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Hadrian Wood [Worgen Hunter]
This profile is 10,360 words long. SORRY.

I understand if this takes forever to get approved...

Player: Beltharean

Character Full Name: Hadrian Wood (Birthname Hadrian Beltharean the Third

Character In-Game Name: Hadrian

Nickname(s): Lord Worg (An honorary title within a band of Worgen Hunters, no nobility attached or implied)

Association(s): The Worg Killers

Race: Worgen

Class: Hunter

Skills and Abilities: While rather skilled with training a dog, Hadrian could be called anything but a crack shot, prefering rather an axe meant for lumber, shaved down as to make it a bit lighter, and far more functional.

Age: 26

Sex: Male

Hair: Brown and kept short

Eyes: Gray

Weight: 170 Lbs

Height: 5’10

Usual Garments/Armor: Hadrian keeps simple attire, even in battle. While he may don a breastplate or a simple hauberk of chain, he generally keeps his attire in the style of the Gilnean commonwealth. Atop his head often rests a tophat, a bit worn from years of exposure. Around his shoulders is an equally battered overcoat, and beneath that a red and plaid shirt, an artifact from his days as a full time lumberjack.

His weapon of choice is the axe he once used for wood, shaved down at the handle and at the head as to be lighter, faster, and far deadlier. At his hip is often a flintlock pistol with a single shot loaded. A small ‘gunpowder horn’ with a bag of extra rounds rests at his hip. The horn itself is a relatively large Worgen tusk that has been hollowed out.

Other: Hadrian’s nose is a bit crooked from a breaking that was never mended properly.

Alignment: Neutral Good

Personality: Hadrian is an idealist with a penchant for nationalism and the fantastic. He was brought up on the superstitions of a Gilnean family that followed the Old Ways, and as such, is used to grand stories of valiant heroes and terrible monsters. He’s want to knock on wood, and call the names of river spirits before crossing their waters. He mutters a prayer before a harvest, and tries to light a candle with a prayer to his ancestors every night before bed.

Despite this rather archaic point of view on the world, he is a good and brave man. He’ll offer his life in place of another’s if he thinks they’re worth it, and any man that’s proven himself at least mildly decent will fall under that criteria. At the moment, having only recently been turned, Hadrian is very conflicted with his status as a Worgen. They’re the creatures that he’s sworn to kill, but to echo a proverb told to him many years ago in the small village he grew up in, “Our curse is our blessing.” He tries to use his status as a Worgen to do what he otherwise could not.

That being said, he is still a simple farm boy at heart. He yearns to see the rest of the world, only being given a glimpse by way of the invading Orcs, Tauren, Trolls, Elves, and Forsaken, and then his allies, the shape shifting long-ears from across the sea that live in a miraculous tree that would be any Lumberjack worth his salt’s dream to cut down.


The story of Hadrian Wood starts, at least in some aspect, with a young man and an even younger woman in a time some years before he was born, much less conceived. Their story starts on a strip of land jutting into the great sea. A peninsula where great men did great things for a great country; Where, under the tutelage of peers and masters, out protagonist’s namesake was elevated to the position of Royal Guard. Hadrian A. Beltharean the Second wore the title with as much pride as the sword at his hip.

Hadrian’s wife, and eventual mother of his son, led a very different life. A farmer in a small village within the lands of Lord Hewell, she happened upon her future lover by chance in Gilneas City on a market day, selling the family’s crops. They were married some weeks later, and she was pulled from a simple life to one of wealth in the capital city. Their passion was short lived however, as the woman’s love was forced into the battle for the North against the green menace that the Azerothians far to the south could not handle.

So, she waited. Family would visit the city, and she would return to the farm she still so dearly loved, waiting for news from the front. Hadrian was in Alterac for the greater part of the war, aiding the Crown in the protection of petty nobility in and around the area, keeping the peace in an era of war. Eventually the young maid found herself in the snowy peaks, and with the odd visit from her dearest husband, was given the gift of a child.

When Hadrian was not with his beloved, his blade seldom met flesh, few Orcs daring to wander through the well protected passes of Alterac without a force at their back, for the most part confined to meal halls and manors. He was like many completely unaware of the traitorous intent of the Alteracian King and even of the noble family that he had vowed to protect in the name of King Greymane. When the Arathorians came for his charge, he was forced to hand them over, finding himself without a purpose in the midst of the mountainous passes and peaks.

The nation of Alterac, under Martial Law in the name of the Alliance after the inevitable betrayal was found out, was in utter turmoil. Nobility argued amongst one another for who would take Alterac; Not only within the nobility of the Alteracians, but within the whole of the Alliance. Treaties and pacts began to form, and in time, kings and queens backed those that they found suitable replacements for the former Perenolde. Hadrian, already stationed in Alterac and well acquainted with the land from his service during the brunt of the fighting in the Second War, was assigned as a member of Isiden Perenolde’s guard, along with several other Gilneans, in a symbolic gesture of his support for the man. While they were under the Noble’s command, they felt their talents wasted, forced to take patrols rather than stand by the Alteracian’s side.

It was during this period of confusion within the mountain kingdom that two things happened; The first was the birth of the Royal Guard Hadrian Beltharean’s child. A son with his father’s jaw and his mother’s eyes. The second, a darker birth, in the underbelly of a starving nation. The birth of The Syndicate, nobility now thrown into the streets by the Arathorians, each vying for power to reach the heights of their former power. It was an agent of this organization, still as of yet unnamed and only a nebulous gathering of the ill willed, that was sent to make an attempt on Isiden Perenolde’s life. Hadrian was on the wall when an arrow took him, and a dagger finished him. The assassin was stopped, but so was the Royal Guardsman’s life.

