Of all the cities in Azeroth, the one that seems to me most like a living, breathing city is coincidentally the one that's undead. The Undercity huddles beneath the ruins of Lordaeron, drenched in atmospheric detail: its hidden underground tunnel, an oft-confusing pinwheel layout and dangerous elevators that confound new visitors, the eerie ruins above with their invisible ghosts, the throne room with all its power struggles and heart-wrenching beauty -- and the Royal Apothecary Society. Who hasn't spent time cautiously exploring the Apothecarium, with its cages of groaning test subjects and burbling vats of green plague?
Many players haven't given much thought to the cadre of Forsaken apothecaries in an expansion or more, but you'd be a fool if you assumed they hadn't been busy. Their story has captured the imaginations of a group of players on Moon Guard (US), the all-Forsaken guild The Legion of Vengeance (formerly Hand of Vengeance). Named for the Forsaken forces sent to Northrend by Sylvanas Windrunner to wreak plague and vengeance upon the Lich King, this roleplaying group functions within the context of the Royal Apothecary Society itself, continuing its evil work in a fascinating adventure that's captivated its all-undead player roster.
Main character Seleste Felsorrow, Forsaken shadow priest, Guild Master
Guild The Legion of Vengeance
Realm Moon Guard (US-Horde)
[Editor's note: After this interview was published, the guild underwent a name change at the direction of Blizzard due to a conflict with the in-game faction Hand of Vengeance.]
WoW Insider: The Legion of Vengeance is first and foremost a roleplaying guild, isn't that right?
Seleste: Why yes, it is! The LoV is a heavy roleplaying guild that focuses around the apothecary setting within the Forsaken storyline. Our group specializes in the development of those deadly toxins that are out ruled by the Horde, and teach those with the need to mend flesh how to hold a scalpel. Of course we can not leave out the guardians of the undead. Deathguards have a home within the LoV as well.
Even your ranks seem to be structured to push forward the theme and story of the guilds.
When you have a certain theme to follow for a guild, it is always a good idea to keep to its story. We wanted to offer the chance to have a character that was more than just a simple apothecary within the undead community. We wanted to have characters that were trained to be the fierce monsters you would see in Northrend during the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.
One of our key roles in the guild is the Plaguebringer rank and is something only a member from the Hand of Vengeance apothecary sect would ever have. We are proud to house some of Moon Guard's apothecaries that can carry this title. The apothecaries may be dangerous from a distance, but up close, they might be in some trouble. We try to avoid this problem by the protection of the deathguards, which are the militia of the Forsaken forces.
But if brewing chemicals or protecting the scientists is not your thing, we also have the medical department! You never forget a good Forsaken surgeon.
Does the guild accept non-Forsaken members? What about alts?
Heavens, no! LoV is strictly Forsaken only. We do, however, accept alts from current members that are already part of the undead family.
How has the interest in Forsaken lore and RP fared over time in WoW?
The Forsaken were given a big spotlight during Wrath of the Lich King. With the introduction of the Hand of Vengeance as well as the issues dealing with the Wrathgate, I would say that it has brought a great deal of attention to them. Putress has become a staple in the Forsaken lore and in my opinion one of the most memorable villains to get a moment of glory in WoW. After the battle for the Undercity, my heart was drawn to the rebel scourge, and I was hooked from then on out. In Cataclysm, the undead were given even more attention to balance out the worgen.
With the fresh new starter zone, it was easy for people to roll alts and try out an undead that have never done so before. I even made a worgen just to see the starter zone, and I would suggest any undead fan to do the same if they haven't yet.
How would you characterize the interest level today in Mists?
As far as the interest in Mists goes, I would say that it developed over time. Legion of Vengeance as a guild created an event where the characters traveled to Pandaria when Garrosh ordered the Horde to move out and claim the new land. Several members were lost in character and had no other way to get back home unless they explored the area.
The discoveries in the Mists expansion were easy to attach with apothecaries. Since an apothecary is willing to test anything in the name of science, the possibilities were endless. Seleste, for example, wanted to go to Pandaria for the purpose of testing on the Sha, as many other apothecaries did. Not to mention new herbs to use in brewing up concoctions for alchemy!
How much does your roleplay intersect on an ongoing basis with established NPCs and lore? You seem so connected to a home base and continuing storyline. How do you handle the NPC/lore interactions, or do you stick to PC interactions?
