Silent Striders

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.