Every race in World of Warcraft that begins at level 1 has their own, unique starting areas. These areas usually only cover levels 1-5, but some races are locked into starting areas that last up to level 15 or so.
This post covers the storyline of the starting area of Worgen.
I hope you enjoy it. Remember, if you like what I write, you can always support my Patreon.
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Gilenas – Worgen Starting Area
Gilneas once stood with the Alliance against the Horde, but after the Second War (the events of Warcraft II), Gilneas became more and more dissatisfied with being part of
the EU the Alliance and wound up having their very own Gilexit, even building a mighty wall so that they could isolate themselves almost completely. Unfortunately for them, undead forces threaten to tear down that wall, and nightmare creatures who look like humans threaten to rip Gilneas apart from within.
The metaphors write themselves.
Part 1 – Gilneas City
All the events in this area occur around the start of the Cataclysm expansion.
Prince Liam Greymane, who’s busy attempting to rally the troops with a pretty depressing speech, (“we don’t know how many”, “expect to be outnumbered”) tells you the city’s under complete lockdown.
You report to Lieutenant Walden, who’s in charge of the evacuation, to find he’s dead. You return to Liam to tell him about the deep wounds on Walden‘s body, but he’s a little distracted on account of the attacking Worgen, who he mentions are Archmage Arugal‘s creations. You kill some Rampaging Worgen (who, to be honest, are really more wandering-around-looking-lost Worgen) and evacuate civilians, and you salvage supplies at Gwen Armstead‘s request.
Liam tells you to help the civilians retreat to the Military District while he stays behind (this boy had a determination to die a hero’s death the moment this whole thing started) and you report to Gwen Armstead again, who sends you to speak with whatever trainer is yours, based on your class. Your trainer tells you they’ve taught you enough, and you’re sent to speak to King Greymane, who tells you about Lord Darius Crowley, who once lead a faction against Greymane in a civil war, but who is exactly the sort who’s needed now. You’re sent to Stoneward Prison, to ask Captain Broderick about him. Lord Godfrey seems less than keen on Crowley, but he asks you to kill some Bloodfang Worgen while you’re out. Broderick also seems less than keen on Crowley, but he tells you where to find him.
Crowley is hanging out, shirtless, rippling muscles all over the place, an eye-patch over one eye, fighting off Worgen with his bare hands. He tells you the Worgen got to Sean Dempsey and you need to help fight them off as they stabilize the bleeding. Crowly agrees to join forces with Greymane and tells you about a safehouse where his men stashed some heavy artillery. Greymane is understandably alarmed by the fact that a rebel managed to smuggle a whole cellar full of weapons into the middle of his city, but he takes it in his stride and sends you to requisition the weapons for military use. You find Josia Avery in the cellar, but he seems unwell. He bites you, and you realise he was a Worgen, but Lorna Crowley arrives just in time to shoot him dead, and you’re pretty sure everything’s fine.
Lorna loans you one of her mastiff hounds to sniff out hidden Worgen, clearing the way for her to bring up the arsenal. You’re sent to report to King Greymane again. Greymane still seems just a little bit hung up on the fact that a rebel had enough firepower to blow up a significant portion of the city tucked away in a cellar, but there are still more pressing concerns. He lends you his own horse to rescue Krennan Aranas, a brilliant alchemist whose invaluable skills means he absolutely has to survive, and who’s currently hanging out, half-naked, surrounded by Worgen, in a tree.
After that, Lord Godfrey tells you to meet the others at Greymane Court, where you find Greymane and Crowley planning to evacuate the citizens to Duskhaven. Crowley tells you he’ll be remaining behind in Light’s Dawn Cathedral to keep the Worgen distracted (Prince Liam has another go at trying to die by stating he’ll stay as well, but Greymane is having none of it) and offers you the exciting opportunity to stay behind and die with him. For reasons that I’m convinced have to do with those rippling muscles, you hop up onto his horse behind him and help round up as many Worgen as possible.
You meet up with Tobias Mistmantle right outside the cathedral, and he points you to some cannons. You kill Worgen until you’re running low on ammo, and then you fall back inside the cathedral, (which is just gorgeous, by the way. As a long-time Horde player I’m constantly amazed by the beauty of Alliance locations) where you and Crowley take your final stand.
And that’s the end of the first part of the Worgen starting area. By now you should be around level 5.
