You can download a copy of the Genre Starter Packet here.
The Rules Thou Shalt Never Break
(Mind's Eye Theatre's Golden Rules)
These are the most important and immutable rules of MET, the ones that keep your game and your players safe from folks who either don’t care that you’re playing a game or who take the game way too seriously. Always adhering to these rules will also keep your game amenable to law enforcement and other non-player folks.
No Touching. No Stunts.
That means none whatsoever. It’s far too easy for things to get out hand in the heat of the moment. Save the stunts for your imagination. If you can imagine you’re a nine-foot-tall hairy monster, then you can sure imagine you’re swinging on a chandelier or leaping across rooftops.
No matter how careful you are. Whether it’s to prevent some fool from skewering himself on your new dagger or to make sure the police don’t think you’re a threat, weapons of any sort are forbidden. Even fake or toy weapons, trained attack gerbils or laser pens are not allowed. Use item cards instead.
No Drugs or Drinking
Well, duh. Drinking and drugs do not inspire peak performance, and players who are so impaired are a threat to other players and the game. It’s one thing to play a character who is drunk or stoned, but another thing entirely to actually come to a game under the influence. At best it’s tasteless; at worst it’s illegal. Don’t do it.
It’s Only a Game
If a character dies, if a plot falls apart, if a rival gets the upper hand, it’s just a game. You and the rest of the players are doing this for fun. Taking things too seriously or taking character issues into real life, will only spoil everyone’s enjoyment, including yours. Remember, playing a game should be fun: If you’re not having fun, it’s time for a reassessment.
Remember to leave the game behind when the session’s over. “Soft” roleplaying (conversing in character without challenges) can be fun, and there’s nothing wrong with talking about the game afterward at the local diner. On the other hand, demanding weekly tribe meetings or trying to rouse your elder to talk business at three in the morning signifies the need for a change in perspective.
Be Mindful of Others
Not everyone around you is playing the game. You want to ensure that your game and your players are welcomed. Frightening people and getting the local law enforcement called on you is not the way to do it. This is especially true if you’re playing in a public area, such as a park. It can be a very good idea to alert local merchants and police before you play so they’re prepared. If you get curiosity-seekers, try to have some business cards on hand and offer to speak with them when you have more time.
Not “Win.” Not “Go out and conquer everyone else.” Just have fun because in MET it’s not about how the game ends but what happens along the way.
The World of Darkness
On the surface, the World of Darkness is not too much different from our own. People are born, grow up, work and die every day. Plants grow, as do skyscrapers. The same newspapers are sold on the street corner, and television is the same vast wasteland. Below the surface, however, is a much darker element, one that is fed by the violence and despair which the monsters need to fuel themselves. It is far less simple than throwing a coat of black paint over the veneer of our world. The monsters in the World of Darkness are far too real.
Gothic-Punk is the term used to describe the attitude of the World of Darkness. The “Gothic” aspect is that of the sinister, looming shadow that permeates life. Buildings here, encrusted with gargoyles, dwarf all below them. Despair is a common theme, and any banner that offers hope or power can be certain of many followers. The divisions between haves and have-nots are nearly insurmountable gulfs. The world is a place of mystery- the sort that is uncovered in old books and which is best left alone for safety’s sake.
On the other side of the coin is “Punk” - what many citizens of the World of Darkness have done in order to give their lives meaning. They throw themselves against the walls of power in rebellion, often until they forget what they first despised. Crime is more prevalent and more violent. Speech is coarser, fashions are bolder, art seeks only to shock, and technology ensures that everyone gets it at the click of a button.
This is the world that the Garou call home.
Legends of half-human, half-beast monsters have been around since the beginning of time. In some lands, the shapechangers were reviled as foul witches and murderers while in others the gift of many shapes was considered a mark of great power, even holiness. There have been many kinds of shapeshifters - from the leopard-people of Africa to the fox-fairies of Asia to the berserkers (bear-shirt men) of Scandinavia - but it is the werewolf that inspires the greatest dread and awe. In the wolf, there is a element of the untamed, and the human fear of Nature red in tooth and claw. For all of humankind’s efforts to “tame” the wilderness, the wilderness doesn’t want to be tamed and waits for the opportunity when humans wander too far from their cozy dens and SUVs.
As much as humans have hated and feared the wild animals, especially those who were stronger than us, we have envied their strengths - flight, keen sight, beauty, freedom. We have worn masks, animal skins and teeth, hoping to gain some of that strength, or incorporated them into rituals in an effort to become more like them. Even today, people wear jewelry or clothing depicting animals to express their admiration or to draw strength from them.
In older days, it was said that one must wear a wolf skin or perform unholy rites, or drink from the paw print of a wolf to become a werewolf. All you have to do is open this book.
Werewolves in the World of Darkness aren’t much like their movie counterparts. Tales of shapeshifting witches or animals that take human shape also have some misconceptions. What follows are common myths and misconceptions about the werewolves in the world of Apocalypse.
Werewolves are ravaging beasts in wolf form. False. Werewolves retain their full sentience in whatever form they take. Their savagery stems from a supernatural anger called Rage. While Rage allows werewolves to perform incredible feats, it also can cause them to lose control of themselves and fly into terrible fits of berserk violence. A werewolf in this state can think only about ripping something apart with his bare talons.
Werewolves change their shape during the full moon. Mostly false. Werewolves can change forms whenever they like. However, they do have deep spiritual ties to the moon, and a werewolfs Rage increases as the moon waxes. Consequently, when the moon is full, a werewolf is brimming with Rage and likely to go berserk at the slightest provocation.
If a werewolf bites someone, that person becomes a werewolf. False. Werewolves are born, not made. Most werewolves are born to humans or wolves, and may not know of their heritage until they change shape for the first time.
Werewolves are witches who change shape by dressing in wolf skin. False. You’re either born to be a werewolf or you aren’t; being Garou is not something you can acquire. While there are magic-users in the World of Darkness and some can shapeshift into animals, they are merely becoming animals, not Garou. Likewise, you cannot become a werewolf by drinking water from a wolfs paw print, sleeping in a wolf den or similar means.
Only silver can kill a werewolf. Partially true. Werewolves aren’t immortal - they can grow old, and they can be killed. They can endure incredible amounts of damage that would stop charging elephants, and heal themselves very quickly. Silver is another matter - its ties to the moon give it a supernatural strength, and wounds from it burn Garou worse than fire. Such wounds are slow to heal and might be fatal. A silver bullet isn’t the instant kill seen in the movies, but it is a hunter’s best chance to take down a werewolf.
Werewolves in human form have strange features such as pointed ears or eyebrows grown together. Almost entirely false. Werewolves look no different from humans when in their human form. However, there are werewolves whose parents were both werewolves as well, and the breeding resulted in a deformed offspring called a metis. Metis deformities are often visible in human form, but they are far more debilitating, such as a withered arm, albinism or blindness.
Werewolves are loners, cut off from social contact by their curse. False. Werewolves have the same pack mentality as normal wolves, and they are intensely social with each other because their Rage makes it difficult to interact with normal humans and wolves for long. To be cast out and walk alone is considered a horrible punishment.
The Garou Litany
Though many tribes have differing views on how the Litany is interpreted, the tenants are to all be followed. For information on how each individual interprets the Litany, see each Revised Edition Tribebook, or ask a Storyteller.
Garou Shall Not Mate With Garou
The Law: Werewolves should mate only with humans or wolves. The offspring of two Garou, the metis, are born sterile and defective, physically deformed or even insane. In the worst cases, the mother dies giving birth to her Crinos form cub. These births are obviously cursed, and introducing even the hint of corruption into the Garou race is a crime against Gaia. Werewolves may fall in love - and they often do in the ballads sung by the Galliards - but even the clutches of passion are no excuse for this transgression
The Reality: The permissive ways of homid society seem to be having an effect on the Garou. More metis are being born now than ever before. While some tribes claim to treat metis with respect, in truth they still face a life of hardship and scorn. Pragmatic Garou point out that, with the number of cubs born to Kinfolk on the decline, the metis might just be needed at the final battle of the Apocalypse.
Combat the Wyrm Wherever It Dwells and Whenever It Breeds
The Law: The Wym and its minions are an obvious threat to humanity and to Gaia. Destroying that threat is the Garou’s very reason for existence, The quickest route to power and respect among werewolves, and the surest way to stall the coming Apocalypse, is to battle against the Wyrm.
The Reality: The Garou are surrounded by enemies: Wyrmspawn, Weaver creations, humanity, even the remnants of the Sanga bent on revenge. And these are only the enemies on the outside. Convinced by the overwhelming certainty of prophecy that the End Times have begun, many werewolves turn their energies to cementing their own positions as best they can or climbing as high as they can before the world crumbles around them.
Respect the Territory of Another
The Law: The traditional Howl of Introduction is required whenever a werewolf approaches another’s territory. The holder of the territory may even require additional information before granting acceptance; Silver Fangs, for example, insist on establishing a visitor’s degree of pure blood. To properly warn potential interlopers, Garou mark their territory with scent and scratched sigils.
The Reality: While cacophonous howling and pissing on trees may work in rural areas, anywhere near an urban center such behavior may arouse suspicion. Some modem werewolves prefer a cordial phone call or a beeper message. Many others ignore introductions altogether and plead ignorance if caught trespassing.
Accept an Honorable Surrender
The Law: Matters of leadership and honor are often settled by single combat. While this is a proper way to solve such problems, it is important that the combatants not die needless deaths -every warrior is needed. The loser of a duel loses no Renown for showing his throat in surrender to end a fight, and the winner is respected for his restraint.
The Reality: The winner is respected for restraint because that restraint is so hard to exercise. While it may be natural for wolves to end hostilities with a simple bared throat, the Garou are creatures of supernatural rage. Once the fighting begins, anything can happen, and it unfortunately often does. Some Garou earn bad reputations by “accidentally” missing the surrender cues and ripping out a helpless rival’s throat.
