Roleplaying as a Forsaken

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Brom
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Roleplaying as a Forsaken

Post by Brom » Thu May 18, 2023 2:03 am

It's been a very long time since i played wow and im really rusty on the lore subject. I want to make a backstory for my forsaken character, but i have no idea how they feel or what they know or remember when they awaken.
I remember they are the citzens of Lordareon that died from the plague if im not mistaken.
Do they remember their "past life"?
Did they came back as servants of the Lich King and are now being freed by Sylvanas or they died then and are coming back just now already freed by her?

Thanks

Flamingkey
Posts: 22

Re: Roleplaying as a Forsaken

Post by Flamingkey » Thu May 18, 2023 7:06 am

Hello and good morning Brom. As a shameless, die-hard forsaken fan, I welcome your question and your RP choice, which is excellent!

Also disclaimer: I am not a lore expert, I'm a die-hard Forsaken fan, my knowledge comes from playing WoW and reading any online source I can get my grubby little hands on. So no guarantee for 100% lore compliance.

Let me jump right in: yes, most Forsaken are former citizens of the fallen kingdom Lordaeron. Many of them were infected with the (magical) Plague of Undead by consuming the cursed grain from Andorhal. But that is not necessarily how every character became undead. In fact, there are three ways to become undead:
1) Eating the grain cursed with the Plague of Undeath - these people would have appeared to be ill with a high fever and a parched throat and be in pain until they died; later it turned out that early stages of this magical illness could be healed with the magic of the Holy Light.
2) Being killed in battle by the undead without being infected and then raised by a necromancer - the Cult of the Damned, a Scourge organisation, has a lot of those and they would assist them in any way possible, including setting up or guarding Plague Cauldrons for them, developing the magical plage in the first place and of course raising new mindless soldiers for the Scourge's armies.
3) Being killed by a Death Knight or even Arthas himself - this is how for example Sylvanas became undead, Arthas killed her with the cursed blade Frostmourne, captured her soul in it and tortured her. Until she broke free, that is...

Any of these is a plausible way for a Forsaken to have become an Undead. Now to your question wether all Forsaken have been freed by Sylvanas or are being freed by her and her people, the answer is kind of complicated. You see, Sylvanas broke free with a contingent of Forsaken that, like her, eventually resisted the Lich King's control. However, when Arthas was forced to retreat back to Northrend to secure his power base, he began to conserve his strength and 'let go' of swaths of Undead, meaning they had a chance to become free Undead without being affiliated with Sylvanas. These Undead are actively sought out by the Forsaken in order to bolster their ranks. One notable NPC to whom this applies is Gunther Arcanus, a Lich who when still alive was a mage of Dalaran and close friends with one of the magic teachers at the Undercity, Bethor Iceshard. It is also entirely possible for your character to have, much like Sylvanas herself and Gunther, enough willpower (and hatred, and rage and trauma) to break free from the Scourge's control on their own. It is not commonplace, but it does happen.

Last point: Do they remember their past lives?
The answer is: yes and no.
You will see many Forsaken being quite reticent to talk about their past. Some still hold a grudge against those that wronged them in life (revenge is a pretty big theme with them), some mourn what they lost. But not everyone indicates that they remember who they were or what happened in their past to make them undead. Some don't want to remember at all. So I would say that it's a pretty even 50-50 split.

As always, for your RP, I advise you to choose the option that is the most fun and feels most comfortable for you. Even if it is not explicitly covered by the lore, choose what helps you tell the story you want to tell. When I started out on my Forsaken mage, Salienne, she didn't have all of her memories and she still thought that the Paladins of the Silver Hand and Prince Arthas were fighting and looking for a cure. Only later in RP did she learn that Arthas had doomed the kingdom with his actions, which eventually triggered the return of the memories of how she came to die.

It is absolutely normal and also accepted as fact among Undead RPers that newly awakened Undead do not remember anything, and that their memory may not return at all.

I hope I could answer all your questions and if you have any more, feel free to hit me up.
"All Forsaken are Undead, but not all Undead are Forsaken."
Characters: Salienne Bontemps (Forsaken Mage)

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Jolikmc
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Re: Roleplaying as a Forsaken

Post by Jolikmc » Thu May 18, 2023 7:16 am

Huh. Flamingkey kinda beat me to the punch. I just finished my own reply.
Well, here's what I wrote anyway. d;

The Scourge, the Forsaken, and the Undead of Azeroth
There's a surprising amount of lore regarding the undead, the Scourge, and the Forsaken.  A few books on the topic, too.  If you're looking for some condensed knowledge, the Wowpedia page on undead is a good starting point.  The Forsaken sub-article on what happened during and after the Third War is good reading, too.

