. So I went south, not really knowing what to expect. Lucky for me, things did not go south. There were already some Forsaken around. We formed a party and started making our way in deep into the village.

In the town hall a Deathstalker was hiding in the shadows, patiently waiting for the worgen council to adjorn their meeting. The Council was Arugal’s puppet; doing anything they are being told without question. As a Forsaken I could appreciate that. But the Deathstalker had other ideas.

After ambushing the townsfolk, we searched for valuables and artifacts in the nearby homes. Some of them were hidden by some bookshelves, which took our group quite some time to find.

The battle was long and hard, so we rested inside the house for a while. The wind was blowing restlessly outside, and the dead of the night was slowly approaching. One of our party members had spotted a large worgen pack returning from hunt, so our rest had to be cut short. According to him, even with our combined strength we would be outnumbered. We voted to go back to Sepulcher. Unsurprising to noone, the newly arrived worgen pack did not take the fact that we murdered and pillaged their entire village lightly.

I reported our victory to Sepulcher, and took the bat ride back to Undercity. There was a Forsaken interested in my findings; Keeper Bel’dugur. After learning about our intention to raid Shadowfang Keep, he asked me to bring back the Book of Ur. Evidently this whole Worgen Curse started with this book, so it would be wise to learn from others’ mistakes. I agreed.

I gathered few members from our guild (concidentally the same 3 members from our Ragefire Chasm adventure!), and we entered the keep. We fought waves of worgen, banshees, undead. The keep was indeed well fortified, but our Fuel Rats were well prepared.

We finally came across Arugal’s study room. The air was full of different mixes of potions and rusty iron. There were some books on the shelves, of which one was the Book of Ur. Standing next to dozens of cobwebbed books, this one was in relatively good shape. I slowly started turning its pages, all intact.

The land of Azeroth is host to no end of wonders. Flora, fauna, cultures and magic all teem across its surface. Indeed, the curious will find limitless variety on this world. One merely has to look. But if one looks deeply enough then windows to entire new worlds are found, and each world is home to its own wonders.

Just as each is home to its own horrors. This is the purpose of my book: to catalogue those beings, those otherworldly fiends who would destroy our lands, so that explorers who happen upon them will know what they face. So if you consider yourself a guardian of Azeroth, then read on. And know your enemy.

The fiend of which I write is the worgen. Old, rural folklore may hearken to these creatures, for what farmer’s child has not heard tales of beastly wolf-men stalking the woods and marshes outside his village?

And truth may hide in such tales–perhaps they are warnings against the worgen, veiled as myths to frighten us. But before such tales are dismissed, let me now assure the reader: worgen are real. They may not be from our world, but avenues exist between their home and ours and powerful magics can pull them here. Such chants are best left unuttered, for wherever Worgen tread, they bring terror and bloodshed with them.

You will know a worgen by its resemblance to the wolves of our world. When viewing a worgen one can easily see how its coarse hair, pointed ears and long snout are akin to the wolves we know.

But you will just as quickly see its differences: that coarse hair surrounds a powerful, two-legged body sporting long fangs and dagger-like claws. And behind its howl lurks a malevolence possessed by no natural beast.
The worgens’ home is a dark place, a place of nightmare. If that world fosters locales safe from the cursed worgen, then my research has revealed no such bastions. And if one considers the ferocity and wickedness of the worgen, then it is likely no such bastions exist.

It is surmised that the worgen are content to remain on their world, for although some worgen possess powerful magic, they have made no attempts to reach Azeroth on their own accord. And for this, we are fortunate.

As mentioned above, some worgen are skilled in mystic arts, and their magic is of darkness and corruption. Curses and supernatural poisons are common, so be forewarned–those who face worgen magicians should arm themselves with wards against shadow.

It is my hope that no Dalaran wizard seeks out the Worgen, even if done in light conscience. For no pact may be struck, no secrets may be learned, no good can come from these beasts.

They are best left to their world. For if found in ours and not destroyed, then our peril will be dire…

Ur

Arugal was a fool not to have listened his master. An arrogant fool, but a powerful one nonetheless. It was time to take Shadowfang Keep back, so we pressed forward.

We even found some impressive loot…

OP…

As we stood by the doors of Arugal, killing his final guardians – or Son of Arugal as they were called, I could not help but pity him. There he was, standing alone in his doomed keep. Haunted by his own actions. It was said that he went mad after using the Book of Ur to summon the worgen; after all they were ferocious beasts who slaughtered anyone but him. Perhaps he simply wanted to protect his people, and thought that summoning aid through other dimensions would be a bright idea. Actually, I’m sure he thought that.

Yet it had all failed. Miserably. Dalaran fell during the War, and the worgen did nothing to help. If anything, they hastened the process. For that Arugal was cast away; day by day, week by week, he went further with his research to prove that he was right. To prove that the worgen could be used. Alas that day never came. And here we were, making sure that that day would never come. Farewell, Archmage Arugal. I will make sure that your mistakes are not repeated ever again.

Very good. This book will add nicely to my collections of the workings of Ur. His knowledge was great, but his conscience held him from true power. And so when the Scourge came and his strength was tested, it failed.

We of the Forsaken cannot afford such weakness, if we are to survive…

…If we are to conquer.

Keeper Bel’dugur, upon returning him the book

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