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Part 2 – Gilneas
You get a cinematic of Worgen taking over the cathedral, smashing through the stained glass windows and everything. Then Godfrey approaches a cage, telling you of the monster you’ve become. You see a flash of yourself being bitten, turning on your friends in the cathedral, and finally, being caught in the woods. Godfrey tells you the others aren’t yet ready to put you down, they hope you can be saved. He wonders allowed if there’s even a shred of humanity left in you, and you see that you have been transformed into a Worgen.
You find yourself in Worgen form and trapped in wooden stocks (looking exactly the way my dog looks when she knows she’s in trouble). Greymane tells you something about the dosage being strong enough to kill a horse, and you’re force-fed a potion. The potion seems to work, and you’re freed. Lord Godfrey rather begrudgingly says he won’t shoot you… yet… as the human inside you is in control, and you’re sent to report to Krennan Aranas.
Aranas is a lot happier than Godfrey was, and explains that, while your condition can’t be cured, it can be treated. He tells you to grab some mandrake essence so that he can brew you up another batch. Of course, when you get there, you find a Slain Watchman with a dagger in his chest. This, along with the Forsaken ships on the horizon, causes you to come to the realization that Gilneas is being invaded. You rush to Gwen Armstead, the Mayor of Duskhaven who tells you how the reefs have always protected Gilneas‘s coastlines, and the earthquakes must have opened a passage. She tells you to report to Prince Liam and asks you to stop him from getting himself killed. She seems worried that this is a thing he might try to do.
Liam is hanging out shirtless fighting Forsaken with a broken bottle. (Gee, I wonder how Gilnaens keep getting bitten by things.) He gets you to kill invaders and blow up some Abominations – big, near brainless creations made from animated corpses – then sends you to check back in with Gwen. She sends you on to meet Lord Godfrey, who’s at Allen Farmstead organizing defences. Godfrey reminds you he doesn’t like Worgen, but since you’re here, you might as well go bite some Forsaken for him. He also has a brilliant plan involving you killing the Forsaken manning the catapults, using the machines to launch you onto Forsaken ships, and killing their captains. This is definitely a good plan and not an attempt to get rid of you at all.
Melinda Hammond tells you the military won’t let her go after her children, so she asks you to rescue them for her. You sort out the kids and the Forsaken, and Godfrey offers you some patronising, back-handed compliments before handing you a whistle to attack Dark Ranger Thyala with. (The whistle summons attack mastiffs, but I still can’t help but be suspicious of Godfrey‘s tendencies to send you on the most dangerous missions.) You survive, but while you’re reporting this to Godfrey, the earth seems to shake even harder than before and a loud crashing is heard.
You’re sent outside to investigate and find Prince Liam standing next to a brand new shoreline that wasn’t there before. You’re off to rescue Drowning Watchmen from the flooding before warning Gwen Armstead that it’s time to evacuate yet again. She sends you warn various people, starting with Grandma Wahl. Wahl will leave just as soon as you help her find her things – her favourite book, (which you’re supposed to be shocked by because it’s a steamy romance novel, but I’m more disturbed that she left it out in the dirt like some kind of monster) her good clothes, (identical to her current clothes) and her cat, which some Forsaken named Lucious the Cruel tries to kidnap, only to find himself set upon by a rolling-pin wielding Worgen lady shouting obscenities.
Grandma Wahl‘s gonna be just fine, so you head to the Hayward Brothers next. They’re quite happy to evacuate via boat, but they need you to help with repairs first. They’re also being attacked by Forsaken Castaways, so you need to give a few undead their second deaths. Once that’s sorted, you leave them to it and head to Lorna Crowley.
Lorna wants you to round up some horses to make the evacuation easier on everyone, but you’ll have to get to the horses before a vicious ettin named Koroth, who’s been spooked down from the mountains by the earthquakes, squishes them all. Once that’s done, you’re ready to report to Gwen Armstead again, who sends you and the others to Greymane Manor while she stays behind and makes sure everyone gets out.
(Greymane Manor is another gorgeous location, and one both Alliance and Horde can still get to by flying to it, so I’m honestly surprised it’s not used by Roleplayers more often.)
