I am

A story about the first and only Undead Worgen Druid from the World of Warcraft setting. A mixture of initiation and unholy magic creates a creature the likes of which no one in the world has seen. Except one. In his travels through the forests of Lorderon, he comes across another special person. Lillian Voss.

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2. After the Change

I am Undead.

A fury so fierce rises up through me that I am startled by its power. But I do not hesitate. I embrace the feral beast rising up and welcome it with loving arms. My hands, before pale in color and void of any blood, elongate into razor-sharp claws. Fur ripples up my arms and down my legs. A terrible, yet sweet crunching sound pervades my calves, as my ankles lengthen and my toes shred through my boots. My mouth and face enlarge, forcing every tooth into needle-point fangs. The world becomes sharper in my eyes. I can hear the battle as if it is right next to me. But all I smell and taste is my own death. It raises bile in a throat that I no longer breathe through. Instead, I raise my head to the heavens and howl a sound so sweet it makes my head swim.

I am reborn.

My actions do not go unnoticed. Immediately, the blue flying women let out an alarm, as if my howl of anger were not enough. I can feel the pain inside me want to lash out at these creatures, but I also suddenly sense a flowing relief, granting me control over my senses. Conscious enough to realize that I am outnumbered and almost surrounded, I try to run. The flying creatures though apparently have something else in mind. They lash out with bluish tendrils of energy that act like whips, ensnaring me. Three of them float toward me, caught in their trap. The anger at still being here heightens. I feel warmth in my body becoming red-hot, as if I were on fire. I strain against the cords and begin to feel the earth move. Suddenly, vines shoot up from the ground underneath the creatures, ensnaring them instead. The whips fall from their hands and I am released.

I am free.

I run. Dropping to all fours, I speed through the forest north away from both the Undead and Gilneas. I know my fellow kinsmen would not accept me for what I am now. I am a jumble of emotions and senses all wrapped into one. I feel the ground beneath my feet. I sense the power of nature all around me. I indulge in the form of the Worgen. But I am still not alive. I do not breathe. I have not stopped running for almost an entire day and have not tired. I have not needed to eat or drink. I have slipped by patrol after patrol of the Undead because they know not what they are looking for. I should not be. It had been proven that Worgen could not be raised. The only sensible conclusion that I could make was that I was raised at just the right time when my transition between human and Worgen was incomplete. I am the only Undead Worgen.

I am alone.

It has been many days since I fled my homeland. I have run across many patrols of Undead that I have dispatched with silent and deadly efficiency. They know not where to look because I have no need for food, shelter or warmth. When I do strike, I have found that my body alights into an emerald flame and my enemies are caught with that same flame if I strike them with my bare claws or teeth. This flame seems to act as a catalyst to their demise, burning them from the inside. Once they are destroyed and resting on the ground, the earth reaches her hand up and swallows the remains. It is an intriguing affair, and one that I am happy to oblige. I have made myself the revenge of Gilneas. Striking from behind enemy lines. Leaving no prisoners or evidence.

I am retribution.

I have found that there is still a deadly beast inside me that is apart from the Worgen that I am. I have had strange visions of a large spiritual cat prowling in the forest, always just out of reach. I have chased it relentlessly, only to always just lose sight of it. I realized then that I was being impatient. I had to accept what I was and what I could never be because of my… condition. It was a disheartening feeling because I knew that the cat was what I could have been, had I been alive. Awash in my despair, I heard a low growl coming from the bushes. A large hairy cat with strange markings inched toward me, ready to spring. Recognizing it as the beast I had been chasing, I began to rise in order to give chase once again. Too late, the great tiger sprung upon my chest, knocking me to the ground.  Rolling to my feet, I began to feel the change.

I am the beast.