I love this question! We actually branch outside of just being around in Northrend like the original Hand of Vengeance. We spend majority of our time around Undercity and the rest of Eastern Kingdoms, usually by order of the NPCs we say station us there. There are several NPC characters such as Chief Plaguebringer Middleton in Venomspite and Faranell that resides in the Undercity.
Most of our NPC permission or orders usually come from The Hand of Vengeance that is in Northrend, but like Faranell, for example, we do use other Forsaken from time to time. When the undead were given the hunter class, I remember a few of us RPing that we trained by Nathanos Blightcaller, who happens to be a Forsaken ranger. If Putress was still around, you can bet we would be all over taking out his orders and continuing his cause.
I myself never RP speaking with Lady Sylvanas. Just because my character has a very important profession and placement within the Forsaken, I try not to make it where she would be so above the others. The only way I would have her where she would even be able to speak with the undead leader is if the Banshee Queen sent for Seleste herself.
Do you celebrate any particular Forsaken holidays?
Oh yes, absolutely. Well, more so the celebrations portion at least. LoV put together a Halloween party last year for Moon Guard, and we had a blast. Any chance for a Forsaken to be allowed out in its own element is a terrific excuse for some roleplay.
And how can we forget the Love is in the Air events? Those are my personal favorites. During February, LoV members take on the roles of Crown Chemical Company members and send secret admirer cards to people that have been signed up. The person signed up would get a card every day until the event was over, and each day the card would include an item which was usually something like a lock of hair or even a worg heart. The choices for gifts were endless. During the last week of the holiday, we would place a few apothecaries in a major city and promote the items being sold by the CCC such as perfume or cookies. This was a second year doing it, and the response we get each year is what keeps us doing it.
We also get really giddy for the Day of the Dead holiday but do not really do much terrorizing dressed up like mariachis.
Does your racial composition affect members' PvE game? Is there content you don't do or that you set other restrictions on based on roleplay lore?
It is funny that this happens to be a question. One of the biggest things I hear Forsaken say is "Give us paladins, pleaaase!" Before Mists was released, we as a guild have more restrictions when it came to raiding. We always had to borrow people as, at the time, we only had the priest class for healing. But now since undead can be monks as well, it makes things a bit easier -- but we still have yet to form a full undead-only raid team. As far as the content goes, no restrictions are set within the guild against anything in game for PvE.
Do you and other guild members do any roleplaying out of the game -- for instance, on the guild or official forums?
The LoV website has been used for storylines and journal entries by several of our members. We like to use our forums for this, as some of the members do not have the addons that allow them to be shared through the game. This also allows us to ready about the other members and learn a little bit about them and their histories.
What activities might be included in a typical week for your guild?
A typical week for the Legion of Vengeance? Oh, why that would include a group meeting to discuss our upcoming tasks and events. Then it would follow with the guards being issued missions or jobs to keep the beloved apothecaries safe (or in some cases, out of trouble) and alive. The apothecaries would discuss what they were going to focus their studies on next, and the surgeons would schedule their operations and procedures if they have any that week. A few surprise lessons would be included here and there in between public visits to other events hosted by outside guilds on Moon Guard.
We've been enjoying the touches of humor enjoyed by the class- and race-exclusive guilds we've interviewed lately. Your turn: Forsaken joke or trope that still amuses?
"Roses are grey, violets are grey, I'm dead and colorblind."
Forsaken joke or trope that you wish would die in a fire?
"I don't need to get funky -- I'm already there."
For a group of undead, The Legion of Vengeance offers a surprisingly lively website. Check it out!
Read more in our series on class- and race-exclusive guilds:
- Death knights squeeze WoW in ice-fisted death grip
- Druids shred raid content by tooth and claw
- Dwarves indulge in rollicking good world PvP
- Gnomes ratchet to guild level 25 on steam-drive gnomish power
- Goblin roleplay campaign inspires goblin NPC
- Hunters take aim across Azeroth
- Rogues stealth and stab their way into friendly player antagonism
- Tauren guild stampedes beyond roleplaying
- Trolls savagely roleplay the revenge of the Zandalari
- Worgen run wild across Azeroth
"I never thought of playing WoW like that!" -- and neither did we, until we talked with Game of Thrones' Hodor (Kristian Nairn) ... a blind ex-serviceman and the guildmates who keep him raiding as a regular ... and a 70-year-old grandma who tops her raid's DPS charts as its legendary-wielding GM. Send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.