You report to Queen Mia Greymane who sends you to speak to Genn. Genn points you to the telescope and you see that Duskhaven is underwater and Forsaken ships are sailing in. He decides it’s best to move further inland and sends you to set everyone up in carriages. Ogres are throwing rocks at the road, and you stop to help a carriage that got hit. Prince Liam Greymane enlists your help (this would be the same one who keeps trying to get himself killed, he’s in charge of the coach that had an accident. Iiiinteresting.) The ogres are servants of the ettin Koroth, and Forsaken are hot on your heels, so you do the obvious thing: Enrage Koroth so that he charges the Forsaken.
Liam yells some inciting insults at the Forsaken, keeping up with that deathwish of his, then sends you to Stormglen to meet up with Gwen Armstead. (Yay, she’s not dead!) Gwen gets you to clear out some spiders, including their broodmother, and Lorna tells you she found a journal which might be able to give you more clues on what happened in Stormglen after the Curse broke out, only it’s missing pages, so you need to find them.
Lorna‘s able to piece together what happened. Apparently, there were survivors of the Curse in Stormglen, but they moved to Tempest’s Reach, in the mountains. The writer of the journal, Bradshaw, stayed behind. When the Worgen attacks suddenly stopped, he ventured into the Blackwald. You’re sent to Bradshaw Mill to find more clues.
The mill is all broken down, but you find a Night Elf Priestess of the Moon inside named Belysra Starbreeze, who knows your name and has been expecting you. Belysra says she has information for you, but first, there’s a Forsaken scout trailing you and you need to deal with it. She gives you a talisman that will allow you to break free of the scout’s trap, so you can walk right into it and then surprise and kill the scout. Once done, Belysra tells you about others who went through exactly what you’re going through. An order of druids who took the shape of wolves. She tells you that you’ll find answers in their old home, an ancient, tree called Tal’doren. Luckily for you, it’s nearby. Right in the centre of the Blackwald.
Lord Darius Crowley is waiting for you. There have been some changes. First, he’s found a shirt. Second, he’s a Worgen. Crowley tells you how the Night Elves helped him and the Worgen standing around him, and that the Forsaken are looking for an artifact that could be used to spread the Curse to all humans. (I’m not clear why Sylvanas would want this – As far as I know, humans affected by the Worgen Curse can’t be made into Undead, so possibly she only wants it to prevent it from being used by the Alliance who might decide becoming Worgen is better than the risk of becoming Forsaken.)
Night Elf Vassandra Stormclaw gives you some history about the Worgen Burse. Faced with demons, the Druids of the Pack comitted heresy by rejecting balance and allowing the beast to overtake them.
(This happened during the War of the Satyr. Desperate for more powerful forces, Belysra Starbreeze and the druid Ralaar Fangfire hoped that, with Elune‘s magic, druids could tap into the power of the wolf Wild God named Goldrinn without being overtaken by his rage. They were wrong. The result were feral Worgen whose bite could spread the Curse, and Malfurion had to trap the resulting Druids of the Pack in the Emerald Dream. These were the same druids summoned by Archmage Arugal during the Third War , or the events of Warcraft III, in an attempt to protect Gilneas from the Scourge. The plan backfired, and that’s how the Curse spread to Gilneas.)
Vassandra sends you to gather Moonleafs for a ceremony that will restore balance to your people. Crowley has you killing Sylvanas‘s banshees. Unfortunately, the Forsaken get to the Scythe of Elune first after all, and you’re sent (with some help) to get it back. (This is the artifact Belysra and Ralaar used to accidentally create the Worgen, and it’s the artifact that can be used to spread the Curse.)
Once the Scythe is safe and sound, Crowley tells you it’s time to perform the ritual that will balance the beast inside you. (The potion you took can only keep you safe from going feral for so long.) As you drink from the Well of Fury, Lyros Swiftwind blesses you with wisdom. As you drink from the Well of Tranquility, Vassandra Stormclaw blesses you with Tal’doren‘s soothing. As you drink from the Well of Balance, Talran of the Wild blesses you with mastery of the beast and the soul.
Lorna shows up with Genn and Lord Godfrey and there’s a little reuinion, where Genn reveals he, too, is a Worgen, and he and Crowley agree to continue fighting together against the Forsaken forces. Crowley sends you back to Stormglen and send the people there ahead to Tempest’s Reach. Gwen Armstead tells you she’ll sort out the evacuation, and sends you to catch up with Krennan.
