Blood, Moon, and Totem

Werewolves are born shapeshifters, descended from bloodlines that reach back to prehistory. Most don’t know what they are until they reach maturity and undergo the First Change. At that point, they find they weren’t really human - or wolf - at all.

Three factors define the Garou: breed, auspice, and tribe. Breed is the birth form of the werewolf. Some are born to a human parent and a Garou parent; others to a wolf and a Garou. Still others are born to bloodlines of Kinfolk - people who possess werewolf blood but are not shapechangers themselves - and may not even know of their strange heritage. And some werewolves are born to Garou-Garou matings, though theirs is a difficult lot.

Auspice is the moon phase of a werewolf’s birth. The light of Luna affects them, granting them specific blessings that will govern their path in life. The brighter the birth moon, the more Rage the werewolf will feel. Those born under the full moon are the most furious of all - the warriors among a warrior people.

Tribe is a social unit as well as a family. A werewolf may come to a tribe for ideological reasons, but most are descended from a tribe’s bloodlines. A tribe defines itself by its Kin, its territory, its ideology and its tribal totem.

But while these three things can define a werewolf, a fourth bond exists - the bond of the pack. A werewolf’s packmates are like immediate family, best friends, and brothers-in-arms all at once.

A World of Spirits

Werewolves are aware of a hidden side of the World of Darkness. They interact with the spirit world, which they call the Umbra. Much of their powers are derived from this world. Garou call on spirits to teach them supernatural tricks, bind them into fetishes, or invoke them in complicated rites. But not all spirits are their allies…

The spirit world and the material world are inextricably linked. What affects one affects the other. Pollution in the physical world spreads spiritual blight in the Umbra, which in turn brings down psychic corruption on the mortals influenced by the unseen world. This dynamic is critical to both worlds, and it is the focus of the Garou’s war for the soul of Gaia.

The War

The Garou are defined as a people by their great struggle. Gaia, the soul of the world, is dying. She is wounded by the talons of a cosmological force of corruption known as the Wyrm. This colossal spirit lurks far beyond the reach of the Garou, but its influence is felt everywhere. Its minions are myriad twisted spirits of corruption and the mortals and even werewolves that have fallen under their sway.

The corruption endemic in human society - avaricious corporations, vicious murderers, zealous cults - is a symptom of the oncoming end. The Garou believe in the Apocalypse: a time in which the Wyrm’s legions will break forth in order to finally remake the blasted world fully in its image. The Apocalypse may be the end of all things. But the werewolves were created to fight against it, until the last Garou breathes one last breath.