Beatrix Beltharean was left a penniless widow, stuck in the rapidly crumbling remains of Alterac, a newborn babe at her breast. The roads treacherous, filled with highwaymen and bandits, she is left with little to no way to return to her home in Gilneas. While she was unable to leave the country, she was given the opportunity by a member of the Gilnean Militia stationed in the pass to have Hadrian the Third smuggled back to their home land.

The way back to the peninsula nation was a hard one, rogue Orcs yet to be reigned in and corralled into the pins that became the internet camps wandered through the highlands. Bandits and thieves, capitalizing on the destruction of Alterac lurked around every bend. John Wood however, was able to take the bundled lad into Arathor, and in due time, back to Gilneas with his fellow soldiers.

He waited for some months, and then some years for the child’s mother to return. To take the boy from him, and back to the city where he belong, but she never came. Her life was lost to consumption in the passes of Alterac. Hadrian Beltharean the Third would never know of his father, nor of his mother past the vague descriptions that his adoptive parent was able to give. His last name was unknown to either, and as such, he took the title of Wood alongside his new patron. The Wood family’s estate, small and cramped for the large number of individuals living within, was funded for the most part by their concerted efforts at leveling the Blackwald for lumber. It was sold to residents of the town itself, as well as to other members of The Royal Demesne; The lands of Lord Greymane and his family. It burned well and bright, many of the trees within the Black Forest long dead, having had many years age into the perfect timber to burn.

While the fruit of the wood was bright however, it’s source was not. The Blackwald was a treacherous place, at least in the minds of the youngsters within the Wood family; It was home to creatures of the mind, and beasts of the imagination. They were a superstitious sort, the lot of them illiterate, their experience with anything outside of their city, much less Gilneas, coming from their father who fought in the war. He as well, after many years, was prone to fantasy, preaching of Orcs fifteen feet tall, and demons the size of castles.

Hadrian Wood was only a young lad when the King’s proclamation to the Alliance began to spread throughout the realm, “Damn the orcs, damn the Alliance, and damn you! The last thing Gilneas needs is sponges from other nations drawing from our resources, Dalaran wizards meddling with our affairs, and someone else's enemies killing our soldiers! Gilneas is its own nation and it always will be. This is the last time I'll ever talk to you, Terenas, so I hope you were listening."

The words spread like wildfire, being whispered at first, and then shouted as sentiment for their king’s word began to rise. There were of course those that disagreed. Those with family in the other nations, or those of the merchant class especially, who would lose near all their business with the others after the boom in sales from the Second War. Lord Darius Crowley was at the head of those who disagreed with the King, openly rejecting the idea of the wall that was quickly being proposed. If not for the loss of money in trade with other nations, then for the simple fact that his land would effectively be cut in half by the wall, his power in the realm (As well as the whole of his family’s) would be severely diminished with the construction of the massive barricade.

Many men from the village, being of the demesne of Greymane himself, were contracted to begin building the wall. They moved from the south to the north, at least temporarily, beginning to lay the foundations of what would become the greatest blockade between peoples since the the Scarab Wall of Ahn’Qiraj thousands of years earlier. It was around this time, while many of the men were away, the Hadrian’s affection for one Adelaide Mason, from down the road, began to grow. Her father was a stoneworker, one that built many of the houses in the area, but worked on other, smaller projects for many of the villagers. The Woods’ own well came from his handiwork, as did most of the thatching on their wide roof, and the repairs to their wall during one of the heavier storms several winters before.

Adelaide was a young girl at the time, having just entered her teens. She had long, blonde hair to Hadrian’s short brown. She had a rather angular jaw, ending in a rounded chin, and a rather sharp nose. The rest of her features were round and soft, giving her a plain look; For the most part unremarkable aside from the shock of blue eyes she often accented with makeup traded at Market within the City of Gilneas.

The two of them had lived near each other for the brunt of their lives now, having played in the mud and the grime, and dared one another to go further and further into the Blackwald. There was a time however, where she was pulled from play and fun, to take up the duties of a woman, and he not to view the forest with awe and fear, but with an eye for income. As a source of the wood that would fuel their fires, and bring in their food. They both grew fast however, and young love hit each of them quite hard indeed. In the way of a shy young man however, Hadrian faltered at her advances. It went on like this for a time, but without making a move, little Hadrian had seemingly lost his chance. Dain McKinnon, a confident if not dastardly lad from down the road took the initiative where Hadrian had not, or rather, could not. Dain was known for antics in the small town, drawing phallic symbols on the side of cows in mud, and breaking windows with his small gather of friend, each as snub nosed and dirty as the last.

Hadrian watched from afar, and having lost hope in being with his dear Adelaide, took full time to delving into the Blackwald with the Woods. His arms grew strong, and his confidence grew stronger as he began to grow. The men in the family eyed him with pride as they saw the man that their adoptive son, a true member of the family, and a real Wood now, was becoming. They knew too however, that the time would come where the Lord of the Demesne, and if not his men, then the men of the mayor, would come to draft the boy into the Militia. A militia which was, at the time, in the midst of a bloody civil war.

The war had hardly touched the town, the south being in almost all of it’s entirety loyal to Genn Greymane and his pursuits to shut Gilneas out from the rest of the dark world, and away from the greedy alliance. They had no sympathy for Crowley and his traitors in the north, and many of the young men were glad to have the chance to fight as their fathers had.

Hadrian however, was altogether indifferent about the whole ordeal. He had no plans to leave Gilneas, and had no plans of meeting anyone from outside of the realm. The wall made no difference to him, and the war was as distant a thought as the idea of being with Adelaide. His mind raced as quickly as his axe, each swinging about in a flurry.