Krennan‘s in a state. It seems Lord Godfrey has taken King Genn Greymane prisoner and is planning to turn him over to the Forsaken. You’re sent to assassinate his co-consiperers, Baron Ashbury and Lord Walden. Afterwards, Greymane tells Godfrey it’s over, he has no support left, and Godfrey declares he’d rather die than serve a Worgen. Then he runs off a cliff. Greymane sends you to Livery Outpost just outside Gilneas City to report to Lorna.
Lorna tells you that the locals from the mining village of Emberstone survived the Curse, but have been enslaved as miners by the Forsaken. An escaped slave named Marcus tells you about a cruel abomination named Brothogg who killed his wife, and asks you to get revenge. Magda Whitewall realises that the next meal might be many’s last, and so wants it to be a good one. Once all that’s sorted, Lorna has you free the village by taking out Forsaken forces along with their leaders, Executor Cornell and Valnov the Mad.
This frees up the villagers to join the resistance forces, which is good, because you’re about to assault Gilneas City which is currently occupied by Forsaken troops. Liam is heading this charge, naturally, and Genn and Crowley are leading the assault on the other districts. Liam delivers a speech about how they’ll fight to the death, with graphic and almost loving descriptions of death, and then you get to follow him around the city watching other people rescue him from the dangerous situations he throws himself into.
The battle culminates in a confrontation between Genn and Sylvanas, and Liam takes an arrow meant for Genn, finally managing what he’s been clearly trying very hard to achieve this whole time: His own death.
Sylvanas has been forced to retreat (somehow the enemy getting a clear shot at the king and killing his son, which demoralises him so much he can barely move, gave you the upper hand) and Lorna sends you to join Tobias Mistmantle who’s on Sylvanas‘s trail. You hide in the cathedral, where you witness Sylvanas reassure one of Warchief Garrosh‘s orcs, General Warhowl, that she will be able to regain control over Gilneas and that she won’t use Plague, (which kills and raises those affected as new undead) Garrosh has specifically ordered her not to. Warhowl leaves and one of her own Forsaken, High Executor Crenshaw, asks if she meant it when she said she wasn’t going to use Plague. Obviously, she didn’t, and orders it to be deployed immediately.
Lorna is horrified and sends you to bring the news to Genn, who has to decide between launching an attack on the Forsaken or evacuating the survivors. To honor Liam‘s memory, Genn chooses
the path most likely to result in death to evacuate, and sends you to try prevent the plague from being deployed as much as possible by stealing one of the Forsaken‘s bombing bats and raining justice from above. Then you escape through a tunnel that leads out of the city.
Krennan Aranas tells you about an unusual problem. While fleeing the city, the Gilneans unearthed the precious mementos that are traditionally buried in graves, angering the spirits of their ancestors. You collect some mementos and place them as a offering on Aderic‘s Tomb. You witness Liam‘s funeral, leaving me wondering if disturbing Aderic‘s Tomb to bury Liam wasn’t the thing that set the spirits off, and who Aderic is anyway, and then it’s time to meet up with the other survivors at Keel Harbor.
Crowley is pleased to tell you the Night Elves have arrived with ships to take Gilnean refugees to Teldrassil, where it’ll be nice and safe from Sylvanas and the Horde forever. You use a glaive thrower to hold of the Horde army a bit, then all that’s left is getting rid of a flying gunship. Lorna tells you about how her father’s rebels stored a bunch of explosives around here, and you mount a Hippogryph, (eventually, it can take up to ten minutes of wating around before Tobias Mistmantle finally allows you to start) and follow Lorna‘s instructions, which includes fighting a really big, really weird Orc, until the gunship has been sabotaged, and then you escape on Wyverns.
It’s time to go to your new home. Admiral Nightwind tells you that his people will grant you shelter, and you’re transported to Rutheran Village, where you meet up with Krennan Aranas, who directs you to the Howling Oak in Darnassus. Genn tells you the oak was grown from an acorn from Gilneas, and you witness a meeting between him, Tyrande Whisperwind, and Malfurion Stormrage. They tell him of local trouble that you will no doubt be sent to deal with, and let Genn know you Worgen are absolutely welcome. I’m sure Teldrassil will be the perfect, safest place for you.
And that’s the end of the Worgen starting area.
Lok’tar ogar, and Zandalar Forever x
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