Submission to Those of Higher Station
The Law: Every leader must have followers. Rank and Renown ease relations within Garou society by outlining everyone’s place, with minimal fighting involved. Reasonable requests from higher-ranking Garou are expected to be obeyed.
The Reality: The most useful authority is earned, not granted. While today’s cheeky cubs and cliath may respect their tribal elders, other higher-ranked Garou may find it necessary to reinforce their requests with physical force or some other sort of persuasion, at least until the young ones learn that their betters are above them for a reason. Those werewolves who are unable to back UD their rank on occasion might as well get used to running their own errands.
The First Share of the Kill for the Greatest in Station
The Law: The alpha feeds first from the kill. In Garou society, this law of the wild has expanded to include trophies taken from fallen enemies. Garou of greater renown are entitled to demand a greater share of the spoils.
The Reality: In practice, the “first share” too often becomes “the whole pile.” While a pack may grudgingly accept doling out the rewards according to Renown if those of higher rank are earning their keep, an alpha who abuses this privilege will quickly find herself worn down by challenges from her packmates.
Ye Shall Not Eat the Flesh of Humans
The Law: During the years of the Impergium, this practice was not unusual. Since the agreement of the Concord, the eating of human flesh has been banned as a violation of the oath to protect humanity. Even worse, this act of near-cannibalism is an invitation to corruption by the Wyrm.
The Reality: Werewolves are carnivores who occasionally lose control of their actions. More than one werewolf has discovered, perhaps to his horror, that fat lazy humans taste particularly good. Others, like the Red Talons, make a habit of devouring humans unlucky enough to be found in their territories. Some also note with anger that there is no similar injunction against eating the flesh of wolves, who are as much kin as humans.
Respect for Those Beneath Ye: All Are of Gaia
The Law: Out of respect for Gaia, who created the Garou to protect and in essence serve Her creation, werewolves are expected to treat every creature with the respect due its place in the natural order. Chivalry is a lofty ideal, and appropriate behavior worthy of Renown.
The Reality: Garou of rank often use their own judgment to determine the “proper amount of respect” due to those beneath them, and that judgment is not always kind. While they may make life difficult for the unfortunates below them, a combination of wolf instinct and human compassion usually keeps higher-ranked Garou from causing actual harm or death - not that this is much consolation to the tormented.
The Veil Shall Not Be Lifted
The Law and the Reality: The Garou take this tenet of the Litany very seriously. Much more is at stake than respect for the ages-old pact of the Concord: in a world full of corrupt corporations, religious zealots, vampires and other threats, the Garou must walk carefully or bring down the wrath of countless enemies on their own heads.
Do Not Suffer They People to Tend They Sickness
The Law: A dignified death is a private death. This is the way of wild creatures who are mortally injured or simply too old. It preserves the resources of the group for those who can best benefit from them, rather than wasting them to extend a lost life.
The Reality: It is difficult to make such a cold step away from life toward death. The Children of Gaia speak out openly against this part of the Litany, preferring to care for their elders and mortally wounded until they expire. Many other Garou compromise by returning to human or wolf society to live out their declining years.
The Leader May Be Challenged at Any Time during Peace
The Law: For the good of the pack, a weak alpha must not be allowed to remain in control. If no danger immediately threatens, any Garou of sufficient rank may challenge the leader for her position. A staredown, duel or gamecraft challenge results, and the alpha must cede her authority if she loses. Inappropriate or frivolous challenges - for example, a cub challenging the sept leader - may be rebuffed with no loss of Renown.
The Reality: A particularly powerful leader will be impossible to best in a challenge - those below her will have to learn to live with her decisions. Unscrupulous alphas may resist challenges, always insisting that dangers lurk around every corner. Of course, keeping power in this way makes life more difficult when someone else eventually takes over and the paybacks start.
The Leader May Not Be Challenged during Wartime
The Law: The strength of the Garou is the pack. Pack tactics are necessary to bring down the great monsters or hordes of smaller spawn that the werewolves may encounter; even one pack member’s lapse in obedience may have dire consequences for the rest of his pack.
The Reality: Garou leaders are just as fallible as any others. A werewolf who violates his alpha’s orders with good results may escape punishment for this breach of the Litany. If the results are bad, the alpha’s poor tactics won’t help the offender’s case. Cases involving magical control or Wyrm possession may also be excused - so long as they only happen once.
Ye Shall Take No Actions That Causes a Caern to Be Violated
The Law and the Reality: This tenet is even more strictly enforced than the protection of the Veil. Caerns are sacred sites, and to cause the desecration of such a holy place with or without intent to harm is a crime worthy of the severest punishment.
These words are in common use among the Garou.
- Anchorhead: Elusive spirit gates between the Near Umbra and the Deep Umbra. (See Membrane.)
- Anthelios: The portentous Red Star that has recently appeared in the Umbral heavens; largely seen as an omen of doom. Also called “the Eye of the Wyrm.”
- Apocalypse: The prophetic revelation of the end of times. In Garou mythology, it has come to mean the final battle with the Wyrm - a battle many believe they are fated to lose. It is generally accepted that the present time is beginnings of the Apocalypse.
- Auspice: The moon phase under which a Garou is born; it often determines her role in Garou society and influences her personality and tendencies. The auspices are: Ragabash (New Moon; Trickster), Theurge (Crescent Moon; Seer), Philodox (Half Moon; Judge), Galliard (Gibbous Moon; Moon Dancer), Ahroun (Full Moon; Warrior).
- Bane: Wyrm spirits of many twisted and evil types. Scrag, Kalus and Psychomachiae are among the more common types, but endless mutation is possible.
- Bawn: The boundary area around a caern, which is patrolled and carefully monitored against intrusion, even by other Garou.
- Blight: A corrupted area in either the spirit or material world. These tainted areas spawn Banes.
- Blooded: Having completed one’s first battle after the First Change. Usually not applied unless the young Garou spilled blood or was wounded.
- Breed: The ancestry of a Garou, whether homid (human), lupus (wolf) or metis (born of two Garou).
- Burr-tail: Disparaging term for an untidy (by human standards) Garou. Often applied to Bone Gnawers or to lupus (usually behind their backs).
- Caern: A sacred place where the magic of the spirit world wells into the physical plane. Some serve as centers of Garou septs, while others are in the control of other supernatural groups.
- Celestine: The greatest spirits, godlike in their power. Those worshipped include Gaia (the Earth), Luna (the Moon) and Helios (the Sun).
- Concolation: The largest Garou moots; the matters discussed at these great gathers of tribes concern the entire Nation of Garou.
- Concord, the: The compromise reached by the tribes of the Garou Nation which ended the Impergium; its traditions are still enforced today.
- Corruption: The Wyrm’s power of destruction twisted into decay and depravity; also, the resulting effects of the Wyrm’s actions. In the present age, it commonly refers to the pollution and ecological ruin humans inflict upon the environment.
- Crinos: The half-wolf, half-human war form of the Garou.
- Deep Umbra: The Umbral world beyond the protection of the Membrane. The further a-Deep Umbra traveler ventures from the Gaia Realm, the more tenuous “reality” becomes.
- Delirium: The ancestral memories of humans, which cause madness and memory loss in those who look upon a Garou in Crinos form.
- Domain: A mini-Realm in the Umbra, usually connected to a larger Realm in the Deep Umbra.
- Fera: Garou term for shapeshifters other than werewolves; most are presumed extinct.
- Feral: Slang term for lupus.
- Flame-bent: A Garou whose hot temper has led to so much constant Rage that he cannot think calmly and rationally any more.
- Fomori (singular “fomor”): Humans or animals corrupted and mutated by the Wyrm; common enemies of the Garou. Some are corrupted unaware, but many humans make a choice to become fomori in exchange for power.
- Gaffling: A simple spirit servant of a Jaggling, Incarna or Celestine. Gafflings are rarely sentient .
- Gaia: The Earth and related Realms, both physical and spiritual; the Earth Goddess, and the Mother of the Garou.
- Garou: The term werewolves use for themselves.
- Gauntlet: The barrier between the physical world of Earth and the spirit world of the Umbra. It is strongest around cities and technology, and weakest around caerns.
- Glabro: The near-man form of the Garou.
- Harano: A state of bitter depression that afflicts werewolves; weeping for that which is not yet lost. Garou in the grip of Harano are debilitated and often die if they cannot recover their will to live.
- Hispo: The near-wolf form of the Garou.
- Homid: A Garou of human ancestry. Occasionally used disdainfully by ferals (e.g., “That boy fights like a homid”).
- Impergium: In prehistory, the period of 3000 years during which strict population quotas were enforced on all human populations.
- Incarna: A class of spirits that ranks below the Celestines in power and includes the totems of the 12 Tribes.
- Jaggling: A spirit servant of an Incarna or Celestine.
- Kenning: The empathic calling some Garou perform when howling.
- Kinfolk: Humans or wolves related to the Garou by blood; they are preferred mates and those most likely to birth Garou cubs.
- Klaive: A fetish dagger or sword, usually of great spiritual potency and nearly always made of silver.
- Land-lorn: A Garou that spends almost all of her time in the Umbra interacting with spirits; one who has lost touch with the Earth.
- Litany: The code of laws kept by the Garou, passed down in oral tradition.
- Luna: The Incarna of the moon; powerful spirit patron to all shapechangers.
- Lupus: A Garou of wolf origin.
- Membrane, the: The barrier between the Near and Deep Umbra. Travel through it must be done at an Anchorhead (see above). Alternatively, the Garou can bypass the Membrane through the Dream Zone.
- Metis: The sterile and often deformed offspring of two Garou; they are generally reviled by Garou society.
- Moon Bridge: A path established between two caerns; it must be renewed with spiritual energy during moots and called open with a Rite or Gift when needed for travel.
- Moot: Gatherings of the Garou for any variety of social, political or religious functions; most take place at caerns.
- Mule: Slang for metis.