In time, I came to control the many bestial forms that were imparted to me. It had only begun with the cat. Not long after, I embraced the way of the bear, then that of the cheetah. The most despairing thing of being able to become all of these different creatures was just that; they were different. Skin and bone, rotting in places and ghastly in form, all other creatures steered very far away from the stench and decay that I wrought. At first, I felt it a punishment and sacrilege against nature. But as I indulged in their forms, I knew that this was my destiny. I felt like the missing piece of the puzzle; the bridge between life and death. If nature, who blesses us all with warmth and light and life could bless me as well, who was I to argue? I used my powers for good. I destroy that which destroys, and return it to the earth. Whether in stealth as the cat, in strength as the bear or in power as the wolf; I return that which was taken from the living. And when my power has been used up, I will happily return as well.

I am destiny.

I continued to travel from camp to camp, striking from the shadows or in full-raged assault. My enemies were always dispatched with an uncanny ease, as if I was being pushed in a certain direction. I realized this force when I came upon a camp that had already been destroyed. Undead bodies burning with a purple flame lay everywhere. Immediately, I thought of a kinship in that someone may be either as gifted, or as cursed as I. I followed the trail of bodies, picking up the sound of yelling and screaming. Shifting into my cat form, I silently stalked the shadows in an attempt to see, but not be seen. What remained of my heart rose when I observed the young lady fighting the Undead, for she was of the same make as those she was fighting, much like I. Her skill with her bare hands was unmatchable as she leapt to and fro, almost dancing on her enemy’s heads. When she was about to finish off the apparent leader, she hesitated.  She instead leaned down and screamed into his face “Where is she?!” His only muffled reply before she lit his head in purple flame was a city I had become aware of in my travels. Undercity.

I am intrigued.

I observed this woman sheathed in purple flame for a few moments longer before I thought of making contact. Being most powerful in my Worgen form, I shifted back and stepped out of the shadows a good distance away, should it come to blows between us. She did not let the distance stop her. As soon as my presence was made aware, she attempted to leap the full length to engage me. In an attempt to parlay, I innately summoned the roots from the earth to stop her mid-flight. As my thorns held her down, my body unconsciously prepared for battle. The emerald flames shot up my torso while a growl escaped my lips. Before I could even get words out, her body burst into purple flame, sizzling the vines trapping her. Though she hesitated at the sight of my body aflame as well, it did not seem to stop her advance. It appeared as though we would do battle regardless.

I am determined.

Striking a warrior’s pose, she stalked towards me without a hint of fear on her face. Had she seen someone or something like me before that did not startle her? Or did she just not care? I had resolved myself with the fact that her flame may kill me, or mine her. Regardless, I was totally unprepared for the strange sideways kick she launched at me, sending me through the air. Though the kick itself hurt, none of her purple flame burnt me. She looked as surprised as I did. In retaliation, I launched myself back at her, burying her in a pile of emerald claws and fur. I did not wish to truly harm her, but had to inflict enough damage where she would cease her attacks on me. As I straddled her form, I was amazed to see that where our flames touched, they turned the same blue as did the winged women who attempted to trap me. In that same instant, I could sense all of the dead in the immediate area and what they were feeling. I believe she was amazed as well, for as I lost my focus, she took advantage and flipped me off of her, yet did not pursue. Instead, she kept her distance and asked me simply, “What are you?”

I am…

“Something else…” was all I could manage at first. I told her my name and where I hailed from. Being the first person I had talked to in over a month, my words spilled out like water from a jug. I told her everything about me and how I came to be what I am before she had even said another word. It was then that I asked her about herself. “Lillian Voss” was what she told me her name was, and that she had also once been human. When she was brought back, she had somehow come back different as well. She attested it to the training in sorcery she had practiced in, but I knew there was something deeper down that she was not letting on to. She told me she was now on a mission. To take revenge on who did this to her. Our “Queen” as she so vividly reminded me. The one person who had not given her a choice whether to come back or not. Lillian felt cheated out of death. Instead of dying a hero to her people, she had become vilified. By killing her creator, she had hoped to make amends in the eyes of the living and be granted peace eternal. She could not explain the same odd sense that we both shared when our flames touched, but was curious about it as well. We agreed to talk more about it, on our way to the Undercity. I was going to help Lillian Voss.

I am vengeance.

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