Wolves are a species of animal native to Azeroth and Draenor. These lupine creatures are found in great abundance across the many plains of Azeroth, with evidence of wolves being found on every known continent on Azeroth. These creatures are known to be the favored of the ancient Goldrinn and have inspired many cultures by their tenacity, courage and ferocity.
Wolves serve many huntsmen as fierce companions and loyal friends and are one of the more common animals huntsmen have alongside them. The Horde are known to take great pride in these ferocious beasts, many having them as lifelong companions and even seen as members of their family through the bond they share. Orcs are known to tame large wolves brought over from Outland, known as Worgs, to use as riding mounts. A well bred and nourished worg can outrun some of the fastest Horses in Azeroth.
Wolves come in various different forms, from the common gray wolves of Elwynn Forest, to the monsterous worgs of Outland, these creatures come in many shapes and sizes.
Common wolves are lithe with shaggy hair, large paws, sharp fangs and pointy claws. What sets this breed of Azeroth wolf apart from the rest is their size. Common wolves are often small, no bigger than a Gilnean mastiff, and roam about many forests in packs. These wolves are often seen as pests in areas such as Elwynn Forest where they make their dens across the forest, preying on unwary travelers and the local game in the area.
A large amount of common wolves have been domesticated by the Kingdom of Stormwind and young wolves are oft given to new huntsmen who desire an animal companion on their travels. These wolves could once be found in great abundance in Lordaeron, though following the Plague and over hunting, the population of wolves in the north has decreased.
At one point in time, Gilneas was also the host to many wolves, becoming a symbol of the nation. Many Gilneans adorned their homes with wolf skull charms when the Old Ways of druidism dominated the countryside and to this day the wolf motif is still prevalent in Gilnean architecture. Following the construction of the Greymane Wall, wolves were hunted into near extinction by the Gilneans as huntsmen were forced to rely on game present in Gilneas in order to survive. Unlike other regions of Azeroth, Gilneans bred strong hounds to serve them as hunting companions and the downfall of the wolf population mattered very little.
Worgs, or Darkwolves as they were called in the First War, are monsterously huge wolves that sometimes grow to be larger than some of the largest steeds in Azeroth, some even larger than bears. These gigantic wolves are set apart by their massive manes, large bulky body and viciously sharp fangs and claws. Unlike the common wolves, worgs are not native to Azeroth, rather they were brought over by the Orcs when they invaded Azeroth in the First War. Worgs have been known to be fiercely loyal to their masters and are as stubborn as the Orcs that bred them. They have been observed willing to die for their master and have been shown to continue fighting long after their masters are dead.
Following the First War and the death of many Orcish huntsmen, many Worgs were left without their masters. Those that were not found and redistributed by the Horde were left to roam the forests of Elwynn while the Orcs prepared to invade the Kingdom of Lordaeron. These worgs formed their own packs and interbred with the smaller common wolves of the forest, often becoming the alpha of many packs of Elwynn Forest. The interbreeding has led to the forest being filled with smaller, but still vicious, worgs that share dens alongside the less imposing common wolves.
This was also observed in much of northern Lordaeron where to this day worgs can be found wandering the forests of Silverpine and various other areas where the Orcish Horde once ran rampant.
Saber worgs or Dire wolves as some have come to call them are a vicious breed of wolf that was first observed in Northrend. Lithe like common wolves but with large manes similar to that of the Worg, these large wolves were called Saber Worgs by adventurers who first discovered them wandering the frozen tundra of the north. After researching the breed, while these wolves grow much larger than normal wolves, they are not in fact worgs. These wolves bridge the gap between wolves and worgs, but their size and features seem to have stemmed from the harsh environment that they are found in.
Many have begun to call them Dire wolves, rather than Saber worgs, due to the fact that they are not in fact worgs. Despite this, the two names both see use and these large wolves are as fearsome as both of their cousins. With their discovery, many Orcs and veteran huntsmen have adopted these large wolves as companions, some even ride them as fearsome mounts. Much more vicious and imposing than their common wolf brethren, they have begun to replace many common wolves amongst the more skilled hunters of the land.
While not related to worgs, Saber worgs have shown to be extremely loyal to their masters when tamed just like their alien cousins. They can grow to large sizes and have been shown with possessing great leaping capabilities that the other wolves have not shown. As with all wolves, they often stay in packs, though it is more common to find saber worgs wandering alone in the fields looking for prey than most other wolf types.
Wolves in CultureEdit
Wolves have come to be a symbol in many cultures on Azeroth and Draenor for the virtues that the beasts exemplify in their appearance and actions.
Wolves in Night elven culture are observed primarily in the ancient Goldrinn, the white wolf. The large ancient was observed as a symbol of courage, tenacity and ferocity. It was the last virtue he showed that caused most to be wary of Goldrinn and his followers as they too seemed to exert the same sort of feral bestial wrath that he was known for. So feral he was said to be that even the moon goddess Elune was said to be wary of the powerful ancient and his abilities, something that the wolf god was said to not be very fond of.
However, despite this, he and his children, the wolves, fought alongside the Night elves and their allies to the death during the War of the Ancients, where Goldrinn was only felled after slaughtering tens of thousands of demons. It was said that when Goldrinn fell, thousands of wolves charged onto the fields of battle against the demons of the Burning Legion with more fervor than when he was alive, helping to preserve the elven city of Eldre'thalas from falling to the demonic invasion.