- Near Umbra: The spirit world surrounding the Gaia Realm, just beyond the Penumbra.
- Pack: A small group of Garou bound to each other by ties of friendship and common goals; the basic unit of Garou society.
- Pallid Crown: What a Garou is said to be wearing when claiming a royalty that has faded or clutching at old glories rather than engendering new ones.
- People, the: The Garou. Some werewolves also use the term to describe their tribe.
- Penumbra: “Earth‘s Shadow”; the spirit world directly surrounding the physical world. Many, but not all, terrain features have reflections there.
- Protectorate: The territory claimed and patrolled by a pack or sept.
- Purgator: A Garou suspected of continuing the Impergium’s old human-culling ways when it suits her.
- Reaching: Traveling into the spirit world (see Stepping Sideways).
- Realms: The worlds of consistent reality within the Tellurian. Earth is referred to as the Gaia Realm, or simply the Realm.
- Ronin: A Garou who has chosen to leave Garou society or who has been forced out. Life is bleak and harsh for these “lone wolves.”
- Sanga: Garou term for shapeshifters other than werewolves; many are presumed extinct.
- Sept: The group of Garou who live near and tend an individual caern.
- Showing Throat: Submitting to an elder. The phrase has slightly more contemptuous connotations among the younger, more rebellious (and naïve) Garou.
- Stepping Sideways: Entering the spirit world (see Reaching). Many elders consider this term flippant and disrespectful.
- Sundered: An alternate, more formal word for Ronin; the connotations are of pity rather than contempt.
- Tellurian: The whole of reality.
- Terrius: A Garou that has almost lost his connection to the spirit world; one who rarely enters the Umbra, who spends too much time on earthly matters and not enough tending to Gaia’s business.
- Thorn: Mocking, though often affectionate, term for someone in the sept who always offers good and keen insights – though not usually the advice or insight one is comfortable hearing. Not necessarily synonymous with Ragabash.
- Totem: A spirit ceremonially joined to a tribe or pack, which is representative of its inner nature. A tribal totem is an Incama, while a pack totem is an Incarna avatar (a Jaggling equivalent).
- Triat, the: The Wyld, the Weaver and the Wyrm. The trinity of primal cosmic forces.
- Tribe: A larger community of Garou whose members are often bound by similar totems and lifestyles. Each tribe has an ancestral homeland and a wealth of tradition.
- Tsar: Still occasionally used to refer to the head of the Silver Fangs.
- Umbra: The spirit world, the “shadow” of the physical world.
- Vareign: A Garou whose influence extends far beyond what might be expected when examining her apparent place within the sept. A Garou who needs no titles to proclaim her standing; usually one who has refused an office in order to remain active in the field.
- Veil, The: A poetic term for the protection of the Delirium.
- Ways, the: The traditions of the Garou.
- Weaver, the: Manifestation and symbol of order and pattern. Computers, science, logic and mathematics are examples of the Weaver’s influence on the material plane.
- Wyld, the: Manifestation and symbol of pure change and unshaped potential; the chaos of transmutation and elemental force.
- Wyrm, the: Manifestation and symbol ofevil, entropy and decay in Garou belief. Vampires are often manifestations of the Wyrm, as are toxic waste and pollution.
- Wyrmhole: A place that has been spiritually defiled by the Wyrm; invariably a location of great corruption.
Younger Garou frequently use these terms, either out of ignorance, or in a concerted effort to distinguish themselves from their elders.
- Ape: Sland for human or homid. If the speaker wishes to indicate true contempt for her subject, she may use the word “monkey” instead.
- Cadaver: A derogatory term for a vampire.
- Firewall: Name sometimes used (half jokingly) to refer to a Warder of a Glass Walker sept.
- Flock, The: All of humanity, particularly Kinfolk (see above).
- Gremlin: A malevolent spirit.
- Jacked: Excited about something, sometimes to the point where motion is about to take hold.
- Leech: See Cadaver.
- Run: A ritual hunt or revel that takes place at the conclusion of a moot.
- Sheep: Humans.
- Tenderized: Halfway mocking, halfway awed term used by young Garou to describe the near-crazed state of mind most Bane Tenders eventually experience.
- Throat: To best another in ritual combat. Used as a verb (e.g., “I throated his sorry butt!”).
These words hail from the distant past of the Garou and display their Fianna origins. They are no longer used frequently. However, all Garou know these terms.
- Adren: A pupil or a student who learns from a mentor. The rank between fostern and athro (see below).
- Airts: The magical paths within the spirit world (e.g., Spirit Tracks, Moon Paths, etc.).
- Aisling: A journey into the spirit world.
- Anamae: “Soul-friend”; most often a bond with a pack totem.
- -anrae: A suffix added to a name, used when addressing someone of lower rank. This is considered by many Garou to be a pointless term, but more traditional Garou might still use it.
- Anruth: An individual Garou or pack who travels from caern to caern but is bound to none of them.
- Athro: Teacher, mentor. The rank between adren and elder.
- Awen: The sacred Muse, the creative impulse. Moon Dancers periodically go on spirit quests for her, but she has never been found.
- Battle Skin: Term for Crinos form.
- Brugh: Any sort of mystic place, whether a Garou caern or a Wyrmhole. Often a glade or cave located somewhere in the wilderness.
- Charach: A Garou who sleeps with another Garou or has done so in the past. Often used as a word of anger.
- Chiminage: A form of “favors done for services rendered.” A werewolf may perform a task as chiminage in order to repay a spirit for teaching him a Gift, or to repay a sept for allowing him to use their caern.
- Cliath: A young Garou, not yet of any standing rank. This precedes the rank of fostern (see below).
- Coup-Counter: A derogatory term mostly utilized by Wendigo and some Uktena to refer to a Garou who seems to perform his duties and enter battle to gain recognition of his prowess rather than to aid Gaia.
- Fang-sheared: Refers to a Garou who has grown too old to be useful and who ought to relinquish a position without having to be challenged.
- Fostern: A Garou’s pack brothers and sisters; those who are family by choice. Also the rank between cliath and adren (see above), populated by Garou who have achieved some renown but not yet entered into the political arena.
- Gallain: The Kinfolk of the Garou - those humans and wolves who are relations and are not prone to Delirium but who are not actual werewolves.
- Halt-tongue: Refers to a Garou who is either unable to tell a tale well or who becomes tongue-tied when called to account for his actions. A shameful label for a Galliard or Fianna.
- Herrian: A Garou who acts as an announcer or herald at moots and other important occasions.
- -ikthya: “Of the Wyrm”; a suffix appended to a name.
- In Wroth: Being beyond reason, so far enraged that one is utterly berserk.
- Inceptor: A Garou who guides another through a rite. An inceptor is also called a ritemaster.
- Kinain: The relationship among Garou who are related by blood through an ancestor. This term of endearment and pride is never used when referring to metis.
- Man-sheath: Term meaning Glabro form. Used by some lupus Garou (particularly Red Talons) as a derogatory term for Garou who remain almost constantly in Homid form.
- Moon-Calf: Idiot, simpleton.
- Pericarp: The Near Umbra around each Realm.
- Phoebe: An Incarna of Luna, representing the Moon.
- Praenomen: The guardian spirit of a pack.
- -rhya: “Greater in station”; a suffix appended to a name.
- Roughcoat: Term for Lupus form.
- Smoothcoat: Term for Homid form.
- Urrah: Garou who live in the city; also, the tainted ones.
- Wyrm-riven: Another term for Harano.
- -yuf: “Honored equal”; a suffix appended to a name.
These are Garou who were raised in human society, never knowing their heritage until their First Change. They often have trouble dealing with the wilderness and the spirit world. They are however deeply knowledgeable of human society and understand most technology. Homids are the most common breed.
Initial Gnosis: 1
Beginning Gifts: Master of Fire, Persuasion, Smell of Man
These are the deformed and sterile offspring of two Garou. They are perhaps the best balanced of the breeds being equally likely to understand the wilderness or human technology. Additionally, their natural form is Crinos, the man-wolf form, granting them great battle prowess. They have the advantage of being raised in Garou society and thus know its often quirky ins and outs. Once they were the rarest of the breeds. It's a sign of how desperate things have become that in some tribes, they are more common than Lupus.
Nickname: Mule (among others)
Initial Gnosis: 3
Beginning Gifts: Create Element, Primal Anger, Sense Wyrm
These are born of wolves and have a deep primal connection to Gaia. However, they are sadly out of place in the human world, having little understanding of human society. Some never even learn to speak a human language. Most hate technology and often blame humans for all that is wrong in the world.
Initial Gnosis: 5
Beginning Gifts: Hare’s Leap, Heightened Senses, Sense Prey
Those born beneath the new moon are the tricksters and fools of Garou society. They challenge the Garou's traditional ways in order to help discard traditions that are outdated. Their tricks and pranks teach wisdom and humility to those who would listen. However, most Garou have little respect for the role of the Ragabash and consider them little more than pranksters.
Nickname: The Trickster
Initial Rage: 1
Auspice Gifts: Blur of the Milky Eye, Open Seal, Scent of Running Water
Beginning Renown: Three in any combination
Those born beneath the crescent moon are the mystics and seers of the Garou. They have a natural affinity with the spirits and can speak with them, either persuading them to join their cause or forcing them to do their bidding like sorcerers. They are often associated with healing as well.
Nickname: The Seer
Initial Rage: 2
Auspice Gifts: Mother’s Touch, Sense Wyrm, Spirit Speech
Beginning Renown: One Honor or Glory, two Wisdom
Those born under the half moon are the arbitrators and judges of the Garou. They are charged with keeping the traditions of the Garou. However, they also strive for balance and harmony amidst the hot tempers of Garou. They are often jacks-of-all trades and can speak with the spirits almost as well as a Theurge, yet fight just as well as an Ahroun. The Philodox are the traditional leaders of the Garou.