The boy returned from a trip into the Blackwald one night to see the silhouettes of two individuals in the road far ahead. They appeared to be arguing, a man and a woman- Or rather, a boy and a girl, neither quite large or full enough to be fully grown. As he drew closer, he realized it was Adelaide and Dain, bellowing at one another. He tried not to listen, but they were close to the Wood estate, and interest forced him to keep a window open. He watched as Adelaide rose on the balls of her feet and a hand extended, the back of her hand whipping across his face.

Dain McKinnon stumbled back for a moment before raising a fist. It took him everything in his body, visibly shaking now from Hadrian’s perspective, not to strike back. The boy watching from the window smirked at the whole debacle, but frowned as a draft of wind caught the other boy’s words and carried them farther than they were meant to be carried. A threat. Not an idle threat, but one that caused Adelaide to reel as if she had been struck, despite no hand being laid on her. After a frozen moment, she ran home without turning back.

Hadrian headed to bed, eyes wandering out of another window, peering at the highest branches of the highest trees in the nearby forest. The superstitions of his childhood had never left him, and he felt even now, that something lurked within the forest. Something darker and more terrifying than anything that he had yet to hear of.

The next day as the sun rose, the town packed up their wares and goods, loaded them onto carts, and headed off to the market. The Wood family had enough hands, eager to help and get out of the small town and into the capital, that Hadrian was able to stay at the farm. He had plans that day, but denied to share them with father or mother, uncle or aunt, brother or cousin. Instead once they had left his sight down the long and winding road, he began to slowly make his way toward Adelaide’s modest home. His mind ran in circles as he wondered what he would say. He knew it was too soon after the argument for her to have given up on Dain, but perhaps... He wasn’t sure how to finish the thought, instead hoping to rely on sheer ingenuity and take what came to his mind first and start there.

Thoughts of how to speak to a girl however, had fallen away as his ears caught the sound of a scream. While his house had been close to Adelaide’s for many years, she still lived on a farm, far from anyone else in a relative way. The screams grew louder however as Hadrian’s feet began to carry him as fast as they would go; He sprinted down the lane, and through the fields, pushing aside sprouts of grain and corn. As he ran through the older crops his head disappeared, bursting out some moments later in the clearing in front of her home.

Dain McKinnion, his trousers down and his friends pinning Adelaide to the ground, was struggling with the thin girl’s dress. She kicked and scratched as they tried to wrestle her into submission, apparently unable. One caught sight of Hadrian and his wide eyed gaze, the young man having never been in a fight outside of the tussling in the yard shared with his brothers. Realizing that Hadrian wasn’t coming, the thick (Headed, as well as muscled) farmhand continued to try and wrestle Adelaide down to the ground.

Hadrian’s mind finally began to catch up with the image in front of him, eyes settling on the girl. He ran forward, and tried to take Dain McKinnon with a punch to the gut. The other boy had nearly six inches on Hadrian, and while the punch stunned him, a fist flashed out in retaliation not a moment later. It was three against one, poor odds even for the best of fighters.

Hadrian could fight only for a few moments as one grabbed him from behind. The other kept hold of Adelaide while Dain’s fist pulled back. It hammered forward and back like a piston over and over, the girl screaming as Hadrian’s form began to crumple. Blood trickled from his already bruising face. A final punch in the gut and a kick in the ribs, and the three returned to their former endeavors.

Hadrian’s vision was blurred and white, his head ringing. He writhed, and crawled for the cornfield, spitting out a tooth from the back of his mouth. A stream of dark red blood, mixed with saliva fell to the ground after it. He swayed as he began to stand. He peered back, stumbling to the side. He almost pushed onward through the crops, but saw not far off, the tool of his trade. An axe, embedded in the stump of a tree, shone like a gift from the Light in the high noon sun.

The haze that had washed over his mind left as soon as it had come. His stumble greatly lessened, he strode for the axe. The three were mindlessly ripping apart the girl’s dress now as she screamed, oblivious to the lumberjack behind them, having assumed he had left long ago. The axe dropped into Dain McKinnon’s shoulder like a brick, cutting through flesh and breaking bone. A scream broke through the air, but this time, it was not an innocent woman’s.

The axe, covered now in the blood of man rather than the blood of trees, was yanked free from the flesh. McKinnon fell backward with the force of it, the edge having been lodged into his collarbone. He writhed on the ground, trying to scramble and push away. Hadrian left the boy, knowing that he was now out of the fight. One of the trio tried to push forward, but found the quick swing of the tool in the side of his leg. The three gave up altogether on the notion of approaching the blood-covered maniac now.

Dain gripped the gaping wound in his shoulder, stumbling in a sprint for the road. The uninjured boy left the third to limp away, each of them moving as fast as they could. Adrian dropped the axe, the crashing of nausea and pain and fatigue washing over him. His body dropped, catching himself with his hands stretched backward, taking a seat on the hard ground. Adelaide whimpered, but muttered her thanks. After some time, the two of them entered her house, where each cleaned up.

As Hadrian sat in the Woods’ house that night, he looked at the forest once more. He still feared the creatures within, and he knew he always would, but something in him fluttered. The feeling of the axe meeting flesh stuck in his mind. It sickened him. He wanted to throw up, as he had earlier in the day, several times in fact. But it also gave him hope. Hope that he could defend his family, if anything ever did come out of the black branches within the forest.

The Woods returned to find a beaten and bruised Hadrian, and the local sheriff knocking on their door. The tale was recounted in vivid detail by both Hadrian and later that day Adelaide. Nothing seemed to come of it for a time, but when the boy went to gather water from the town’s fountain (The well was frozen over, it being in the midst of winter) he saw it. The three were hanging from posts, strung up in the gibbets Gilneas was so well known for. A cage held each of the three, one to a frigid, hanging cell. The cold bit at them like a hound biting at their heels, each stripped of their clothing and given only rags. They shook, and seeing Hadrian, turned their gaze away. The boy that took the blow to the leg, the wound cleaned and without any sign of festering, went so far as to whimper.

