November 4, 2010

An Apology

To all who have suffered because of my actions,

I am so sorry.

I dare not beg your forgiveness, for I will never forgive myself for my crimes. All I can do now is apologize to those I have wronged.

Baron Silverlaine, you showed me great compassion and charity, taking me in when I arrived half-dead upon your castle's doorstep. It was only because of your infinite kindness that I survived my desperate flight from Alterac after Dalaran was destroyed by the Scourge. And how did I return the favor? By causing the deaths of you, your family, your servants, and despoiling your beautiful home, transforming it into a den of filth and darkness.

Though this was never my intent, it was nonetheless my actions and my decisions alone that caused this terrible tragedy. I can only hope that my recent demise has freed you and your kin from your cursed existences, that you are no longer bound to walk the halls of your former home.

To the innocent people of Pyrewood Village, you have my deepest apologies. You were but a simple hamlet of farmers and fishermen living quietly in peace, until my crazed monsters descended upon you. My frantic commands to cease were ignored, as they had fallen fully into a feral bloodlust.

Before I knew it, your entire village had been infected, an entire populace doomed to an existence of pain and violence, all at my hands. Every night, your mournful, bitter howls resonated throughout the walls of Shadowfang Keep, driving me further and further into the depths of my madness. The blackest stain upon my from which I can never be cleansed.

To the nation of Gilneas, my southern neighbors behind the great old homeland. I pray that your mighty barrier shielded you against my years of insidious efforts, that your people remained hidden, secreted away from the countless infected rodents, wolves and other animals I slipped through the cracks. I regret many things, but the thought that more innocents, my fellow Gilneans, might have succumbed to the cancer I had birthed into this is more than I can bear.

Finally, I owe one final apology - to Azeroth itself. I was a fool for tampering with forces beyond my comprehension. Ur was wise not to delve too deeply into the mysterious worgen, but I was so overcome with grief and anger towards the Scourge, I ignored his warnings. In my obsession, I saw only a readily available weapon to strike back against the undead. I thought them nothing more than beasts that could be taught to obey my commands, but I was fatally wrong. The worgen are more much cunning, cruel and devious then I had ever imagined.

Thankfully, their corrupt touch seems mostly contained to the boundaries of Silverpine, where their actions and numbers are severely restricted by the aggressive behavior of the Forsaken, residing in the nearby ruins of Lordaeron. If not for these ongoing skirmishes, I fear the worgen curse would continue to spread across the land at an ever-increasing pace, for in my final days, I noticed with distress that they appeared to be...learning. One day I came across a pair of worgen employing rudimentary tools and weapons, experimenting with their function and purpose. Though my sanity had long left me by then, the curious, educated sliver of my mind that remained capable of rational thought was intrigued...and deeply unsettled.

I shudder to imagine what would happen if anyone were to follow in my footsteps and bring more of these murderous creatures into our world, intentionally or not.

I beg you, people of Azeroth! Learn from my mistakes! The worgen are simply too dangerous, too chaotic to ever control! Never consort with their foul breed again!

Fortunately, it is my belief that left to their own devices, the worgen will not seek out Azeroth themselves, as I believe they are quite preoccupied with their own problems. During my years as mad regent of that terrible keep, I was occasionally stricken with sudden moments of clairvoyance, where my consciousness wandered and pierced a foreign, otherworldly veil. I believe now that what I was seeing was the worgen's native realm. Judging from the nightmarish landscape and terrible opponents they battled, it is no wonder they evolved to become such ferocious beings.

In my visions, I was surrounded by hundreds, maybe thousands of worgen, who were locked in mortal combat against powerful foes I could not identify. These enemies towered above us, spat torrents of seething emerald flame that incinerated anything it touched, and twisted the very air and earth against the worgen in an awe-inspiring display of elemental power.

Perhaps I am worried for nothing. The worgen are busy fighting their war on another world, Ur is dead and my heinous techniques and knowledge have followed me to the grave. I can only hope that the secrets behind this loathsome, terrible species remain forever buried, never to resurface, for -


Something is very wrong! What is this awful feeling? I feel a...discordance upon my soul, like someone were gripping my heart and pulling it, crushing it! Someone is defiling my grave! Three, four, though they do not appear to be Kaldorei, Quel'dorei or Sin'dorei...

By the Light, no...I can hear their treacherous whispers now, tickling my mind. They are heralds of the Lich King! They wish to use my abilities to further the cause of their dark lord! No! I must...resist! I have inflicted too much pain upon this land, committed too many sins! Don't make me...not again...



* * * * *

What is this nonsense, tucked away in my robes? Such sentimental babble! Feh. But no matter. Mere words from a weak mind cannot sway me from my new-found, urgent mission. Solstice Village and Silverbrook have both succumbed to my children, and the Wolfcult reigns supreme! Soon all of Grizzly Hills shall fall to our might!

Long live the Sons of Arugal! To the glory of the Lich King!

Show/Hide Letter Notes

Pertinent Lore:

The Book of Ur - Ur's findings and warnings about the Worgen race

Velinde Starsong - Night Elf sentinel who received the Scythe of Elune and used it to summon Worgen to fight demons in Felwood. Some of her summoned troops began going missing, she traveled to the Eastern Kingdoms to try to seek out Arugal to find out more info, and then she was never heard from again.
Scythe of Elune
Goldrinn - wolf Ancient. Also known as Lo'Gosh.

With Worgen returning to WoW lore in a significant way in Cataclysm, I thought I'd take a look at the only person really associated with them before ingame: Arugal. I wondered what his thoughts were about his furry friends, about Shadowfang Keep, and about his revival to spread the lycanthropic curse in Grizzly Hills.

I was slightly surprised that Arugal might not have been an evil wizard out for power, as I had previously thought. He actually brought the Worgen into Azeroth to combat the Scourge. And, ironically, he was a former member of Gilneas! Tons of juicy hooks here.

I wanted Arugal to be a man driven mad by his own guilt (since that's what he is), and now that he was dead and back in control of his mind, be deeply remorseful for his crimes. Angry at himself for ignoring the warnings of Ur, a fellow Dalaran mage, and for not realizing the danger in the savage Worgen before it was too late.

Considering he had fled from Dalaran after the Scourge invaded, the idea of having him be rescued by Baron Silverlaine appealed to me. It would make it all the more horrific that his kindly savior would be slaughtered and turned into a ghost, doomed to haunt his former home.

All of Arugal's apologies would, of course, provide a tragic parallel when he realized that agents of the Lich King (Princes Theraldis, Keleseth, Atherann and Valanar) were raising him from the dead to use his foul language. He'd be deeply distressed, and beg and plead that he not be forced to commit more sins unto the world, but his protests would go unnoticed.

Ending the letter with Arugal now completely corrupted and in the sway of the Lich King contrasts terribly with his apologetic and remorseful emotions earlier in the letter. I wanted to illustrated just how overwhelming the Lich King's powers of corruption could be, and also maybe state that Arugal now was completely, irreversibly damned.

Regarding Gilneas, I honestly have no idea how they became Worgen, and I have purposefully been avoiding spoilers. So instead I thought it would be a nice touch to have the crazed Arugal be obsessed with his former homeland, now denied to him because of the giant wall, and be constantly sending infected rodents and other animals past the wall to infect his former countrymen.

The actual Worgen lore with Ur, Velinde Starsong and what is likely the Emerald Dream is all fairly confusing. From what I gather, the Worgen are druids who became corrupted, possibly when the wolf ancient Goldrinn was slain by the Burning Legion. I'm sure that these various, vague questions will be answered in Cataclysm.

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