Nickname: The Judge
Initial Rage: 3
Auspice Gifts: Resist Pain, Scent of the True Form, Truth of Gaia
Beginning Renown: Two Honor, one Wisdom
Those born beneath the gibbous moon are filled with passion that bursts forth in glorious song and hot tempers. They are the warrior-bards of legend taking time out from their art to fight and from their fighting to sing rousing tales. They are often joyous and make good company, usually.
Nickname: The Moon Dancer
Initial Rage: 4
Auspice Gifts: Beast Speech, Call of the Wyld, Mindspeak
Beginning Renown: One Glory, two Wisdom or Honor
Those born beneath the full moon are the natural warriors of the Garou. No Garou is incompetent at fighting, but the Ahrouns excel at it. They often lead the Garou during times of war or when there are no Philodox in the pack.
Nickname: The Warrior
Initial Rage:** 5
Auspice Gifts: Falling Touch, Inspiration, Razor Claws
Beginning Renown: One Honor, two Glory
Hailing from ancient Greece and undoubtedly responsible for that land’s legendary Amazons and Maenads, the Black Furies tribe consists almost entirely of female Garou. The only males that are welcome are metis, and even then only those born to the tribe; a male metis of another tribe joining the Furies is simply unheard of.
Many of the other tribes – particularly the Get of Fenris and Shadow Lords – write off the Black Furies as nothing more than “warrior women,” but nothing could be farther from the truth. The Black Furies do not see themselves as mere warriors: They are a force of nature, acting to right wrongs done against women and, through them, Gaia. Men who do not understand the proper way of things might commit these wrongs, or the Wyrm itself might cause them. To the Furies, it makes no difference: The souls of these defiler’s victims cry out for retribution, and they are retribution’s vehicle.
The Furies both defend and aggressively seek out Wyld site that might make suitable caerns. Their own caerns are reputed to be treasure troves of ancient fetishes and powerful talens, but few members of other tribes can get close enough to discover the truth of this; many Furies are particularly suspicious of the Silver Fangs, Shadow Lords and Get of Fenris for their “curiosity” about such rumors. Once particular camp of the Black Furies, the Freebooters, scours the world for Wyld sites that could serve as caerns once the sites are properly purified. They succeed only rarely, making such success the cause for great celebration.
In the End Times, young Black Furies have begun to seize territory inside large cities, hoping to make an impact on women’s lives there, in the heart of the Wyrm. Whether they will succeed or not remains to be seen, but many tribal elders warn of great calamity should their daughters and nieces continue on such a path; they believe the Furies’ most important role is not as counselor and friend to the homids, but as avenger.
Tribal Totem: Pegasus
Advantage: The furies can regain one spent Willpower Trait by spending a day at a site holy to Gaia, such as a caern or glade. The can continue to regain spent Traits, one per day, until they have reached their maximum.
Drawback: The Black Furies are more likely to frenzy when angered by men than they are by women (or even by sexless spirits). They must expend an additional Willpower Trait to avoid frenzy when angered by men. This Drawback does not impact a Fury’s day-to-day interactions with men; it only affects them when frenzy is a danger.
Backgrounds: No restrictions
Beginning Tribal Gifts: Breath of the Wyld, Heightened Senses, Sense Wyrm
Wolf Form: In Crinos, Hispo and Lupus forms, a Black Fury’s fur is black or a very deep gray; some exhibit white, gray or silver highlights.
Organization: Females dominate the Black Furies’ tribal hierarchy; although male metis are permitted to remain in the tribe, they rarely take positions of authority. The ruling body of the tribe is known as the Outer Calyx, consisting of 13 veteran Black Furies from across the world who coordinate tribal activities on a global scale. The Outer Calyx is answerable only to the Inner Calyx, five elder Furies rumored to be selected by the Incarna Artemis herself.
Habitat/Protectorate: Since legendary times, the Furies have acted to defend women and to punish those who violate the natural way of things; they hold fast to the former part of their protectorate more than the latter in these final days. They have a strong affinity for the ancient, wild and sacred places, and will defend those to the last, but in modern days have taken up arms in the cities to better strike at their foes’ hearts. Their Kin are both male and female, but males are more likely to be tasked with building influence in mortal society, and some are viewed as little better than breeding stock.
If you asked the member of any other tribe which Garou are furthest from Gaia, fingers would unerringly point to the Bone Gnawers, who live in sewers, garbage dumps and slums in the greatest cities of the World of Darkness. But the Bone Gnawers know the truth. Gaia isn’t just in the virgin timberland or at the top of a craggy peak: Gaia is in the city, too. Unlike their cousins, the Bone Gnawers fight for Gaia every day. The Wyrm is at its strongest in the heart of great cities, and so it is there that Gaia is at Her weakest and in most need of defense.
The Bone Gnawers can’t help the material fact of their situations. They don’t have decent homes or much money; they live on the streets, alongside the homeless, the crazies, the muggers and the Wyrm-things. The Gnawers are self-reliant, though: They have found their own places of power amid the trash, and they can create fetishes and talens out of discarded junk. Social standing among the Bone Gnawers has very little to do with one’s wealth or combat prowess and everything to do with one’s ability to provide for those in need and combat the Wyrm in less obvious fashions. That isn’t to say that the Bone Gnawers can’t fight when they have to; the tribe’s totem spirit is Rat. A Gnawer Ahroun fights as well as any other tribe’s warrior does, and he is entirely willing to fight dirty.
As a group) the Bone Gnawers are on moderately good terms with the Glass Walkers - though they surely do not travel in the same circles, each group has something the other can use. The Gnawers have an ear to the streets at just about all times, and the Walkers have nearly unmatched material resources. Most Red Talons and many Silver Fangs revile the Bone Gnawers, wishing that the tribe would just go away. Most of the other tribes grudgingly tolerate Rat’s adopted children, leaving them to fight their war as they see fit.
Tribal Totem: Rat
Advantage: The Bone Gnawers are consummate survivors and spies. Once per session, they may gain an Influence Trait at a rate of one per Rank for the purposes of gathering information. These Influences are not necessarily people, but reflect the Bone Gnawers’ knack of “knowing where to look.”
Drawback: The Bone Gnawers face considerable scorn from the rest of Garou society as they are on the bottom of the totem pole. They face a one-Trait penalty in all Social Challenges with other Garou.
Backgrounds: Lacking respectable upbringing and history, the Bone Gnawers are forbidden to select Ancestors, Pure Breed or Resources.
Beginning Tribal Gifts: Cooking, Scent of Sweet Honey, Tagalong
Wolf Form: Bone Gnawers are mangy mutts; their coats usually exhibit the marks of their mixed background, showing two or three patterns and colors. They are often flea-bitten; small Bone Gnawers may try to pass themselves off as (big) stray dogs, but it is hard to conceal their lupine heritage.
Organization: Bone Gnawer society is not particularly organized. Wise elders are referred to as “Mother,” “Father,” “Grandmother” or “Grandfather,” but there is no Rite or ceremony that accompanies such a title: It happens when it happens. One of the best ways to get status among the Bone Gnawers is to accumulate useful cast-off items, the sorts of things that others might think are junk but that have a great deal of utility left in them. There is no global hierarchy among the Bone Gnawers; each must make his own way.
Habitat/Protectorate: The Bone Gnawers live in the poor parts of big cities; they see the occasional sacred place there and those innocents they find to be their charges. Their caerns can often be found in the least probable of settings: in the hearts of vast junkyards, condemned buildings, underground tunnels or the like. Bone Gnawers can be found patrolling the darkest streets of their home city; some have the defense of humans in mind while others aim to keep all humans away from their greatest prizes. While most werewolves think of the Gnawers as strictly urban, some of the tribe have more rural roots, living in the rural South and the Appalachians. Others speak of humble origins amid the poor of India and northern Africa or among migrant workers and dirt farmers. What the tribe truly shares is a connection with the downtrodden and disenfranchised who are found anywhere.
Children of Gaia
The Western Concordiat seems unanimous in its hatred for the Weaver and Wyrm. The Children of Gaia alone stand against this. They know – or at least claim to know - that war is the creation of the Wyrm and strengthens the Wyrm. They desire to make peace, first among the 12 Tribes and then between the Garou and humanity. And then, who knows how far such an upswelling of good sentiment might go?
The Children suffer the slings and arrows of the other tribes for their attitude, of course; epithets like “hippie” and “peacenik” are the least damaging things they run into. However, because the members of most tribes know that the Children do not really hold grudges against any of them and do genuinely wish to improve the rapport between the tribes, the others often turn to them to act as mediators. The Children of Gaia have the best relations with the Uktena and Wendigo of all the so-called Wyrmcomer Europeans.
However, these peace-loving Garou do have their breaking points, and their Rage can be frightening after being pent up for so long. They also understand that, as werewolves, sometimes they just need to “pop claws and go to town” for sanity’s sake. What they stress is that they look for good targets (like Wyrm-things) to vent their Rage on, rather than the wasteful destruction of another Garou.
The Children of Gaia are one of the most active tribes within homid society. They work as environmental activists, teachers, lobbyists and similar roles, trying to educate humanity to the danger of their actions. Where possible, they take direct action against the worst depredations of humanity, but since they are less likely than many other Garou to cause the Delirium in homids, they are the most useful working within homid society.
The Children are an unusually large tribe by Garou standards, and are as diverse as they are large. This is mostly because the Children of Gaia and their totem, Unicorn, welcome almost any werewolf to join the tribe. Males born to the Black Furies, the metis of many tribes, “weaklings” born to the Get of Fenris, lost cubs with no knowledge of their tribes - all are accepted by Unicorn, and all call themselves Children of Gaia.
Tribal Totem: Unicorn
Advantage: The Children of Gaia are exceptionally skilled at bringing two sides of a conflict together and making them see the ways in which they do fundamentally agree. Each Child of Gaia starts with two additional Social Traits, which cannot be lost (They may go over their Trait maximums with this Advantage).