It wasn’t long after the incident as well, that Hadrian finally found himself comfortable with Adelaide in a manner less of friendship, and more of a relationship. He met her quite often in her barn late at night when their families were asleep, making good use of the mounds of hay within. He could have sworn the cow they kept for cheese watched them, but never had evidence of such.

Hadrian’s relationship with Adelaide mirrored, very much, the relationship of his birth mother and father. As the two of them pondered the idea of their eventual marriage, the Mayor’s man knocked at the door of the Woods. Hadrian along with a cousin of about the same age, were called to fight in the standing Militia against the traitors on the north. They had several days to say their goodbyes before they would be ushered out along with other members of the village, and brought to the front lines. Called away to war, he was forced to leave his love.

The front lines of a civil war proved to be very different than the stories of the wars against the Orcs. Then, the enemy was labeled; Colour coded for the convenience of the soldiers, as some of the older members of the militia liked to say. If it was green, you killed it. If it was pink, you helped it. Now however, the soldiers of Crowley’s rebellion could be anyone at anytime. Stores of weapons and gunpowder were uprooted from Gilnean cellars, and traitors thrown into prison. An assassin would be caught, or a battle would break out in the streets. These battles were seldom of blade and shield, a gun being forced into everyone’s hands. Hadrian didn’t like the feel of the gun. The blast that shook his frame, and sank not into where you expected it to go, but into the house of a civilian nearby. He used it, as he was expected to do, but carried his axe at his back at all times. A smaller hatchet rested at his hip.

He had been in a member of the Loyalist Militia for only a short time when mutterings of an incoming assault began to spread about the city. Many tried to keep it from the military, but others came out immediately, and told all they could. Within days, the assault had begun. The Northgate Rebellion was at the walls of Gilneas, laying siege to the great capitol city. From the rumorus that had begun to spread, they had enough firepower to take out half of the city if they so wished to. Cannon fire struck through the day, and cut through the night. The skirmishes were the worst. Hadrian was at the wall when the first of the men tried to rush against it. Cannon fire was deflected, for the most part, by thick walls and even thicker spells, weaved by the magi of the city. The stone however, was not invincible by any means, and the spells of the arcanists could only be woven so well so many times.

Rebels pushed against the walls and flooded into the city. Hadrian’s first kill was with his axe. The infernal gun that he held at all times now would not fire. The rain, pouring always down upon the city, had soaked his gun powder and it would not light. He drew the bladed weapon, and as a rebel came about the corner nearest him, he felt the now familiar feeling of a weapon biting through steel. He had thought of it every night since he had saved Adelaide. Blood gushed from the wound in the man’s neck, spilling over the shaft and onto the cobbled stones of the city.

As more came, the axe dug into more flesh and more bone. He found a pistol, and used that for a time, and eventually resorted to taking the gun from a fallen comrade. He looked at the corpse as he did, and realized that the man wasn’t a comrade. He was a fellow national, just like the dead corpse of the rebel next to him. He held no loyalty to Genn Greymane, nor to Darius Crowley. His loyalty belonged only to the Kingdom itself. He fought then not for the Civil War, but for Adelaide so he could return home to her. He would have dissented, and gone absent without leave, but then all hope of living a normal life with her would have gone.

The first battle ended as each of the sides pulled into their shells. The occasional cannon could be heard, or the occasional gunshot fired, but the clanging of sword against sword, or in Hadrian’s case, against axe, was silent at least for a time. He took that lapse in the battle to shut his eyes. The image of the gaping throat haunted him. The blood spilling out in waves. He pictured the heart thumping, and the gush of blood that followed. Thump. Thump. Thump. It came out in waves...

The battle went on, and the Loyalist army was losing ground. It was a slow loss, with many lives going with it. Bodies ran through the streets, and disease began to spread. Not as many died from it as one might expect, but the sickness took some of Hadrian’s closest friends in the Militia. It made him loathe the entire experience even more. Who could want to live this way? What glory was there in this fight against his own brothers?

The tides turned for a time, and the Loyalists pushed the Northgate rebels further toward the walls. While Hadrian patrolled about the town, rifle in hand, and axe slung heavily across his back, his commander’s eye caught something unusual. The cellar door of a nearby house was open, and a trickle of smoke curled out from it. The Rebellion had been using cellars as a means to hide their stores of weapons within the city for quite some time. The man ordered Hadrian down, along with several other soldiers. They moved toward the gaping hole in the ground, pushing forward. Hadrian was first, his axe drawn and ready. He fingers tensed and relaxed in a smooth rhythm as he went down. He told his friends to stay and keep watch as he moved onward, into the next room. It was clear that the cellar was no ordinary hole beneath a home; The walls soon turned to dirt, a makeshift tunnel that had no end in sight. Hadrian moved further in, being forced into a crouch by the low ceiling. Someone, or rather, a some people, had been hard at work here.

The sound of shovels came not far off now, and as Hadrian rounded a bend in what was near darkness, he ran almost head first into a man. A man that, as their eyes connected, proved to be absolutely terrified. He stumbled backward into a friend. There was a scolding for a moment; A scolding between good friends. Sharp words were used, but not quite in anger. They were best friends, perhaps, but that mattered little now. With a single shout, Hadrian could call his allies in, and then two would be taken to the guillotine. Their jaws clamped shut, tight and muscled, veins showing. They were afraid, of course, but stood proud.

