It all begins much the same way every other starting zone does: with a fly-over of the zone. There is no narration yet in the beta, but there will be before launch.
Your adventure begins before the Greymane Wall fell, likely years before the events of Cataclysm. Perhaps even before Wrath of the Lich King. We're not entirely sure, but the beginning of the starting zones do take place at some point in the past.
It starts with you still as a human. You have not been infected with the worgen curse yet, and the worgen are only just starting to appear in the city, which is currently under complete lockdown. Liam Greymane is leading the Gilnean city guards, patrolling the area to find any of those Light-damned werewolves that were roaming about.
Oh. There they are.
Meet Gwen Armstead. No, she is not holding that rapier correctly. Yes, she is fully aware of that fact.
"I don't even know how to use this weapon... but I reckon if I stand here looking menacing, the worgen might go somewhere else."
Gwen is a character you'll be seeing often throughout these quests.
The Merchant Square is overrun, and Liam gives you orders to begin the evacuation and meet up with his father. On the way there, you meet your class trainers for the first time. They are minor characters, but even they have a role in the story of these starting zones. The warrior up front is Sergeant Cleese, the warrior trainer. He's not standing in some safe building somewhere. He's right up in the action.
Meet Genn Greymane and Lord Godfrey. Both characters will make appearances throughout the worgen starting zone. Genn is, of course, the King of Gilneas.
Though Godfrey opposes the idea, Genn Greymane asks you to seek out one person he would never have considered allying with under better circumstances. Meet Lord Darius Crowley, leader of the Northgate Rebels. Not all Gilneans supported the construction of the Greymane Wall, especially since it not only cut them off from the world, but oftentimes members of their own families. Darius was even in command of the forces opposing Genn in a civil war over the construction of the wall.
Lord Darius Crowley understands the worgen threat very well. He also sets aside his issues with Genn for the greater good of Gilneas. The rebels and the loyalists need each other to survive.
Darius sends you to find a stash of heavy artillery the rebels smuggled into the city and were hiding away for the day they might overthrow Genn. Plans have changed and they intend to use that artillery to push back the worgen. You go to retrieve the cannons, but are jumped by a freshly-turned worgen. Fortunately, you are rescued.
Meet Lorna Crowley, the daughter of Darius Crowley. Boomstick in hand, hounds at her sides, rose in her hair. Unlike Gwen, she knows how to use that weapon. Are you in love? We are.
The worgen only grow more numerous, and it takes every Gilnean man and woman to just hold them back and cover the retreat.
Genn has one last request before the rebel cannons are used to level the district. You need to rescue grand alchemist Krennan Aranas. Not only is he brilliant, but he saved the king's daughter from dying shortly after birth.
Darius, Liam and Genn talk strategy. Liam and Genn will lead the Gilneans out of the city proper and into the outskirts.
Darius, however, will remain behind with you and the rebels. You will draw the attention of the worgen. All of them.
After drawing the worgen to the Cathedral, Darius prepares for the final showdown.
In the midst of battling back the worgen, you succumb to the curse. Flash forward a number of years. You are a worgen locked in stocks. The king himself comes forward to prevent you from being executed. The alchemist you saved gives you a potion to suppress the curse ... and you can now see what happened to the kingdom the years you spent as a feral worgen.
Here you see Liam Greymane, reduced to drunken fool who could not stop his city from falling to the worgen, passed out on a bench.
Just some Duskhaven scenery here.
What's this? An assassinated Duskhaven watchman? That can't be good.
... Yeah, definitely not good.
Liam leaps into action to fight off the encroaching Forsaken army. Yes, he's shirtless. He fights with nothing but his rifle and a stockpile of empty bottles of rye.
Run away, little girl! Run away!
Not because of me you wuss. Run away from the Forsaken!
Using the Forsaken's own catapaults against them, getting behind enemy lines and aboard their ships.
The defense is going pretty well.
The earth simply gave out, swallowing everything up. Gilnean, forsaken, all of it. You rush to save as many drowning watchmen as possible.
Yet again, it is time to retreat. You go forth to find the outlying residents of Duskhaven, including Lorna Crowley. Lorna refuses to come out of her home due to the strange wolf-like apparitions in her fields. You go out to meet this ghost, and he informs you that he means no harm. In fact, he was sent to protect Lorna. He was sent by Goldrinn, one of the Ancients.
Let's ignore that whole Goldrinn thing for awhile, shall we? We have more important things to do. We need to inform the royal family of the evacuation.
Evacuating ... in style!
The forsaken are tailing the evacuees, so you recruit the help of a local ettin to hold them off. He doesn't know he's helping you, but does it really matter? Help is help.
Shortly after reaching Stormglen Village, you meet this unusual character. She knows what is wrong with your people, and she believes she can help. She sends you into the Blackwald, where help awaits.
Isn't the sunshafts addition pretty?
Not to mention friendly faces. Lord Darius Crowley still kicks ass, even with a placeholder cube on his head.
You are sent to retrieve Goldrinn's Fang, also known as the Scythe of Elune. With it, your people can attempt to bring the curse under control again, or at least keep your humanity long term.
During this ordeal, King Genn Greymane reveals that he, too, is suffering from the worgen curse. The grand alchemist has been helping him keep it a secret. After this reveal, many of the lords are ... unhappy with their feral leadership, including Lord Godfrey. Luckily, you're pretty awesome and assassinate most of them, forcing Godfrey to see things your way. You are rewarded with a hat.
Our band of heroes moves forward, no longer on the run. They are making a push on the Forsaken encampments on their lands. Lorna Crowley and your various class trainers are there to help.
You free Gilnean slaves.
You murder forsaken taskmasters.
And you prepare to take back Gilneas City.
Your countrymen rally and charge forth!
You surround Sylvanas ...
But she uses her abilities as a banshee to push all of you back, just long enough to line up a shot. She fires a poison arrow at Genn, but...
Liam takes the arrow in the heart, saving his father and king.
Sylvanas escapes. You race through the city with Tobias Mistmantle, one of Darius's men, to find Sylvanas and listen in on what she's planning.
Her plan, of course, is to plague Gilneas into oblivion against the wishes of the warchief. That's always a good time.
You hijack a bat and fly over the surrounding area to get an idea of the forsaken's numbers. Their numbers are great, to say the least.
Luckily, the Gilneans now have allies of their own.
And those allies let you go on joyrides in their glaivethrowers.
And for now, this is the point where the starting experience ends. It's a bit of a cliffhanger, but that's what happens when you're playing a beta. There is surely more to come later on.