Drawback: The Children of Gaia never participated in the Impergium to the extent that the other tribes did, and as a result, homids do not suffer the Delirium as seriously from the Children as they do from the other tribes. Humans are treated as though they had three extra Willpower Traits for the purposes of their reaction to the Delirium when faced by one or more Children of Gaia. Note that the presence of Children of Gaia does not dampen homids’ reactions to the Delirium if other Garou are rampaging in clear sight.
Backgrounds: No restrictions.
Beginning Tribal Gifts: Mercy, Mother’s Touch, Resist Pain
Wolf Form: Children of Gaia are shaded mostly with gray or brown, with a dappling of white. Lupus-form Children do not loom menacingly in the way that other tribes do; they instead give off an aura of calm and safety.
Organization: On the local level, the Children of Gaia operate by consensus, working together to forge solutions that are equitable to all involved (save minions of the Wyrm, who do not, contrary to the japes of other tribes, get a vote). At a Children of Gaia sept, the three leaders are the Voice of the Goddess (usually a veteran female), who acts as the policy-maker for the tribe; the Arm of the Goddess (usually a veteran male), who carries out the Voice’s decisions; and the Heart of the Goddess (a metis, or an elder beyond childbearing years), who acts as judge.
Habitat/Protectorate: The Children call no one place home; they travel to the places they are needed across the globe. They range from Calcutta to California. Their greatest concern is the welfare of humans subject to the depredations of the Wyrm; the Children of Gaia believe that they alone understand that the Wyrm will always take root in humans unless those humans are protected against it. Their Kinfolk tend to be unusually aware of social and environmental issues, and come from every nationality.
Many onlookers suspect that the blood of the Fair Folk runs in the veins of the Fianna tribe; these Garou share an ancestral home with the legendary fae in the British Isles, and have the same love of a good song and strong drink as those mythical creatures. The Fianna are master storytellers - a good Fianna yam, whether true or not, will set you back a case of beer and half a night, and you’ll wonder where the time went as you stumble to the door. The other tribes see the Fianna as merrymakers and drunkards, but that’s not quite the whole story. The Fianna are famed for their wild mood swings and may spend weeks in a melancholy bordering on Harano before cheering. A Fianna’s mood can just as quickly turn to anger; their frenzies are no less frightening than those of more openly warlike tribes. Of all the tribes, the Fianna are certainly the most sociable, but they also provide most of the material for ballads of unrequited or tragic love, especially for humans and other Garou.
Some Fianna in North America and Australia try to get away from the stereotype of the drunken Irish brawler or bard, but it is hard to eliminate a stereotype that the other tribes seem so determined to see within them. New World Fianna work as activists within homid communities rather than holding themselves apart from humanity.
Certainly cities with large Irish populations have more Fianna than others do, but the tribe is, like most of the others of the Garou Nation, truly a global entity tin these days. The rise of the Celtic Tiger economic boom in Ireland and the fight for peace in Northern Ireland has begun to tear a rift in the tribe, as the youth seek the benefits of the movement and the elders decry the loss of traditions.
Tribal Totem: Stag
Advantage: The Fianna history is one of bards and brawls. As a result of this illustrious history, they may begin play with two Traits in any combination of the following Abilities: Brawl, Expression, Melee, Performance.
Drawback: Fianna are passionate werewolves and can be dragged quite a distance by their own anger, joy or melancholy. As a result, they lose any ties on Willpower Challenges that they face unless they can force a retest or use a Gift to otherwise ameliorate this result.
Backgrounds: No restrictions.
Beginning Tribal Gifts: Faerie Light, Persuasion, Resist Toxin
Wolf Form: When in Lupus, the Fianna are terrifying to unprepared homids: They seem to be the dire wolves of old, with shining red or black fur. Their howls can rend the heart for their beauty and sadness.
Organization: At the local level, Fianna septs elect their members to “Chairs” of various performing arts: There is a Chair of Poetry, a Chair of Song and a Chair of Stories. These Chairs lead moots for the local sept. On a global level, a high king or queen, known as the Ar-Righ, leads the Fianna. The traditional seat of this office is at Tara in Ireland, though not all Ar-Righ hold court there, some preferring their own homelands (be they Sydney or Boston).
Habitat/Protectorate: In older times they preferred the moors, forests and peat bogs of the “auld sod,” although they have traveled across the globe with their Kinfolk. They are most commonly found in the British Isles, the United States (especially Appalachia), Canada, New Zealand and Australia. They usually settle close to their Kin, whom they protect with great ferocity.
Get of Fenris
The Get of Fenris are the Fenrir, the chosen children of Fenris Wolf, the mightiest warrior spirit in the heavens. They are the fists of Gaia and the greatest warriors of the Garou Nation. Anyone who cares to disagree is welcome to challenge these proclamations in person. The Get hail from northern Europe and Scandinavia; those are harsh lands, not prone to forgiving individual frailty, and the Get have absorbed this attitude from their surroundings. They want no truck with weaklings of any kind, caring only for the strongest Garou.
The mythology of the Get revolves around ancient Norse legends. They see the coming Apocalypse through the lens of Ragnarok, the final battle between the Norse gods and the wicked giants; the Get see themselves numbered among the Einherjar, the chosen warriors of the gods. The Wyrm itself they call Jormungandr, the World Serpent. It is said that a true warrior of the Get of Fenris would gladly let himself be devoured by Jormungandr if he was sure to get a few moments rending and tearing at the beast’s face.
The tribe’s belief that the weak must be culled saw a black mark against the Fenrir in the middle of the 20th century as more than a few members of the Get of Fenris fell in with the ideals ofNazi Germany. That cancer was excised rather painfully as the tribe fell to infighting while some of the worst crimes against Gaia of that century were taking place, and it took a few years for the Get to return to their former stature. The most poisonous of Get rhetoric has softened somewhat in the intervening years.
The Get of Fenris see no problem in seizing caerns “misheld” by other tribes; if the Get can take a caern, obviously it was not well-defended against the minions of the Wyrm. The Get see their own stewardship of such caerns as the best and most obvious solution to that problem. This has put them on bad footing with several other tribes; the Wendigo and Uktena, in particular, have no great love for the Fenrir. A few tribes are too strong to assault in such a fashion: The Shadow Lords, Silver Fangs and Black Furies can generally hold their own against a Get assault. The others watch the Get warily; the Fenrir know that they will lead the assault against the Wyrm in the final battle for Gaia, and now they only wait the signal….
Tribal Totem: Fenris Wolf
Advantage: The youthful training and Rite of Passage of the Get of Fenris are hard enough on a young Garou that they either kill him or make him stronger. Those that survive that upbringing gain one extra Healthy health level.
Drawback: The Get of Fenris honor strength in all forms, and they despise weakness. This attitude is so ingrained that they will show open contempt, even to the point of violence, against those who exhibit a particular weakness. Get characters must choose a weakness against which they rail, and succeed in a Static Willpower Test to avoid taking action against it when faced with it. Some targets of Fenrir rage include: Cowardice, Compromise, Lower Animals, Peaceniks, Physical Frailty, Weaver-things.
Backgrounds: The Get of Fenris may not purchase the Contacts Background, and although he may purchase Mentor, the Mentor will only advise, never protect; the Get must be able to fight on his own or die.
Beginning Tribal Gifts: Razor Claws, Resist Pain, Visage of Fenris
Wolf Form: The lupine forms of the Get of Fenris resemble the savage wolves of the Far North from ancient times. They are gray and muscular, with cunning eyes and powerful jaws. Some few have dark patches in their fur, but those are often regarded with contempt by the rest of the tribe as lacking in pure blood.
Organization: Each Get of Fenris sept is ruled by a Jarl who is almost invariably the mightiest warrior in the sept. Any warrior who wishes to challenge him can depose the Jarl, but this challenge must take place in ritual combat after a moot, and other Get of Fenris must witness it. This ritual requirement is often rendered moot, since many Jarls prefer their challenge duels to be to the death. There is little organization to the tribe above the local level.
Habitat/Protectorate: The Get of Fenris typically reside in harsh lands where their mettle (and that of their Kinfolk) is constantly tested. This preference for tough living does not prevent the Get from forcibly acquiring caerns that other tribes are slow to defend. They are concentrated most strongly in the Black Forest of Germany, Scandinavia and the north central United States. They lash out at any force that threatens their Kinfolk, who are generally of Northern European extraction.
The Glass Walkers are the most modern and forward-thinking of all the tribes of the Garou Nation. They alone truly embrace modern technology and turn the Weaver’s tools on the Wyrm’s minions for Gaia’s benefit. They do their best to bring their technology and resources to the other tribes so that all can benefit from the latest advances, but, as is often the case, the Red Talons get frustrated and smash new cell phones, while the Get of Fenris hurl laptop computers into nearby lakes. In the end, it seems, most of the more primitive tribes are interested in new weapons and weapon accessories, and rely on the Glass Walkers to use the other stuff on their behalf. This is a role the Glass Walkers are all too happy to take; they love toys. The epithet “Weaver-thing,” considered an insult when applied by the Red Talons, is used in loving jest by Glass Walkers (“Ooh, new Weaver-thing! Lemme see….”). Their affinity for technology is unmatched among the 12 Tribes.
The Walkers are not obsessed solely with computers and high tech; they also embrace business, politics and high finance. Only a city’s Leech population matches the Dons when it comes to having a finger in every pie. The Glass Walkers have contacts in many white-collar industries and no small number of trade unions and other blue-collar labor. Glass Walker business investments often provide the operating capital for extended Garou operations, and a few warlike septs now find themselves in debt to the Glass Walkers for previous raids. Most Walkers wouldn’t call a debt like this in, but it is good to know the marker is there when you need a favor.
The Glass Walkers do fight the Wyrm. They just take the fight to the boardroom and the Internet. Their finest warriors stalk those who exploit urbanization, and they reclaim urban areas to create patches of green in the cities. One of the tribe’s greatest assets is the “monkeywrenchers,” saboteurs of various talents who turn their efforts on corrupt companies, especially Pentex and its subsidiaries. When they’re not duking it out with public corruption, the Glass Walkers are dealing with the city’s vampire population; such close quarters ensures the ancient enemies encounter each other, and the Glass Walkers know as many dirty tricks as the Leeches to get things done.