Hadrian looked back for a moment at the tunnel he had come through, and then down at his axe. His eyes stayed for a moment on the metal sheen, glimmering slightly in the light of a nearby torch. The globes in his head shifted once more to the fearful men, giving them a quick wink. He backed away slowly, before heading back the way he had come. As he exited the tunnel, he grabbed a large green bottle. When questioned about what had taken so long, he waggled it back and forth with a laugh, took a drink, and handed it to the others. They grinned, drank, and headed back out into the streets of Gilneas.

As he lay in his bunk, peering at the highest roofs of the highest houses in the great city, he mused on the happenings of the day. It was treason of course, not to turn in a rebel when you knew of their actions. As bad as being one yourself in the eyes of the law, much less his peers who had lost so many friends to them. But, and there always was a but, Hadrian thought, he had saved two lives. Many more, if they men had families at home depending on them. They would leave the tunnel for fear that he may change his mind and come back with more soldiers, and all would be right.

The war seemed to end as quickly as it had begun, Lord Darius Crowley being taken captive by the Loyalist forces. There was a celebration, massive in size within the force. The war was over, and they could return home. The prisons were full of those that hadn’t died or hadn’t escaped justice at the hand of the crown, their kin and brothers not present having escaped back to their families in the north. Hadrian wondered if it had all been worth it, and rather doubted it. He would at least, finally see his dearest Adelaide again.

When he returned home, he found that Bain and his small gang had stayed in the forces, having raised up to some degree of prestige within the Militia. Enough to join the official armed forced of the realm. It was a great relief for Hadrian to know that his wife, and perhaps one day his family, would be free of the bastard, even if he was a massive, bumbling oaf. He was still not quite a man by the time he should have returned home, being just at the tail end of seventeen. Not a man at least, by the word of the realm. Technically he had to have been eighteen to be drafted, but in times of dire need, the books were often as it is said, “fudged” to give the government exactly what it needs; And, at the time, what the government direly needed, were troops.

He did not return however. While on the trail to return to the village at the edge of the Black Forest, the commander of the small group received a message. It said, much to the surprise and doubt of even the most superstitious among the lot (Hadrian aside, of course) that the dead had risen. The Alliance had failed without the Gilneans, because as King Greymane had said, they needed us more than we needed them... And their corpses had come back for revenge.

The gathering of soldiers turned, and began the march across the nation to the Greymane Wall. Hadrian had thought little of the barrier since it was built some years prior, viewing it as just another bureaucratic venture on the part of the nobles. When he saw it for the first time however, the only word he had to explain the feeling in his mind and in his chest was awe. He had lived in Gilneas City for the better part of a year, but seeing this massive structure... This bulwark, was amazing. As he got closer and saw what was on the other side however, his heart sunk.

The shambling corpses of the undead pressed against the gates, hammering blades, and mauls, and spears into the stone. Mostly however, their claws raked across the massive gates. It was some time later that week that he took his first watch atop the wall, and he was more than happy to have a gun in hand. To face that army of the walking dead face to face would have been tantamount to suicide. He peered over the tops of the now-dead or dying Silverpine Forest and wondered what the citizens of Pyrewood village were doing. Had they survived? There’s no way they could have.

He fired along with many others at the corpses, but there was always another to take it’s place. There was word that they were infinite, or that their dead could still be raised yet again. An impossible foe, one that could never be beat. While none to few managed to slip through and past the great wall, they were still present and still an imminent and dire threat. There was a short lived attempt at opening the gates and meeting the Scourge head on, but the Army of the Damned decimated the Gilneans. Hadrian watched from atop the wall with horror as they literally shred his kinsmen apart, tearing them to pieces and devouring their flesh. It only seemed to make them stronger.

The generals were at their wit’s end, and the greatest minds in Gilneas were confounded. That is, all of the greatest minds aside from one. The Court Archmage Arugal had a secret weapon, a deadly spell that could destroy the undead Scourge in a way as brutal as they had the troops of Gilneas.

The Worgen were drawn in the the world of Azeroth from the Emerald Dream, their rabid teeth, and terrible claws tearing the undead apart. Before the gates of Gilneas lay an army utterly destroyed, and another fervently waiting to taste blood once more. The Worgen were unable to be controlled. Hadrian never saw them, but heard tell of them from a few men around the camp. They were unsure where the Worgen had come from, and originally viewed them as a blessing from the light... But as word spread that they were now attacking troops of their own army, Hadrian’s heart sunk.

The army dispersed, and he was finally allowed to return home, but he felt a darkness at his back. Word had already spread ahead of him of the creatures, and rumours spread that they were beginning to take citizens. They were hushed rumours, and many viewed them as nothing but, however the aristocracy didn’t view it as such. Maids in the great houses said that late at night the noblemen would ride out, and come back covered in blood, if at all. When the boy-now-soldier returned to Stormglen Village, the town at the edge of the Blackwald, he was met with love by his dear Adelaide. They spoke through the night, at times in her home, and at times in the barn as they used to, about how they would live their lives. The next day he spent with her, helping her father who had only just returned from the Wall himself, take their crops, and later in the day, aided the Wood family with the gathering of their lumber.

That night, as he gazed at the highest branches of the highest trees in the darkest forest in Gilneas, he heard a howl. It shook him to the core, and for reasons he could not explain, it sounded eerily familiar. He shrugged the bear skin blanket higher up his shoulders, and fell asleep thinking of his fiancé.

In the morning, he heard sobbing from the common room in the small house. He half fell out of bed, stumbling out in his warm pajamas, rubbing at his eyes. He peered about at the gathering. The older members of the family, and Adelaide’s parents, were gathered about the table. The woman who would be his mother in law was at the table, her heads resting in her hands as she weeped. Her fingers were wet with tears as they dripped through the creases between them and across the backs of her hands.

