This guide is a work in progress.
Friends, worgen, countrymen, lend me your ears--for here is the guide to roleplaying a worgen. It is not the absolute law of worgentry, but it is intended to help you improve upon and correct your worgen RP, both for lore and for execution.
There are several different types of worgen that are supported by existing Blizzard lore. (Yes, as often as Blizzard has dropped the ball as pertains to Alliance lore, there is quite a bit for our newest race!) This guide is basically a rundown of those types, and some suggestions as to how to use their respective lore to make the foundation of your well-played character.
This is the vast majority of worgen who would be able to function as player characters (PCs). That means your character, much more likely than not, is a person who began life as a human, was afflicted by the Worgen Curse only a couple of years ago, and has been restored to sanity and (mostly) humanity by the help of the night elves.
A Short History of GilneasEdit
Please note that the following is slightly biased in its presentation; for purposes of aiding in RP, it is presented as a Gilnean would probably see it.
Gilneas was one of the Seven Kingdoms of Man, sovereign and separate from the other six (Stormwind, Lordaeron, Dalaran, Alterac, Arathor, and Kul Tiras). They became a member nation of the Grand Alliance during the Second War, after realizing that the orcs posed a threat to all nations. Then, as now, Gilneas was led by Genn Greymane.
After the defeat of the orcs, the discussion turned to what needed to be done with the prisoners--for the orcs had surrendered en masse and had lost their will to fight. Stromgarde wanted to eradicate the lot; Lordaeron preferred to spare them and create the internment camps. There is not much lore to indicate which stance Gilneas took, but they certainly did not wish to take money from their economy to pay for these camps. Similarly, Gilneas did not take kindly to the tax Lordaeron wanted to impose to rebuild Stormwind. Another point of contention was the restoration of Alterac--in which Genn Greymane supported the claims of Isiden Perenolde over his cousin, Aliden Perenolde, considering him to be much more promising a potential ruler.
Between having his recommendations about the succession of Alterac ignored wholesale, and the repeated attempts by Terenas Menethil to take money from Gilneas' economy, Genn decided that it would be prudent not only to remove Gilneas from the Alliance, but to build a wall both for defense and for symbolism.
The Greymane Wall stood as a defense absolute indeed, but against a threat they had not anticipated: the Scourge, and then the Forsaken. For years after the Third War, the Forsaken made numerous attempts to break down or scale the Greymane Wall, but fruitlessly. However, there was another threat that no wall could prevent.
Arugal, a Gilnean who had risen to the Kirin Tor of Dalaran, fled from the Scourge attacks and returned home. At Greymane's behest, he began research into a topic that had always been of great interest to him: worgen. However, the research went quite wrong, and the creatures laid waste to Shadowfang Keep and slaughtered its inhabitants. Arugal went mad, and the Greymane Wall was quickly sealed to prevent a similar disaster.
But it was not to last. The Worgen Curse crossed the Greymane Wall, and spread rapidly through the population, transmitted through bite. Not every human was bitten, but a significant portion of the population was. Those who were bitten ran wild, and only some were able to be retrieved.
What all this means to youEdit
A Gilnean worgen is formerly a human. These worgen were bitten by other worgen, and the disease was thereby transmitted. It fundamentally changed your character's body so that they are no longer fully human--at least, sufficiently not-human that one of the Forsaken's val'kyr can't raise them as undead.
Your character likely did not want to be bitten; whether or not, the experience was horrifying and painful beyond belief. Also, there was at least a little space of time where your character was essentially insane and very dangerous. If your character was restored well before the Forsaken invasion, he or she spent a lot of time on Krennan Aranas' serum. The druidic spell to restore the Gilnean worgen fully is a recent thing, and apparently both stabilized your condition so that you no longer need the serum, and also prevents it from being transmitted by bite. Though, it can still be transmitted by drinking the blood of Worgen.
Gilneans are very nationalistic people. They are proud of their homeland, their king, and their heritage. If you take a tour around the now-empty zone of Gilneas, you will see that it's not the pride of the ignorant; their nation had some pretty impressive things, including a chapel to rival the Stormwind Cathedral. They've built a strong nation that stood alone for generations, and it took a planet-breaking earthquake AND a full-scale invasion to bring it down. They are accustomed to taking care of themselves, and their current situation likely sticks in their craw.