The totem of the Wolf God has also been banned in druidic society, namely by the Archdruid Malfurion Stormrage, who discovered the mighty "Pack Form" which allows the user to transform into a wolf. Malfurion described the form as being too filled with rage to the point wher ehe nearly struck down his mentor and friend Cenarius in the form until he was soothed. Despite this, the Druids of the Pack continued to worship Goldrinn and use the pack form in secret. It was not until the druid Ralaar Fangfire came into the picture that the Druids were finally stopped.
Promising his kin the ability to control the feral tendencies of the form, the druids submitted to the mighty power of the Scythe of Elune, which was created by combining the Fang of Goldrinn and the Staff of Elune into one sacred artifact. However, rather than control their fury, they became monstrous half elven half wolf beasts named the Worgen. After losing their minds to their new form, Malfurion sorrowfully banished most of the druids into the Emerald Dream where they slumbered eternally under the great tree Daral'nir. It was not until the summoning of the Worgen by the mage Ur and later Archmage Arugal that the Worgen came back into the world. Velinde Starsong was also known to summon the Worgen into the plane of Azeroth by way of the Scythe of Elune, which later made it's way to Gilneas.
In Gilneas, wolves have played a large role in the society of the nation. Prior to the curse of the Worgen and the rise of the Greymane Wall, wolves were found in abundance in Gilneas alongside the other various animals that roamed across the nation's country side. So common they were that mannerisms from Gilneas arose that had to do with wolves, this was observed during the fall of Gilneas City, when King Genn Greymane was observed having said Gilneans look after their own pack.
Unlike the nation of Stormwind where wolves served as hunting companions, in the Kingdom of Gilneas wolves were replaced with large hunting hounds known as mastiffs. It was not uncommon in Gilneas for huntsmen to go out with their hounds to hunt for wolves while hunting stags and other game in the country side. During the prevalent days of Old Ways, wolf skull charms were used as symbols of good luck and were often found within homes. To this day, the wolf skull is still seen as one of the many symbols of Gilneas, as a large one adorns the crest of the nation.Wolves were eventually hunted to near extinction in Gilneas following the erection of the Greymane Wall. This was done for several reasons and was done over several years. The first reason was their over abundance in the nation. With the wall up, game would become slim if the large wolf population in Gilneas remained as they'd eventually overwhelm the amount of game available to be hunted. The second was the danger this would pose should game ever run slim in Gilneas. Not only would huntsmen be unable to bring different varieties of meat to the tables of Gilnean families, but starvation could possibly cause wolves to begin wandering into human settlements for meat, which would endanger the populace.
The third reason was a well kept secret; following the summoning of the Worgen, the dwindling wolf population was decreased even more so when outings were led by in the know Nobles who knew of the threat the wolf men posed. Due to the situation, wolves were easily mistaken for the Worgen and were often slain to keep rumors of monsters lurking in the woods to a minimum by blaming any deaths or odd occurrences on scavenging wolves.
Wolves have become an even greater symbol of the nation following the rampant spread of the Curse of the Worgen. With their new wolvine forms, many Gilneans have picked up worship of the mighty ancient Goldrinn, and many venerate the attributes of wolves as a result.
OrcsEditWithin Orcish culture, wolves play a massive part in their people's culture and lives. Wolves were bred originally as mounts and companions for the Orcish clans during their time before the Burning Legion. They were bred to help serve as loyal hunting companions and helped keep herds in line, especially with the mighty clefthoofs that roamed the once verdant fields of Draenor. Worgs were often rode into battle as they are today when clan squabbles arose, and many orcish shamans summoned ethereal guides that took the form of wolves.
When the Burning Legion corrupted the Orcish people, so too were the mighty worgs. Worgs were bred solely for war and destruction. Named "darkwolves" by the humans at the time of the First War, worgs were fed the flesh of fallen humans instead of normal meat. This gave the worgs an insatiable bloodlust once raiders entered the field of battle, as the familiar flesh would peak their hunger. It was also not uncommon for Orcs to purposely not feed their wolves nights before large battles. This drove the wolves into an even more insatiable lust as they sought to eat their fill on the unfortunate men and women of the Alliance.
During the Second War, Raiders were banned and thus many Worgs were left in their kennels or abandoned on the fields. The Frostwolf and Thunderlord clans, along with several other riding clans, refused to part with their worg companions and used them in other ways during the campaigns. Notably, the Frostwolf worgs were far less temperamental, similar to their riders, on the field, but were still loyal and vicious when needed.
When the warchief Thrall reinstated the Raiders of the Horde, wolf riding became prevalent yet again. Many orcs were seen riding various breeds of worgs, with Far seers of the Frostwolf clan often riding their frost worgs, raiders rode Timber worgs and the Warchief was known to ride both a black furred Dire worg and a Frost worg. Some orcs had been displaced from their wolvine companions to the point where they adopted some of the local wolves to replace them. These common wolves were far too small to be ridden, and as such were used as hunting companions instead. Rather, Orcs learned to ride Horses during these times, though as time progressed and more and more worgs were eventually raised, they went back to wolf riding. In order to prevent this from occurring again, the Blackrock Clan would keep a large kennel of worgs within Blackrock Mountain so that they would not run short on their faithful companions and mounts again.