They related to him the news of Adelaide’s death at the hand of a massive wolf. His father muttered something about the dire wolves that the Orcs rode in the Second War, and how vicious they were. The crying woman sobbed even harder now, babbling about how terrible the whole ordeal was. About her child. Hadrian slumped down into a nearby chair. He was a large man. Not in height, but in mind and in the muscles that ran across his body. The news of it shook him however, and tears came to his eyes.

They were composed tears, not the wild, ruined tears of her mother, but the collected tears of a man who had seen death. Who had seen horrible death, and knew what it was like. He looked to Adelaide’s father, and knew he felt the same inside. He had only seen more of it, and could control himself to be as stoic as anything but a statue in the face of hardship. He looked to his own father, and his family. Hands rested on his shoulders as each member of the family gave their condolences.

It was some time before they moved. He walked for the door, and hefted the large axe settled above it on two protruding, wooden pegs. He muttered a hoarse ‘Grab your gun, Sam’ to Adelaide’s father. He stood at the edge of the wood and waited. They knew what had to be done; They had to get revenge on the beast that took Hadrian’s love. The posse marched out into the forest, enough food for several nights kept in their packs, their weapons locked and loaded. Many had fought in the war, some alongside Hadrian or Sam themselves.

They wandered for many hours, setting up camp deep within the forest, but still near enough to Sam’s farm. They built a small fire, only large enough to cook. They seldom spoke, keeping their ears open and their eyes wide, hoping for a sign of the wolf. It didn’t come that day, but the next. Hadrian heard the same howl from several nights before. The howl that curdled his blood, but now only made it boil. The men roused from their beds, rifles in hand. While many of the men had fought in the war, others were only just boys, who hadn’t been called off to the wall. The fear in their eyes reminded the older men of their first time in the field.

Perhaps this would be their war.

The yellow eyes peered from the edge of the ring of fire. It was a low growl that came first, but what Hadrian noticed before all else was the level at which the yellow globes rested. They were so high. Too high to belong to any four legged beast. His own eyes widened, reflecting the light of the fire as they did. The Worgen. The beasts that destroyed the army of the damned. The beasts that had taken his love. He moved to charge, axe raised, but a bullet took the creature first. It howled once more, storming off into the brush.

Hadrian chased after it, but was unable to get far before the screams broke the night. He stopped and stared into the night; To chase the beast, or to turn back and save his kin? His feet slowly moved back to the campfire before breaking out into a sprint. As he came to the edge of the fire, he saw the bite on Sam’s arm. It didn’t look fatal, but it was bad. They were already beginning to bandage it up as Hadrian’s eyes scanned their campsite. There was no one dead, friend or foe. His nose wrinkled. It was not long before Sam began to act strange, and only shortly after that he began to act wild. He was turning into a Worgen before their eyes. As the transformation finished, a horrified Hadrian had to take the axe to the man’s head, as the muzzle was already lashing out to take the neck of one of his adopted brothers. Hadrian’s jaw tightened as he stared at the dead body, and then shouted at the forest. He shouted curses in the name of the Old Ways. Curses to the darkest gods he could think of, from the darkest beasts in the darkest parts of the darkest forest in Gilneas. These Worgen would never leave the Blackwald alive.

The food was running low, but with one less man, it went around in greater portions. They stayed another night in the wood before heading back. It was there that they had to tell the now widowed wife that not only was her daughter dead, but her husband as well. Later that evening, when they had left her home, she had hung herself. In her will, the small farm was left to Hadrian. It was this building, in the very home that his love had died in, that he conducted the launching of future missions into the forest. Few believed the stories, and fewer still were willing to go into the forest. Only half of the original group dared to face off against the beasts after seeing Sam fall to their fangs.

It wasn’t long before the first of the Worgen fell. It was a trap, deviously simple in nature. A dead deer was laid out on the forest floor, held up precariously by a thin sheet of wood, thick enough just to hold it’s weight. Beneath it was a pitfall. The beast was skewered and howling by the time the group had come. Sam’s second cousin was the one to put the bullet in the beast’s head. It wasn’t long before the art of killing the beasts became near second nature.

Their group came to be called the Worg Killers, and they nearly lived within the forest. It was a fanatic obsession for most as more of the beasts began to take family members. The gathering stayed small, but they’d built a name as Worgen Slayers in the small community around their homes. Hadrian had done well in his time as their leader, taking rewards for the bounties placed on some of the more menacing beasts, able to buy a horse to take into the woods, and training a dog to attack the beasts. It was the child of a family dog, so while it itself cost little, he fed it only the highest quality food and gave it the best quality lodging. It became as much a member of the Worg Killers as he was himself.

Word spread to Stormglen that in the north they were even worse off. The epidemic spread like wild fire with greater numbers of Worgen attacking in organized groups. They had seen some of that there in the south in small bands of two to five creating ‘Packs’ that would ravage caravans and small farmsteads far from real civilization. Seldom did they attack larger towns. But the rumours came further and further south until they were at Stormglen’s door. The larger packs, squads even, if the beasts were intelligent enough to make them, fell on the town. Many of the townspeople up and left. The creatures were too much for the small group of Worg Killers to handle, and much to the chagrin of some of the more stubborn members, Hadrian decided to uproot the warriors and take them to the City of Gilneas, one of the last bastions of humanity in the Gilnean Kingdom.

It was there in the city that they had a flicker of hope. Most of the Gilneans left that had not been turned rallied to the capital of the kingdom. What most had feared was true however: The Worgen were being led as if in an army by Ralaar Fangfire of the bloodfang pack. Many groups similar to the Worg Killers began to set up defenses as well as patrols about the city in preparation for an all out attack. It reminded many of the rebellion years before. While none of the members of the Worg Killers had lodging to speak of in the City, Hadrian had an idea of who might. He worked his way through back alleys and side streets before coming upon a cellar. He walked around the building until he found the front door of the building it belong to giving a firm but polite knock. The man that opened the door was confused at first, but his eyes grew wide; Wide, like they once had so many years before, when Hadrian had saved his life, as well as his friend’s.