All of these details are important to understanding who your character is, or at least the influences that shaped his or her upbringing.
The Original WorgenEdit
Worgen are, in fact, a creation of night-elf druids. If you intend to play one of these, you are in for an extremely difficult time.
Druids of the ScytheEdit
The druids of the kaldorei were not always full-on shapeshifters as they are now. Before the War of the Ancients, they were totemic, meaning that they would devote themselves to a single one of the Ancient Guardians (animal-like spirits, although different from the trolls' loa).
Certain devotees of Goldrinn, the Wolf Spirit, decided to emulate their patron and turn themselves into wolves. They called themselves the Druids of the Pack, but over time, their wolf form took much stronger hold of them than the other-forms of most druids. Realizing that they were losing control, they attempted to create an artifact to help them--what would become known as the Scythe of Elune. However, it instead created a hybrid elf-wolf form--true worgen--and their savagery only increased unto insanity. It also birthed the transmission-by-bite. Malfurion Stormrage eventually sealed them into the Emerald Dream in an attempt to stop the spread and end the crisis.
However, it was not to last. Arugal's research drew some of these mad, feral worgen back into the waking world. Velinde Starsong got hold of the Scythe of Elune, and also brought forth more worgen.
What all this means to youEdit
If you are planning to try to play one of the original worgen, as was mentioned before, this will be a difficult task. I personally would strongly advise against it.
First of all, there is no night-elf worgen currently in lore that has been retrieved from insanity. It is mentioned both in the starting experience and in Duskwood that the Gilneans have been trying to restore the worgen, but have had no success with those who have been afflicted for very long. If you try to play a character that defies known lore-based rules, whatever your intentions, you run the risk of playing a Mary Sue character--the bane of roleplay. This is no exception.
Secondly, your character's mechanics in-game are such that you cannot revert to a night-elf form. This is because playable worgen are originally human. You would have to spend all of your time in worgen form--which is not actually typical of druids.
Thirdly, your character became insane during or just after the War of the Satyr (an attempt to clean up the leavings of the War of the Ancients). Druids of the Scythe have not been aware of any of the history that has transpired since about ten thousand years ago; they spent all of that time first trapped in the Emerald Dream, and then rampaging around Ashenvale, Duskwood, or around Silverpine Forest. They are not familiar with modern druidic magics or techniques (specifically, the development that druids take many different forms now instead of just the one). They may not even speak Common.
Fourthly, Druids of the Scythe are outcasts among night elves and druids. They sought forbidden magic, and they made themselves insane. They also caused other night elves and humans to become infected.
Finally, no night-elf worgen is less than ten thousand years old. This is because they are all male. Night elf women becoming druids is an extremely recent development, one which had not taken place at the time when the Worgen Curse first emerged.
These limitations make for an extremely challenging, if not impossible, roleplay. Again, I do not recommend it.
The Wolfcult is a very peculiar item in Wrath of the Lich King lore. Indeed, these worgen from the Grizzly Hills of Northrend were essentially created by the Lich King through an undead Arugal.
A Grisly Tale from the Grizzly Hills
After his demise, Arugal was raised by the San'layn--the Lich King's Darkfallen lieutenants--and take to Grizzly Hills to spearhead a new approach to invading the area. Formerly, druidic magics of the furbolg had resisted the Scourge's advance, but the worgen being druidic creations themselves, this defense might be averted.
The humans who had settled in the area joined the Wolfcult willingly at first, but later under pain of death and undeath. The transformations began--first by night, but eventually willingly--but those deeply in and in the last stages could no longer transform back.
The change into worgen was, again, brought about by a bite from an infected person. However, it would seem that this was halted with the destruction of Arugal's Shade.
What this means to youEdit
If you wish to play a character who is formerly a member of the Northrend Wolfcult, you are choosing a very risky role. First of all, Grizzly Hills worgen are and consider themselves to be enemies of the Alliance, as demonstrated by the quest line. Secondly, they are pack-oriented in the extreme, such that they would willingly kill or permit to be converted members of their own villages that refused the change. Thirdly, it does not appear that it has been treated properly, so if it is the same Worgen Curse and the effect continues, it is highly likely that the Wolfcult ran insane and is irretrievable by this point.
However, among Arugal's creations, there is one playable group...
Worgen Death KnightsEdit
(to be continued...)