The narrative below is an example of how the furbolg lore might look if they were implimented. See the Furbolg Rumor for further information concerning the furbolg as a playable race. Thanks to Mastia for dreaming up this wonderful piece.
The Wild Men of the WoodsEdit
Since the moon first rose on the north western forests of the twilit, primordial continent of Kalimdor, the ursine furbolg hunted, fished and gathered in the endless woodlands of that ancient land. Revering the twin bear brothers; Ursol the Shaman and Ursoc the Warrior, these peaceful bear-men lived freely and simply, following the naturalistic philosophy of their twin gods, known as the “Old Way”. Ever since the cataclysmic sundering 10,000 years ago, the noble furbolgs had been the staunch allies of the mysterious night elves, with whom they shared the forests of Kalimdor. Protecting plant and beast from those who would cause them needless harm, the furbolgs aided the night elven sentinels during the Long Vigil, using their innate link with the land to keep the wooded north safe from all adversaries.
The Legion’s ReturnEdit
However, when the Burning Legion returned to claim Azeroth and have vengeance on the night elves and their allies, it was precisely their affinity that the furbolgs had with their forest home that proved to be their undoing. As glade and river fell to the demons and became sullied with the Nether's taint, the furbolgs soon succumbed – as shaman, warrior and hunter alike lost themselves to a mindless rage that spread like wildfire through the tribes. Those few furbolgs who resisted the corruption proved little obstacle to the raging armies of the Burning Crusade, and even the deepest dens were breached. When Archimonde and his hordes were finally defeated at the Battle of Mount Hyjal, only a single tribe could aid the mortal armies. After the dust settled and the demons were banished, the night elves feared that the bear-men had been all but obliterated – and that those who had survived were corrupted beyond saving. The wizened elders that had lead the furbolgs for centuries were replaced by fierce firebrands, and generations of wisdom were forgotten as the bear-men retreated further and further into their home terratories and attacked any who came near.
Light in the DarknessEdit
And yet, hope remained for the children of Ursol and Ursoc. Deep beneath the shattered glades and blasted slopes of Mount Hyjal, a small proportion of the furbolg race had managed to escape the corruption by retreating into the bowels of the earth – taking refuge within the vast network of caverns and tunnels known as the Barrow Deeps, that lay beneath much of the forested heart of Kalimdor. Four tribes – the Purespring, the Greenpaw, the Barkskin and the Timbermaw managed to evade both total annihilation and the Legion's corruption, gathering under the totem of Celeritas, a wise shaman who had aided and been aided by Priestess Tyrande Whisperwind during the war. Though many of their number had been slain by demons or corrupted wildlife, the furbolgs had managed to discover a tract of tunnels – only recently vacated by the slumbering Druids of the Claw – that due to protective druidic magics were devoid of dangers. After the tumults of the war abated, the furbolgs began spreading out into the tunnels and the isolated valleys they lead to, purifying land and cavern before building villages and fortifications, cementing their position in the Barrow Deeps. Naming their region of dominance Urstaran, meaning “Home of the Bear Brothers” in their own language, a beacon of ursine culture was relit. At the heart of this new kingdom lay Purespring Hold – the centre of influence for the Purespring Tribe, which Celeritas lead. Furbolg hunters wandered the lands again, searching for food to support their families, whilst furbolg druids and shamans worked to soothe the spirits of the tortured land and to fill the tunnels and caverns with life. Safe at last from the troubles of the world outside, furbolg culture blossomed, villages became filled with the sound of laughter once more and the holds and dens became centres for art and spirituality as much as they were for military strength.
Eyes turned outwardEdit
Years pass. Despite the pleasant environment and safety within Urstaran, many furbolgs longed for the wide forests of the lowland woods, and to discover what was going on in the world. The Timbermaw in particular, lead by the aged warrior Gorn One-Eye, wished to return to their old holdings, and to see if anything could be reclaimed. They argued that, had the demons been victorious, the furbolgs would surely have been aware by now and, if the Legion had indeed been defeated, then there was no reason why they shouldn’t claim back their old haunts. The other tribes however were far more cautious, the Greenpaw in particular, as their village had been overrun by their own feral tribesmen. It was felt that even if the Legion had been defeated, the peoples and forests outside would be so impure that they would be dangerous to even contact. Still Celeritas resolved that he would keep no-one within Urstaran against their will and so he permitted Gorn and his people to leave, so long as they sealed and guarded the exit tunnels behind them and refused to tell any outsiders, even night elves, about the furbolgs’ new home. The Timbermaw split into two groups, one, consisting of those who felt less inclined to leave Urstaran headed south and exited through an old Earthen fortress, before sealing it and claiming it as their own. Settling slightly south of this, in the autumnal woods of Azshara, they named their territory Ursolan in memory of their homeland. The remainder of the tribe turned north, and exited into their old home of Timbermaw Hold, at the northern boundary of the forests that had become known as Felwood. The Timbermaw, expecting to see the crystal streams and verdant vales that they had known, restored after the defeat of the demons, instead bore witness to the accursed, noxious land their territory had become. Frightened by this change, the Timbermaw realised their folly at leaving Urstaran, and resolved to seek out allies who would aid them fight against their corrupted kinsmen – whom the pure furbolgs had dubbed “felbolgs” – and to defend their new homeland at any cost.
After a time, Celeritas and his elders became concerned. The elderly shaman had expected the Timbermaw to return, he himself suspecting that the forests had been corrupted irrevocably. When this did not take place, Celeritas worried that the Timbermaw had been enslaved, destroyed or worse, imprisoned and forced to reveal the location of Urstaran. Not knowing of Gorn’s vow to guard the gates of the Barrow Deeps, Celeritas declared that the united tribes would return to the surface, to discover the fate of the Timbermaw, and the state of the world outside. Knowing that the tunnels the Timbermaw had used were blocked and probably dangerous, the remaining three tribes decided to try an alternative method for ascending to the surface. Using the prolific moonstones that studded their underground home, the Timbermaw used the potent nature magics that surrounded them to create a portal to the heart of Elune’s power on Azeroth – suspecting that such a place would surely be free of the Legion’s taint. As such, the brave pathfinders who volunteered to go through the portal first found themselves stumbling into the moonlit sanctum of the Temple of the Moon in Darnassus. Upon hearing the news that the night elves had not only survived, but were proliferating and allied to a powerful union of races, Celeritas hurried from Purespring Hold through the portal to meet with Tyrande, and once the pact of friendship between the bear-men and the Kaldorei was renewed, the furbolgs travelled to the Eastern Kingdoms, to pledge their allegiance to the Grand Alliance. The Greenpaw, Purespring and Barkskin tribes all joined the Alliance, but the Timbermaws remained neutral, considering it better to keep on friendly terms with both factions in order to enlist both in purifying Felwood.
This New DayEdit
Now, with allies to aid them and a defensible homeland to call their own, the furbolgs have a brighter future ahead of them. Their renewed confidence and political power has resulted in many changes – firstly, they have begun to extend their territory further into the Barrow Deeps, which due to their location underneath Felwood still bear the scars of the Third War. Elsewhere, the furbolgs battle to preserve the forest of Ashenvale against the ravages of the merciless Horde and work to purge the land of the Legion’s taints. As word has spread of Urstaran, those furbolgs who have managed to avoid corruption or who have been cured of it have flocked to the capital of Purespring Hold, turning it into a centre for trade and learning. After a turbulent and humble history, the furbolgs must work together to forge a place for themselves in a new world. As one such furbolg, your destiny within that world is yours to shape.