After a time of conversing, and telling the story of him and his band, he was permitted to use the cellar. The tunnel wasn’t as strong as it once had been, but it suited their purposes well enough. It was large enough to hold the Stormglen troops with only a small amount of discomfort. It was there that they sharpened their blades and cleaned their muskets in preparation for the attack.

And when the attack came, they realized there was nothing that they could have done to prepare for it. The Worgen dropped from the rooves, and came from the sewers. They busted through doors, and out of alleys, tearing into the Gilneans, spreading their disease. Many of the Worg Killers fought valiants, but were pushed back further and further. Hadrian’s axe met many skulls, and the shield he had begun to carry deflected many attacks. The group held a vital street for some time, troops either on the thatched roofs above, or in the streets, their boots stained with blood. A barricade was set up, and from behind, guns fired. The smell of powder filled the air and mixed with the blood. It took them everything they had not to let the rain soak through and into their stores of gunpowder.

They held this position for longer than they cared to think. They lost some of their best men there, but the bodies of the Worgen piled up before them. Their supplies were not indefinite however, and there came a time when they wanted for more supplies. They were forced to leave their hold and fall back as so many of the Gilneans now had. It came to the point that they were forced back into the Stoneward Prison Complex. While it was meant to hold it’s charges in, it had proven excellent for keeping the would-be attackers out.

It was at this time that King Genn Greymane had been given an ultimatum. Let the Worgen destroy his country, or let bygones be bygones and let the traitorous Lord Darius Crowley free, along with his men. He chose, thankfully for his citizens, the latter. With the prisoners of the Northgate Rebellion free, they were able to hold back the Worgen, and even push forward. The Rebels told the citizens gathered there that they had a cache of hidden weapons within the city.

The Worg Killers fought tooth and nail alongside many others to get to those weapons, pushing past the bodies of the dead; Worgen and Human alike. The streets were filled with blood, and mixing with the rain, it was all Hadrian could do not to slip in the gory mess. Once in the basement, the cannons were unloaded, and the guns along with them. The Worg Killers gathered what powder they could, packing it into their horns; Or as many had started to within the group, they carried their gunpowder in smaller canisters of hollowed out Worgen fangs.

News of a suicide mission began to spread about the gathering. It had been said that Darius Crowley, the traitor from years ago, had decided to give his life to save the kingdom. To divert the attention of the Worgen to himself, along with his troops, to give the populace time to escape. It was with some silent indignation, but greater and just as quiet pride that they offered themselves. Brothers and sisters came together for what they believed to be the last time, saying their farewells.

The massive gathering trudged through the muck and the grime and the rain, rifles in hand. The Worgen were attracted to the massive gathering like bees to honey. It was a hard fight and they lost many even on the way to Light’s Dawn Cathedral. Hadrian found it funny, ironic even, that after so long of holding onto the Old Ways, he would be laid to rest in a Church of the Holy Light. He mentioned as such to his fellow soldiers, and a dry, grim chuckle came from a few who followed the faith as well as him.

The cannons were set up before the massive doors, and the Worgen were held at bay. They fired from the windows, and swung their weapons from the doors. Dozens flooded into the courtyard and met the Worgen in open battle. Hadrian’s blade stuck in the gut of one Worgen, his pistol being drawn from his belt as he tried to yank it out. He turned and fired, taking a Worgen in the chest. It staggered, but kept coming. His axe finally gave way, meeting the beast in the head. He panted, and stood for a moment in a lull in the battle, watching as man and beast circled one another. Looked as Darius Crowley shouted for them to continue. He saw past that however, and saw his death. Saw the number of Worgen coming, and the number of men he had left. He began to fall back to the Cathedral’s wide doors, the same as many. The furthest out fell the fastest.

Once inside the Cathedral, the odds turned for a moment, in favor of the humans. Their blades wetted by the blood of the creatures, but it was all for naught. As Hadrian’s axe swung once more, taking a beast in the gut, it’s fangs tore into his chest. A friendly gunshot took it in the side of the head, but it was too late for Hadrian. He would be turning soon, and his friends would kill him. His eyes lolled into the back of his head as he felt his blood burn. As he saw two Wood brothers fall. As Sam’s second cousin began to turn. As Darius Crowley finally became a victim to the Worgen there at Light’s Dawn.

His time as a Worgen was a blur. He could hardly remember it, but what he could remember, was the gaping wound in his chest, left by the massive teeth that had torn into him. He sat now in stocks, his neck bound and his wrists bound even tighter. His head swayed side to side as he looked about, trying to get his bearings. He was somewhere near the sea he could tell. The smell of salt was nothing new- But just how strong it smelled was. How strong everything smelled was. That was the first sense that he noticed. Soon after however, he realized that his hands were covered in fur, and ended up talons. His nose was too long, and from it protruded fangs. He had a muzzle.

The final sense to come to him was sound. He heard a chuckled, “Recalled to life,” a hint at a story long told within the realm of Gilneas. The stocks opened and Hadrian stumbled backward. He held his neck, and looked at his chest. It had been bandaged well enough that he could fight again, but looking at the rest of him, he wasn’t sure if he was in any condition to. Would he be able to fight like this? As a... Worgen? He loathed himself deep down, even as he was being informed of what happened. He was the thing he’d sworn to kill. The thing that had destroyed his country. He remembered an old saying from the Harvest Witch in town, “Our curse is our blessing” The proverb went through his mind over and over, time and time again. It struck a chord within him, and as he flexed and felt the power beneath his fur lined muscles, he understood.