Tribal Totem: Cockroach
Advantage: Glass Walkers have always been well-connected within human society. They begin play with a free Influence Trait, and may buy more at a cost of one for one (not to exceed the cap).
Drawback: The Glass Walkers are so tied to the Weaver and her works that they cannot regain Gnosis in the deep wilderness. They can only do so in cities (and, generally, suburbs). They can regain Gnosis at caerns anywhere, however, even hundreds of miles from civilization.
Backgrounds: The Glass Walkers lack ties to their ancient past: They cannot choose the Ancestors, Pure Breed or Mentor Backgrounds.
Beginning Tribal Gifts: Control Simple Machine, Diagnostics, Trick Shot
Wolf Form: Having degenerated from ancient lupine majesty, the Glass Walkers are smaller and weaker than most other Garou when in wolf form. Their fur is often mottled, as befits their mixed heritage. Many Glass Walkers shave or dye their Crinos-form fur in accordance with similar modifications they make to themselves in homid form.
Organization: At the local level, city elders known as Lords or Dons rule the Walkers. These elders have wide-ranging influence throughout the city, rivaled only by local Leeches. As is the case with many tribes, the Glass Walkers lack a large-scale organization, but as the world becomes more interconnected through an electronic web, Dons are better able to cooperate with one another and make certain that a werewolf cannot escape punishment simply by fleeing to a remote city.
Habitat/Protectorate: As might be expected from their name, the Glass Walkers prefer to live in the wealthiest parts of cities across the world. The centers of power - political, financial or electronic - are their stomping grounds. They prefer to stay close to their human contacts, from board rooms to underworld society or ritzy clubs to seedy street life. Their Kinfolk are equally widespread, mostly connected through electronic means (cell phone, e-mail, pager).
Walk through a city some night, and look up at the sky. Try to find a star, any star. You’re lucky if you can see Luna herself up there. Imagine you had the power to punish the people concealing the pure sky from you. Here is the source of the Red Talons’ rage. They can see the pure sky; they live in pure, clean, wild lands, but every day some idiot ape bulldozes another hundred acres to put up another 200 cookie-cutter suburban homes. The answer is obvious to the Red Talons: kill some homids. Yet this is precisely what the other 11 tribes refuse to do.
The Red Talons are the claws of Gaia; they are Her rage at the human race given form, or so they believe. The Talons come almost entirely from lupus stock; only in the last few decades have they even accepted metis that come from Talon-Talon matings. Many Talon metis are still culled at birth or given to the Children of Gaia to rear. Given their backgrounds, few Talons are comfortable with Weaver-things of any kind. Most see the value in klaives, and a few even appreciate the usefulness of a gun or telephone, but for the most part they communicate via howls and fight with claws and feel that that should be enough. Still, the other tribes admit the Talons have long memories, and no doubt recall rites and secrets long forgotten by the rest of the Garou.
Talon hatred of humans is legendary, and that hatred has grown by leaps and bounds in these nights of Alaskan wolfkills and bulldozed forests; some believe that the humans should be wiped from Gaia’s face entirely. Others are more
restrained, thinking that returning to the practice of culling would be enough. A few humans even live peacefully near Talon territories, provided they respect the land.
Many Talons enact a private Impergium against humans who move into protected lands. The deaths are often swift, but some younger Red Talons take more pleasure in the killings than their elders think prudent. Cruelties and ritual torture that rival the Black Spiral Dancers are surely the touch of the Wyrm. Some, it is whispered, even violate the Litany - “Ye Shall Not Eat the Flesh of Humans.” The malice of such unnecessary activity surely tempts the Wyrm, and the tribe’s elders watch their youthful students more and more carefully in the modern nights.
Tribal Totem: Griffin
Advantage: As the manifestation of Gaia’s anger, the Red Talons gain an additional free Rage Trait at character generation and have a maximum Rage one higher than members of other tribes do. (They may go over their Trait maximums with this Advantage.)
Drawback: The Red Talons embrace the Wyld so strongly that they cannot regain Gnosis when they are distant from its touch. They can only do so in the deep wilderness (generally, where the city is far and the Gauntlet is lower than 5). However, they can always regain Gnosis at caerns, even those in the heart of the city.
Backgrounds: Given their affinity for the Wyld and their lupine brethren, the Red Talons may not take Allies, Contacts or Resources. Their only Kinfolk are wolves.
Beginning Tribal Gifts: Beast Speech, Scent of Running Water, Wolf at the Door
Wolf Form: The Red Talon’s lupus form is her natural one, and she is most comfortable wearing it. They are larger even than full-blooded wolves, with powerful jaws and broad haunches. Their fur is usually a reddish-brown, but they retain a single lock of blood-red fur somewhere on their bodies; this is seen as a mark of Gaia’s favor by the Talons (and a mark oh Her disfavor by some other Garou).
Organization: Red Talons have little organization beyond the pack level. In a given pack, the alpha leads all, takes no guff from the others, eats first, has first choice of mate and so on. The other Talons each have a clear standing in the hierarchy. Changes in that hierarchy are determined by nonlethal jockeying for position. The pack’s omega – most often a Ragabash, but not always – takes the brunt of abuse, being subservient to everyone else.
Habitat/Protectorate: As wolves’ lands shrink, so does the territory held by the Red Talon tribe. The most remote parts of the Asian steppe and Siberian forests are still theirs, as are parts of the Canadian Rockies, but they lose at least a few acres every day. Some Talons will set up staging grounds closer to homid territory, but they are more likely to strike directly at those who intrude on their ever-shrinking lands. Their Kinfolk are wolf packs across the world, and every one is precious to them; the loss of a pup is certainly worth a few human lives. Some won’t even acknowledge human Kinfolk, causing clashes with other tribes.
The Shadow Lords cultivate an air of menace in the same way that a Child of Gaia cultivates her herb garden. Dark, looming, brooding – such traits personify these Garou of Eastern European descent. The Shadow Lords know with precise certainty that they are more qualified to lead the Garou Nation than the Silver Fangs; the Fangs’ leadership consists of doddering old fools, lost in yesterday’s glory, they say. They hold themselves to be the guardians of the Litany, well-versed in the “correct” interpretations of the tenets. Above all, they respect power and strength; the weak are worth only disdain or a swift death.
The Shadow Lords must watch their own flanks at all times: In addition to competing with Garou of other tribes for position and influence, a Lord dares not show weakness to another Lord lest she lose face and position within the tribe. Cubs revere their elders as dignified, cunning and proud, but often do so from fear. Elders are known for arrogance as much as ability. Add this to a steaming cauldron of political intrigues, tribal solidarity, conspiracies and spies, and the tribe is more likely to suffer from internal conflicts than outside interests.
The Shadow Lords are adept at manipulating others to do their bidding; some darkly joke that they learned that skill from the vampires that stalk the night in the tribe’s ancient homeland, the Carpathian and Balkan mountain ranges. It is certainly the case that the Shadow Lords are more willing to enter into dealings with such dark creatures than other tribes are. Some Lords end up on the wrong sides of such bargains – apparently some Leeches have a fondness for werewolf blood – but others can and do play games with the undead.
The Shadow Lords revere Grandfather Thunder as a spirit only slightly beneath Gaia in importance – most Garou believe that the Shadow Lords feel that Grandfather Thunder is Gaia’s equal, a sky god to the earth goddess. If the Shadow Lords really do consider the two to be equal, they keep that fact to themselves. By all indications, Mother Gaia is foremost in their hearts, but Grandfather Thunder is a capricious patron. He does not tolerate weakness, but sends his Stormcrows ahead to warn favored Shadow Lords of coming danger.
Tribal Totem: Grandfather Thunder
Advantage: A Shadow Lord can socially outmaneuver his opponents with blinding skill. By spending one Gnosis Trait, the Lord can temporarily gain an amount of Social Traits equal to his Rank. This extra amount can be used for a single Social Challenge per session. This Advantage fails against a Garou with equal or greater Traits in the Pure Breed Background than the character has.
Drawback: The Shadow Lords are arrogant to extremes, and this is reflected in the tribe’s attitude toward failure. A Lord who fails in her assigned tasks is scorned and reviled; she loses an additional Renown Trait when she fails at a task (or, if that failure would still earn positive Renown, she earns one fewer Renown Trait). If she would gain or lose Renown in more than one category, she loses it from the category which would have earned her the most Renown had she succeeded.
Backgrounds: Shadow Lords are too proud to take the Allies or Mentor Backgrounds.
Beginning Tribal Gifts: Aura of Confidence, Fatal Flaw, Seizing the Edge
Wolf Form: A lupus-form Shadow Lord retains his hauteur and arrogance. The Lord is typically black-furred and broad-shouldered, with an air of smoldering menace about him. Most spend time as Lupus during bleak, rainy days.
Organization: The Shadow Lords are organized along much the same lines as the Get of Fenris (though you would never hear members of either tribe suggest such a thing): The strongest leads alone. The primary difference between the two is that while Get of Fenris moots are rowdy, drunken debacles, Shadow Lord moots are quiet, almost solemn, as the sept’s leader sets out the plans for the next month’s activities. Shadow Lord leaders must be perfect – having the social skills necessary to manage the tribe’s activities, the strength to crush any opposition and the mystic knowledge to turn even the spirits to their will. Shadow Lord leaders are rarely challenged openly; only when the leader has shown obvious weakness is he considered to be a viable target for deposition.