In World of Warcraft specifically, it's generally assumed that the playable undead faction are the Forsaken which, as the intro video states, are once-living (mostly) humans who broke free of the Lich King's grip.  This happened when Illidan the Betrayer thought it would be a good idea to go to Northrend and attack the source of the Undead Scourge, the Frozen Throne of Icecrown where Ner'zhul's unresting spirit lay.  When Illidan's forces attacked, Ner'zhul's hold on the Scourge weakened just enough to reawaken some of the more "living" dead.  Some rose from the ground for the first time in years.  Others snapped back to consciousness where they stood as deathless soldiers.  All became aware of themselves once more… and moreover, became aware of what they had become.

As evidenced by some of the dialogue in World of Warcraft, pretty much all of the undead beings are in a perpetual state of rot.  Some even lack pieces of their body, such as jaws, eyes, fingers, or whole limbs.  There's a few quests regarding some Forsaken who know they're on the cusp of becoming mindless, too.  I suppose it all depends on how soon they were exhumed from the ground after their initial death.  Additionally, there are some Forsaken who either don't remember their previous lives or simply choose to forget, knowing they can never truly return.  The life of a conscious, living dead is truly a tragic tale…

In any case, World of Warcraft takes place about three years after Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.  In that time, the Forsaken had fought a hard fight against both the Lich King's forces and groups like the Scarlet Crusade – a group who broke off from the Silver Hand to eradicate any and all undead, regardless of sentience or allegiance.  Also during that time, Archdruid Hamuul Runetotem of the Taurens took notice of the Forsaken and offered a hand.  It was his influence that eventually made Thrall consider letting the Forsaken into the New Horde, though it was with an understanding of "You screw up once, you're out."
From a "game design" standpoint, though, it's theorized that Blizzard just desperately wanted playable undead and didn't want to make a third faction exclusively for them to fit into Chris Metzen's RPG guidebook lore, or something.  They were even called "Scourge" in early builds of the game and still are, in the game files.
 
Regarding roleplaying as an undead character, just because the lore says you're one of the Forsaken doesn't necessarily mean you have to be.  While most of the Scourge invasion of the Third War took place on Lordaeron, there were demons and generals who found their way to Kalimdor, too.  Additionally, there are a handful of players who actually do play Undead Scourge characters who never broke free from the Lich King's control.

Basically, it's entirely up to you on what direction you want to take your new Undead character.  Amnesiac?  Lich King loyalist?  Jawless wonder?  Anything you want is fine so long as you can make it work within the confines of the game engine and mechanics.
(So, an Undead freely living in Stormwind City or something probably isn't happening.)

I hope this helps!  Happy roleplaying!
Last edited by Jolikmc on Thu May 18, 2023 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Not currently playing. Just skulking and snarking~

Flamingkey
Posts: 22

Re: Roleplaying as a Forsaken

Post by Flamingkey » Thu May 18, 2023 8:13 am

I don't think we can have too many answers and perspectives on this question. :) Also I really like your explanation about the current situation, which I completely forgot to say anything about. :)
"All Forsaken are Undead, but not all Undead are Forsaken."
Characters: Salienne Bontemps (Forsaken Mage)

Xerilin
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Re: Roleplaying as a Forsaken

Post by Xerilin » Thu May 18, 2023 11:23 am

Let me congratulate you on your race choice for rp: excelent taste!

I was going to write a longish answer, but both of the others said it better anyway. So let me just suggest that you just play any way you like and watch the introduction video and if you want to find some Forsaken characters, check out the Shadow Heart Society meetings (about once a month, you can join at any level) and/or Salienne's magic lessons in UC.

Here is a link to the SHS discord, in case you are interested: https://discord.gg/7fmBPGfPNx.
Komm zur Geheimen Zuflucht (RP-Gilde)! Wir haben Zimtschnecken!

Alienne Xerilin Rubinai Irrwisch Mekhalani Flinks Kinrela Cavy

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Brom
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Re: Roleplaying as a Forsaken

Post by Brom » Fri May 19, 2023 12:38 am

Thank you guys for the answers and the info. Most of the things I (vaguely) remember is from W3 Frozen Throne and from Vanilla WoW and, when I tried to make some research there was simply too much stuff since then, making it quite hard to find this kind of specific info

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