Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Worgen Paladins

Some time ago I wrote about Night Elf Paladins. As they are not the only race that is missing warriors of Light among their ranks I plan to continue with this until A) I run out of compelling arguments, or B) I run out of races that make any sense in becoming Paladins.

To talk about Worgen Paladins, we first need to say a few things about the First and Second War. These two wars between forces of Eastern Kingdoms, at times know as the Alliance, and the invaders from other world, known as the Horde was what led to formation of the first Paladins on Azeroth.

Stormwind lay in ruins, Orcs were victorious, their triumph complete. People of Azeroth, as the continent was called back in the day, soon realised that if they want to stand a chance against this nightmare of the orc war machine, they would need to stand together. And while they were forming the alliance, they tinkered on how to counter the orcs overpowered by the demon blood  and the first generation of Death Knights.

This Alliance of Lordaeron was formed thanks to the stubbornes of Anduin Lothar, and foresight of Terenas Menethil. In these troubling times one more thing was formed. The first Paladin order. Gilneas, home of the Worgen, was also a member state of this Alliance. Genn Greymane joined the Alliance more out of necessity than free will. As soon as the war ended, and the Alliance decided they will build internment camps for orcs, and not just kill them all, Gilneas bailed. Greymane erected a wall surrounding his kingdom and this was that.

From there on, nobody knew what was happening in Gilneas. Most of the people outside did not even care. They had enough of their own problems without Gilneans to deal with. What follows could be considered a speculation. But in my opinion, it makes much more sense for Worgen to become Paladins, than to be Druids. Even if the lore states there was this minor obscure cult that worshipped the Moon in Gilneas. Sure.

As the Gilneans built the wall it is entirely possible that among them there were at least some Paladins. If not of Gilnean origin, then strangers that got stranded after the wall was built and had no way of escape. In either of cases, while there would not be many Paladins, there would still be tradition of the old Paladin order alive among them. They could be considered long lost brethren of the Knights of the Silver Hand.

This takes care of continuity argument. The other argument against Worgen Paladins is the Worgen Curse. From mechanical point of view, Paladins can remove magic, cure poison, and disease. They cannot heal curses. From lore view, there is no reason why Light would reject them if they still sought it. We saw this first-hand in Northrend where a Paladin infected by blight, nearing the undeath was able to ascend into the Light, because his faith in Light never faltered.

The Light in Warcraft is a very simple thing. It never rejects anyone, it accepts anyone who is willing to take it. Whenever someone says the Light abandoned him, it is he who lost faith in Light, and not the other way around. Light as we can see is a benevolent concept, an ideal. Anyone who believes his actions are well intended will find Light at his side. Light does not discriminate. We could say it does not care, and we could possibly be right. Light is very different from Elements Shamans worship and work along with.

Elements are fickle, resentful, very powerful, but also very involved in the world itself. Light could be said is detached from the actual happenings. When orc Shamans lost their powers it is because Elements abandoned them, refused to communicate with them over something the orcs did. It is the very opposite from what Light is. Light as such is always at disposal to its wielder. The only thing needed is the wielder's belief, faith, or conviction in either Light or his actions.

For example, when Blood Elves claimed their mastery over the Light, it turned out that it was not their mastery over the magic as they thought in their arrogance, but it was the Light that let them wield it. We could simply say, As they found faith once more, they could wield Light. But before we turn this into a wholly philosophical debate on the nature of Light in Warcraft, let us go back to Worgen.

From what we established here, Worgen Paladins should be a possibility. An option. These are still Gilneans who belonged to the Church of Light for a very long time. There should be Paladins among them after the events of the Second War, even when they shut themselves away from the world. Paladin is a warrior driven by his conviction in something. And here is a race, that actually has all prerequisites covered. They could have an established continuity of Paladins, they believe in Light, and they certainly have rare individuals with a strong sense of justice. Conviction in my opinion is a cornerstone of every Paladin. 

Paladin does not just sheath his sword and hang his armour because there is no enemies any longer. It would be ideal, by it does not happen. They change course, find other things to do. They heal, they would lead a city watch ensuring peace, or they would join the King's army and try to exterminate all the dangers in the forests of Gilneas.

From this, it should be obvious that Worgen Paladins should exist. Yes, they go frenzy when they enter the battle, but so does everyone else. It is just so, that the physical change is most obvious with the Worgen as they change their form. Otherwise, nothing special. Blood Elves burned chapels in the name of their superiority, humans tortured innocent. And they are still able to use the Light without any problem.

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