Habitat/Protectorate: Though the tribe’s true home lies in the Balkan and Carpathian mountain ranges, they now range across the Western Concordiat. The Lords’ preferred homes lie amid rocky mountains and spooky plateaus, with haunted coniferous forests all around. Other than their own Kinfolk - generally of Eastern European descent - and business interests, the Shadow Lords do not have a favored group of homids to defend, although powerful men like military dictators, crime lords or ruthless businessmen may find themselves pursued by female Shadow Lord lovers. Like the Get of Fenris, they ruthlessly seize undefended caerns, insisting that the Garou Nation must ensure that such holy places are in the hands of those best capable of protecting them.
The Silent Striders are wanderers, messengers and travelers; more than anything else they are enigmas. Though the tribe originally hails from Egypt, they no longer reside there, instead wandering the globe. Though it is claimed that no Garou can enter the lands of the dead, the scent of the Dark Umbra clings to them. And though they rarely do any other Garou wrong, few werewolves completely trust the Silent Striders.
When acting as messengers or bearing tidings of the Wyrm’s activity, the Silent Striders are welcome visitors at nearly any caern. If rumors are to be believed, the Striders even find welcome among the fae and wizards of the world, and ghosts are said to follow them. When wandering the world, the Striders have an uncanny tendency to poke their snouts in where they don’t belong and come out with trouble on their tails. This may be the reason they are so widely distrusted. Most Striders make a living acting as couriers or messengers between caerns; they know the hidden byways well enough, and, it is rumored, a few secret Moon Bridges to boot.
With the usual exception of Banes and Black Spiral Dancers, the Striders hold their greatest hatred for vampires. Tribal legend holds that the Striders fought an army of vampires led by a dark undead godling called Sutekh. Sutekh supposedly cast a great curse on the tribe that drove them from Egypt, scattered them to the winds, and worst of all, severed their bonds with their ancestors. Since then, Striders take Egyptian names as a link to their past, and search the Umbra in vain for some sign of their forbears.
The Silent Striders do have a relationship with the Restless Dead. The origin of the relationship is unknown, but Striders tend to attract ghosts’ attention when passing through the Gauntlet of the Umbra. Rare is the Silent Strider who doesn’t have at least one wraith tagging along as he travels. Out of a sense of respect and politeness, the Striders will generally avoid mentioning such ghosts in front of strangers.
Tribal Totem: Owl
Advantage: Because of where they go and their experiences on the road, Silent Striders become very good at listening to their instincts. If a Strider walks into a situation he finds suspicious or disturbing, he can ask for a Simple Test. If he succeeds, he is plagued with sensations of doom or warning (the Storyteller may fill in as the situation demands, but it should never be more than an general impression). A situation may only be tested once, and this may not be used to backup and redo an action (“Oh, no, I didn’t go in the door, after I got the spooky feeling.). Too much use of this advantage is a sure route to paranoia; it only means the Strider is now on alert, but for what remains to be seen.
Drawback: Silent Striders tend to attract the attention of ghosts, due to an ancient curse levied upon the tribe. At the Narrator’s discretion, if a Silent Strider loses his challenge to step sideways, he may attract the attention of the Restless Dead. A ghost will attach itself to him, making his life considerably more difficult (see “Wraiths”, p. 264) until such time as the Strider completes a task on the ghost’s behalf. This Drawback functions as per the Flaw: Haunted.
Backgrounds: As wanderers cut off from the lands of the dead, the Silent Striders are forbidden the Ancestors and Resources Backgrounds.
Beginning Tribal Gifts: Sense Wyrm, Silence, Speed of Thought
Wolf Form: The Silent Striders have the look of the jackal about them, lean and muscular. They have black coats and yellow eyes, appearing as though they just sprang from the hieroglyphs on a tomb’s wall.
Organization: The Silent Striders are loners, without explicit hierarchy or titles, but they do occasionally gather in great moots. Typically these moots take place alongside barren, empty expanses of road, although outsiders remain mystified about how the tribe knows where and when to meet. More commonly, rather than congregating, the Striders leave one another messages on road signs or in subway tunnels, using a pictographic scrawl whose meaning is generally kept secret.
Habitat/Protectorate: Whether as individuals or as a tribe, the Silent Striders do not have a single homeland. They are wanderers, travelers, born to the road. They may stay in one place for an extended time, but for the most part they do not congregate for long periods at any particular caerns, save for a rumored caern in Casablanca. Their Kinfolk are likewise disparate – Rrom, circus troupes, nomadic tribes, truckers or hitchhikers.
The Silver Fangs are the traditional rulers of the Garou Nation. Their Kinfolk hail from the most highly placed noble families in Europe, northern Africa and western Asia, and their regal blood and pure breed are obvious to any Garou they encounter. At the same time, the Silver Fangs' continued breeding among the same noble families has concentrated some mental eccentricities within the tribe; in the modern days, few Silver Fangs have all of their mental faculties. Some see visions of the tribe's heroic past, others lose memories, and others have even more dangerous derangements.
Still, the tribe's noble blood, general coherence and millennia of tradition combine to allow them to easily command respect and obedience from most Garou. The Silver Fangs are wealthy in land, money and magic, and most Silver Fang kings are quick to reward loyal service. Silver Fangs rarely step into occupied septs and demand control of the caern, but they often rise to positions of power within multi-tribal septs due to their natural charisma and combat prowess.
In the modem day, fewer and fewer Garou are willing to submit to the Silver Fangs' claim of Gaia-blessed right of rulership; it seems obvious to younger werewolves that the Silver Fangs may be as much a liability to the Western Concordiat as they are born leaders. Rumors abound that the Silver Fangs themselves will fight at the head of the forces of the Wyrm, when the final drum sounds. Young Silver Fangs speak of refreshing the tribe's bloodlines, but the elders exhibit shock and horror at the very suggestion.
Tribal Totem: Falcon
Advantage: The Silver Fangs have claimed primacy among the Garou since before recorded history. As a result, they may retest any Social Challenge once; the second result must stand.
Drawback: The Silver Fangs have spent so long breeding among their own Kinfolk and controlling even their own Kinfolk's breeding that the tribe has become dangerously inbred. As the fists of Gaia, the Fangs have not become physically weak. Instead, they have developed certain eccentricities. A Silver Fang starts play with one of the following derangements: Amnesia, Intellectualization, Manic-Depression, Megalomania, Multiple Personalities, Obsession, Paranoia, Perfection, Regression or Vengeful (for a description of these derangements, see Laws of the Wild (Revised), p. 212).
Backgrounds: Silver Fangs must spend at least three of their initial Background Traits on Pure Breed; after those are purchased, all Backgrounds are available to them.
Beginning Tribal Gifts: Falcon’s Grasp, Lambent Flame, Sense Wyrm
Wolf Form: The wolf form of a Silver Fang is suitably majestic, especially given the tribe’s strong bloodlines. With mighty jaws and lush tails, they command attention as easily in lupus form as in homid or Crinos. Their fur is usually silver or white.
Organization: The Silver Fangs have a rigid hierarchy; seven great noble houses cover the Fangs’ territory across the world, and within each Fang sept there is a King (the term applies whether the elder is male or female) and associated members of his court. The King is the eldest active Ahroun of one of the great bloodlines or one who has ennobled himself through legendary deeds. The court consists of two members of each of the other auspices in the roles of shamans (Theurges), stewards (Philodox), squires (Galliards) and seneschals (Ragabash). Members of other auspices fill these other roles more often these days as the Fangs’ numbers decrease. A Silver Fang King’s sept is divided into two courts, the Lodge of the Sun, which deals with business affairs and day-to-day operations, and the Lodge of the Moon, which handles spiritual affairs and interactions with the Wyld.
Habitat/Protectorate: The Silver Fangs pay careful attention to the scions of nobility, for breeding purposes. Their pickings have gotten slimmer over the past 50 years as nobility as a lifestyle has begun to vanish from Europe and was never as grand in the rest of the world. The Fangs do have the choicest territory to be found in much of Europe and Russia, with majestic views from mountain eyries and the like. In the Americas and Australia, things are considerably more egalitarian, and the Fangs scrap with the other tribes for the nicest digs. The Fangs keep close track of their Kin, and tribal “pedigrees” take up several volumes in any library. Money is not a consideration to noble blood - an exiled Romanian prince reduced to teaching high school in the US is worth far more to them than a nouveau riche industrialist descended from horse thieves.
Until recently, the Stargazers belonged to the 13 tribes of the Garou Nation. Even at the best of times, however, they always stood out from their Garou cousins. Primarily, though not exclusively, of Asian descent, the Stargazers held to a more peaceful, philosophical mindset not unlike the beliefs of Zen Buddhism. Placing little attachment on worldly connections, the Stargazers have focused primarily on their jobs as caretakers of Gaia and seekers of Her truths. This otherworldliness, while admirable, left the Stargazers vulnerable to attacks from their enemies.
Such an attack came about in the last years of the 20th century, when the forces of the Wyrm attacked and destroyed the tribe’s ancestral caerns in the Himalayas, utterly devastating the prestigious Shigalu Monastery. Distraught, the Stargazers petitioned the other Garou tribes for assistance in retaking their protectorates. The Garou, however, knew that they could not afford to send warriors into the lands of the Middle Kingdom, where they were not welcome by the resident shapechangers. With reluctance, the Garou Nations refused to help the Stargazers.
In the final months of 1999, the Stargazers received an emissary from the Emerald Courts, offering them assistance in retaking their lands provided they ally themselves with the hengeyokai and the Beast Courts. The Stargazers thought long and hard about the offer from the shapechangers of the Middle Kingdom and came to the conclusion that they should answer the call of opportunity and trust their fate to the winds of change. They accepted the offer of the Emerald Courts and tendered their resignation from the Garou Nation. Rather than force a civil war that would cost more than it was worth, the Garou Nation allowed the Stargazers to leave without (much) recrimination.
Since that time, most Stargazers have relocated to the Middle Kingdom. While a few have opted to remain in the West with their packs, all new Stargazer cubs now travel to the East to receive training in the Way of Emerald Virtue. Recently, in 2005, the Stargazer Tribe was allowed to rejoin with the Garou Nation. However, they are on a probationary status, and must prove their worth to their Sept alphas because of this.