His eyes drifted to the shore where the first of the Forsaken had landed. Somehow his axe had made it with him, perhaps he had fastened it to himself in his last moments of life. He couldn’t recall. He could however, recall the undead. His concept of Forsaken versus Scourge was nonexistent. All he knew was that the Army of the Damned was back, and that they had struck at an inopportune time. As he looked at his Worgen Brothers and Sisters however, he thought that, perhaps he was wrong. His legs carried him deftly throughout the fight. He leapt like he had never leapt, and his swing carried like it never had before. He sliced through the undead flesh as if the axe was a knife through butter, tearing into the beasts that were invading; That were trespassing on his soul, on his land.

He noticed that some of the dead rose again, but none of the Worgen. It was a curious thing, but he had no time to dwell on it. He howled like the beast that killed his poor Adelaide and chilled his own blood. A gathering of likeminded Worgen came to his side as they stormed a Forsaken vessel. They started with the crew on the deck, those in armour or beginning to fit it on. They moved down, slowly but surely, dispatching every single undead abomination from within. As they reached the bottom they burst through the hull with fired guns and hacked blades. The water rushed in as they rushed up and out. The dry docked ship would stay there until the seas washed it away and to the ocean floor.

When they emerged however, the vision of victory on the beach was not as they had expected. Many of the Gilneans were being pushed back to the city that they had only recently lost. As they sprinted for their capital city on their new legs, the land behind them began to crumble. The Forsaken pushed with an undying fervor, blades drawn and blight barrels soaring. Their own cannons were no match. The chaos caused by the whole ordeal had the masses howling for a leader. Darius Crowley, found to be alive and afflicted with the Worgen curse as well, rallied what troops he could.

It was said that Lord Godfrey had taken Greymane hostage. Hadrian had only heard the stray comment as he fought and fell back to take intermediate breaks. He held his line in the city as any good Gilnean aught to have. Some time later, he would hear that the stories were true, and that the Lord had launched himself from a cliff. He would have rather died than fallen into the custody of Good King Greymane.

It would not be long before the city would be considered lost. The Orcs that he had heard tell of from his father had arrived, and with their green skin and their long blades, they aided the Forsaken in causing the city to fall. The Worgen now retreated to the shore, where the Cataclysm had destroyed the reef that kept them in, and others out, for so long. While many others boarded the ships, Hadrian fought at the front lines to hold the Forsaken back. Awe struck him once more as he saw one of the massive flying gunships overhead, and even more as he saw his kinsmen flying barrels of explosives into it. He watched as it blew, and as it fell from the sky, giving a cheer in the form of a savage roar. He soon boarded the ships as well, and set off into the sea, grabbing a rifle and firing at what Forsaken he could get in his sight.

The voyage to Rut’theran was treacherous. The druids that flew overhead told of a storm to come that rivaled all storms before it. Most none of the Gilneans were sailors, no need for ships having been needed for quite some time. Many of the vessels were lashed together. Hadrian and his ilk got the brunt of the storm, like many others, but not as bad as many had it. He watched from afar as the torches on far off ships submerged, their crews and passengers never to be seen again. He saw as the ship of his king sunk beneath the great waves, but then heard from one of these strange long eared ‘Elves’ the valiant story of how he saved his daughter’s life from the wreckage. A grin spread across his long muzzle.

After the storm had settled, Hadrian saw Kalimdor. He remembered the days when he was certain he would never leave his village, and thought back on all that had happened. Not just in the last months, but in the years of his entire life. He wondered what the world could be full of, if the Elves, and the Orcs, and the Undead wandered free. What else was there on this large, large planet to be found?

For starters, a giant tree. As they neared Rut’theran, Hadrian stared at the behemoth. So much wood! It was a simple thought for a simple man, who’s profession lay with the stuff. He gaped at the buildings and the people, the women more beautiful than he had ever seen. The humblest of them all was as great as any queen in any story he had ever imagined. He could see himself right at home here, high in the boughs of this large timber stronghold.

He had little time to wander about the great city, but what he saw was astounding. The great trees that walked amongst the valiant warrior women, and the regal men. He talked to some and stared at most. Those that spoke back spoke of times thousands of years in the past. Of times before the ancestors had learned the Old Ways, when the bug men ruled. Their stories were compelling, but even with his mind, full of stories of the fantastic, he was not altogether certain that he found their tales believable.

Regardless of what he thought, he was pulled to the field of battle once again; This time however, battling against time. The Cataclysm that had shaken his home, and destroyed the South of Gilneas was not an isolated incident. People on the other side of the straight from the great tree were drowning, and reports of it flooded quite literally, toward Teldrassil.

With the Worgen’s newfound strength, they made quick work of the recovery efforts, and even quicker work of these snake men the Elves had spoken of. They were menacing creatures, but now so were the Gilneans. Hadrian’s teeth ran with blood, his blade mirroring it. His mind however, was set on revenge, ever waiting to return to his home and dig his blade into the Forsaken Queen’s skull.
"Every gun..."

[Image: Jonah-Hex-Counting-Corpses-Flaming-Leap.jpg]

"...Makes its own tune."

~ The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly ~
[-] The following 1 user Likes Beltharean's post:
  • c0rzilla
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  • Beltharean
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  • muhaha8, Beltharean
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  • Beltharean
Holy smokes, Bel, that history was quite a long journey. However, I see no issue whatsoever with it, so I'm going to go ahead and approve it! Congrats!
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Mah babehs. I'm watchin' you, government.
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  • Beltharean

D'ankee Helvete. For the approval, and the read that is. :P
"Every gun..."

[Image: Jonah-Hex-Counting-Corpses-Flaming-Leap.jpg]

"...Makes its own tune."

~ The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly ~

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