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The Undead, Emotion, and why the Forsaken are so cray cray
#1
Quote:the dark magic that sustains (the undead) is a buffer that prevents their souls from properly joining with their bodies.

This has always been a subject that I have observed greatly when playing undead characters, and in a way it is quite comforting for me, as it gives me a certain, familiar structure around which I can design the personality of any living-challenged individuals that I may play. But the subject of the Forsaken itself goes beyond just the matter of predisposition to negative feelings- it also involved the circumstances under which they came to be: that, with an often amnesiac population of individuals thrust into such an unwholesome state of being, as a group, they have little choice but to embrace a twisted and morbid counterculture. From there, it spirals as circumstances give way to conflicting politics, though with a surprising bit of "hope" for the new Forsaken being made by the Valkyr, if Blizzard would come to understand the fascinating undead faction that they have made.

Throughout many quests, general lore and the likes, it is clearly demonstrated that Forsaken can feel plenty of negative emotions, such as rage and sorrow and the likes, though it is also stated with some frequency in official lore sources that Forsaken have difficulty feeling "positive emotions."

First off, let's talk about things that feel positive, taking the average, human being whose physiology everyone here should be quite familiar with. There are fundamental levels of positive sensations that we, as animals, feel, like comfort, having a full belly, and the likes. These, of course, are based on senses and digestion, which quite heavily rely on being alive. So, Forsaken can't feel the satisfaction of feeling full or being warm and cozy.
But humans are also social creatures, so the majority of our brains and bodies are wired as such: Even the most introverted of individuals need socialization at least once or twice a week to maintain optimum sustainability and contentedness. We get bursts of chemical signals for happiness just from human contact and hugs, and though our snouts are short and noses relatively dull, we still perceive an incredible amount of information through our noses. As most men, and a surprising few women can tell you, even looking at certain, fleshy lumps on a human female's chest can arouse pleasurable sensations. With the majority of these sorts of sensory systems no longer accessible to the Forsaken, its easy to see that, short of maybe oogling some big bobs, they aren't going to be getting many of the happy signals to the brain, and even with the oogling, you also need certain chemical reception to even be prepared to enjoy them in that manner. But yeah, this is all obvious enough, isn't it?

Yes, at times I do tend to be a bit rambling in my writing. Sorry. And I'm a wee bit spacey at the moment, so let's see if this even makes sense in the morning if I even remember if I wrote this. [Image: 1086493_153926611467322_791437940_q.jpg]

But the point is, the Forsaken, and by extension, any undead with free will in WoW with a mind even vaguely resembling that of a human's, exhibit their sentience purely from their soul, which has been bound again to the body. Even if the nerve impulses and chemical signals are no longer relevant to the soul, I'd still say its pretty darn safe to assume that the human mind/personality, when strapped back into a corpse and expected to function in the normal world, is going to expect for those signals to still be there.

What do you have left when someone isn't getting their regular hits of serotonin and the likes? Depression. Misery. A case of really really bad PMS-type feels for both of the sexes. It is also important to keep in mind in WoW that this little tidbit:
Terenas Menethil II Wrote:There must always be... a Lich King...

And, by general fantasy logic that Warcraft itself falls prey to, if there's some sort of overwhelming mystical, dark force that's trying to take control of your mind and you have no will to fight it, it will take you over. So, by default, all free-willed undead need a certain level of self-preservation and drive to survive in order to not fall prey to the sway of whomever is currently on the Frozen Throne. Now, with general Forsaken policy, you'd kill anyone who wasn't under their own control, and for a long time there, with Arthras as the Lich King, you'd need a fairly great deal of willpower and desire for autonomy to rip free of his dominion.

So, let's look at this again: the candidates for the Forsaken all are deprived of the constant signals from the body that tell them to feel happy, (to some degree and sans times of duress) and are thus predisposed to some permutation of bad feels. The ones that are depressed are going to be highly susceptible to domination by the Lich King, and thus are going to be killed off by the Forsaken. What the remaining force of undead must then feel are negative feelings that instill with a sense of autonomy and drive for survival. Feelings such as anger, rage, and the likes.

This certainly explains part of the Forsaken's sever case of the crazies, but it gets worse when you put a whole bunch of them together on a battlefield. The first act that the undead who would become the Forsaken had to undertake (lol, just noticed that pun) was fight their way to survival, still being among the undead weak-willed enough to be manipulated by, or who were still loyal to the Lich King. Fighting for their (un)life was all of their first impressions of their new existence. As most people reading this would know, many undead are amnesiacs, thus making their their only impression of existence, as far as they're concerned.

Not to mention, they're all now monstrous, rotting corpses with whom the living of their own people don't want to have anything to do with. So, they could either get depressed and thus give in to the will of the Lich King, or they could come to terms with their new state of being. The easiest means of coping with this, of course, is to do as they've already been doing, and get mad again, this time at the living who have shunned them because of the value sets that living cultures hold. So they develop a counter-culture, and assert their right to (un)life by condemning the life of those who condemn them. This has only grown in fervor in WoW, as the Forsaken are getting more and more genocide happy towards the living, against humans in particular.

So... yeah. That's my thesis on why the Forsaken are so cray: only the angry ones survived the Lich King's influence, and then embrace everything that human culture condemns as a way to justify their existence. Being mad has been the only means for the Forsaken have been collectively able to survive.

Now, though? Sylvanas is raising new undead with free will to calm, experienced undead, (as opposed to being reborn having to fight skin and teeth) and The new Lich King isn't constantly clawing at every undead's mind to will all the undead into killing everyone. Moreso than ever before, free-willed undead are able to feel a greater range of emotions. This is really great, as far as the potential for WoW RP goes.

But why aren't the Forsaken getting all friendly now? The very same reason that going into the railroad business is now a bad idea: the people who have been around longer are doing what they can to make sure that their interests are the top priority of their organization. The Forsaken have been under some incredibly fierce, darwinistic situations, and those that are making all the decisions and have clout in Forsaken society are the most firm in the convictions that allowed them to survive for this long. But as the actions of the Forsaken become more and more extreme, its only a matter of time before things come to a head. But in what way, of course, lies with the Blizzard writers.
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