Tribal Totem: Chimera
Advantage: A Stargazer begins the game with Meditation Ability x2 and Enigma Ability.
Drawback: Whenever a Stargazer encounters a problem or puzzle too difficult to solve, he finds it difficult to focus on anything else until he succeeds in achieving the solution. If the player fails a Mental Challenge to solve a puzzle or problem, the character becomes obsessed with finding the answer. The Storyteller should decide how this manifests itself during the game. By spending a Willpower Trait, the player may overcome this difficulty for a time. They must also start with the Flaw: Probationary Nation Member (see House Rules), and gain no bonus points for doing so.
Backgrounds: They may not purchase Allies among the Garou Nations without permission from the Storyteller and a good reason why they still maintain ties with the Sunset wolves. In addition, Stargazers may not begin play with Resources or Fetish Backgrounds since the tribe places great weight on self-reliance.
Beginning Tribal Gifts: Balance, Sense Wyrm, Surface Attunement
Wolf Form: This varies from lighter hues through striped gray to completely black. Most are lean, and nearly all radiate a perceptible aura of serenity.
Organization: Stargazers have little formal organization, unlike the hierarchical structure of most Garou tribes. Instead they rely on the mentor system, where each individual looks to a more experienced tribe member as teacher, guide, counselor and friend. Since coming to the Middle Kingdom and joining the Beast Courts, the Stargazers have put aside their camps, choosing instead to concentrate on learning the ins and outs of their new culture and social structure. While they do not make the best courtiers, Stargazers are proving their worth as advisors to the various Courts. In addition, they are in demand as members of sentai, where they serve not only as Fists, but more appropriately as Lanterns or Mirrors.
Habitat/Protectorate: The Stargazers are wanderers, traveling the world and calling no place home. They journey from caern to caern, seeking wisdom and enlightenment during their travels. They breed with humans who have also cast away the evils of society: explorers, hermits and rustics who live far removed from the world of men. Stargazers feel a special bond with the loners and seekers of human society. They protect them quietly and, if they are worthy, teach them of their insights.
The Uktena tribe is one of the two remaining “Pure Ones” tribes; they, the Wendigo and the long-vanished Croatan lived in North America for thousands of years until the invasion of the so-called Wyrmcomer tribes of Europe some 500 years ago. Despite fierce fighting by the Uktena and Wendigo to help their Kinfolk preserve a traditional way of life, the Wyrmcomers and their Kinfolk swarmed across the continent like a plague. The Wyrmcomers’ Kinfolk, called the Wyrmbringers, slaughtered and confined the Native Americans over the next few centuries until eventually Native Americans were restricted to reservations spotted across the United States and Canada.
There were two possible responses to this great change in the population of the continent: fight it to the last, or accept it and integrate with the newcomers. The Wendigo chose the former road and the Uktena the latter, especially embracing those Asians and Africans the whites brought in as slaves. In the 21st century, the Uktena is one of the most ethnically diverse tribes in the world; Uktena have Kinfolk from Vancouver to Miami, Halifax to Los Angeles and just about every place in between. The majority of Uktena come from oppressed or lower-class social groups.
In the ancient days, the Uktena were the shamans, and they have never lost this talent; indeed, it has grown as they and their Kinfolk lost power in the physical world. They have good relations with most nature spirits, and excel at creating fetishes and talens. They ate considered some of the most talented and powerful shamans and occultists in the Nation. The Uktena have an insatiable thirst for discovering ancient secrets, and once discovered, at hiding and holding on to them. Some few Uktena, called Bane Tenders, choose the difficult and possibly corrupting task of monitoring foul Banes and Wyrm-beasts to make sure they remain bound and somnolent. While such knowledge has proved useful – the Uktena are exceptionally skilled at scouting Out the presence of the Wyrm and other blight - it has come at a terrible price. Members of many tribes whisper that the Uktena have gotten too close to the secrets the Wyrm holds and that they themselves might soon walk the Black Spiral to join the forces of corruption.
The Uktena take their name from a Native American water spirit with the features of a serpent, cougar and deer, known for its love of secrets and disguising its appearance.
Tribal Totem: Uktena
Advantage: Uktena are so attuned to the hidden ways and spirits that they can peek into the Umbra from the real world using the same rules as peeking out from the Umbra.
Drawback: The Uktena have always been harvesters of secrets. An Uktena Garou hates to let secrets remain hidden away from her (though she is perfectly good at hiding them once she’s gotten them). Once the character learns that a secret lies in reach (either another person knows a secret, or the character is faced with a mystery), she will be unable to concentrate until the secret is uncovered. This will result in a one-Trait increase to the difficulty of all Static Willpower Tests the character faces, and, at the Narrator’s discretion, a similar penalty in Social Tests when not pursuing the secret.
Backgrounds: No restrictions.
Beginning Tribal Gifts: Sense Mage, Shroud, Spirit Speech
Wolf Form: The variegated background of the Uktena tribe leaves individuals’ appearance often unpredictable; most have reddish-black fur and a disturbing habit of staring intently at everything they encounter.
Organization: At the end of each season, the eldest and wisest Uktena gather for a Great Council; here they deliberate on matters of importance to the entire tribe. Since even the Great Council cannot force actions on the Uktena tribe as a whole, the group must unanimously agree on any course of action for it to take hole within the rest of the tribe. This happens very rarely; the Council consists almost entirely of elders, who are set in their ways and loathe compromise. Thus the Great Council serves primarily as a place for the tribe to share information.
Locally, smaller tribal councils, whose voices carry weight within their sept, but little outside it, control the Uktena. These councils are more likely to have youthful members than the Great Council, and their composition is not dictated from above.
Habitat/Protectorate: The Uktena possess many caerns on Native American soil, but no small proportion of their territory is in lands controlled by the United States since the native peoples were forced from it. Since the first days of the Wyrmcomers, the Uktena and their Kinfolk have bred with the oppressed members of homid society, and the tribe and its human charges can now be found from Native American reservations to urban neighborhoods to the Amazon rainforest and Pacific Islands.
In the ancient days before the Wyrmbringers and their Garou allies, the Wyrmcomers, the Wendigo tribe was one of three that tended to the humans and wolves of the Pure Lands. The Uktena tribe was known as Older Brother, the shamans; the Croatan was Middle Brother, the leaders and diplomats; and the Wendigo was Younger Brother, the warriors.
After the destruction of the Croatan, the Wendigo remained warriors, and they refused to yield in the face of the Wyrmbringers’ invasion of the Pure Lands. They fought, fell back and fought again over the course of more than a century. In the end, the Wendigo were forced to retreat to their most remote caerns and wage war from there. Decades passed before the Wendigo and the Wyrmcomers met peacefully, and tensions still run high between them and tribes like the Fianna and Get of Fenris (for obvious reasons).
The Wendigo were, and still are, a deeply traditional and spiritual tribe that holds fast to many rituals of their native blood and Garou heritage. They practice ritual purity before hunts, battles or other major undertakings, and seek aid from the spirits for many matters. They continue to seek some news about their lost brethren the Croatan.
Some hardline Wendigo believe that they can drive the Wyrmbringers from the Pure Lands or wash the Wyrm taint from the land with the Wyrmbringers’ blood. This extremist view has been gaining in popularity as frustrations build in the tribe, and some talk of an alliance with like-minded Red Talons. Most take the view that defeating the Wyrm in all its forms should take precedence over choosing a particular breed of homid to dominate the continent.
The Wendigo tribe takes its name from its item, the winter cannibal spirit of North America. Wendigo teaches its children the power of the cold, cutting wind and stealth abilities, which they use to ambush the forces of the Wyrm (and, occasionally, trespassing Wyrmcomer Garou).
Tribal Totem: Wendigo
Advantage and Drawback: The Wendigo are tied to the movement of Gaia around the sun, and as such, they have different limitations and advantages at different times of the year. They call this the Wheel of Seasons.
In Spring, as life expands and grows, a Wendigo suffers a one-Trait penalty to all Willpower Tests but gains the Physical Trait Energetic.
In Summer, the season of war, she faces a one-Trait penalty to resist frenzy but gains the Social Trait Commanding.
In Autumn, as the world slows, he faces a one-Trait penalty to the difficulty of Static Tests to change form but gains the Mental Trait Reflective.
In Winter, the Wendigo’s favored season, she gains two extra Stamina-related Traits, Tenacious and Rugged, for the purposes of soaking damage but must take one of the following Negative Traits: Callous, Dull or Witless.
Backgrounds: Wendigo may not purchase Contacts or Resources.
Beginning Tribal Gifts: Call the Breeze, Camouflage, Resist Pain
Wolf Form:** Wendigo in lupus form resemble enormous gray timber wolves; they fade out of sight in winters across northern North America.
Organization: A few Chiefs lead each sept of Wendigo – they do not always use the title “Chief,” as some prefer their own language’s equivalent - and the Chief or Chiefs are usually advised by a group of Theurges known as the Lodge of Mysteries. A Philodox is usually peacetime Chief, and an Ahroun the Chief during time of war. With the End Times so obviously upon them, some Ahrouns have begun to exert their authority outside of battle, claiming that the Garou Nation now lives in a state of war; the Philodox protest, and it remains to be seen which faction will win out.
Habitat/Protectorate: The Wendigo, like the Uktena, live among Native American tribes in the United States and Canada. Unlike the Uktena, the Wendigo have made a point of avoiding the Wyrmbringers and their offspring whenever possible. Thus, they are found primarily in the most desolate lands, hostile to humans of all stripes, as well as among Native Americans. Like the Uktena, the Wendigo are rarely seen in Europe, though rumors persist that the tribe has a presence in Siberia. The Wendigo breed exclusively - as far as they can - with Native American Kinfolk. Most are unwilling to sully their bloodlines with the taint of white men, even today. The protection of their dwindling numbers of Kin ranks of nearly equal importance with the defeat of the Wyrm among Wendigo councils.