- 1 Description of the term Tribe in the game
- 2 How the game benefits from the Tribes
- 3 Tribal Description
- 4 Tribal Alliances
- 5 References
Description of the term Tribe in the game
The werewolves in the game, calling themselves Garou, are divided into different groups, called tribes. Membership in a particular tribe is partly derived from upbringing, often by a parent or near relative, but also drawn in part from spiritual influences.
There is an implication in the background of the game that Garou souls are reborn into new bodies (in earlier editions players could even choose to give their character the ability to tap knowledge of previous lives, however this isn't part of the game any more since it latest edition and characters should instead have been able to tap into the knowledge of Ancestor spirits) and thus the soul may have a default tribe to which they belong.
Most tribes value heritage very much, so only children of Garou from the given tribe are introduced into the tribe. The Silver Fang, Fianna, and Get of Fenris are among those who especially value heritage; in these tribes a young Garou would not be allowed the proper rites and trails to join the tribe if he was not of appropriate heritage. The tribal totem is the ultimate judge of whether a particular Garou will be accepted into the tribe, although it is a rare and shameful thing to be rejected. Very rarely Garou find that their native tribe is not suited to their philosophy, and may either reject the tribes utterly, or attempt to join another tribe. The Children of Gaia and Bone Gnawers are the two tribes most open to Garou that have left their original tribe.
The Black Furies and Red Talons take a special place in this order, since they only allow special Garou among them (check their description below).
Every werewolf character belongs to one tribe. Usually the player picks a tribe during character creation. This determines other game relevant stats, like tribal gifts (magical powers) and the starting level of willpower, as well as optional aspects like tribe-specific merits and/or flaws as well as a tribal weakness (and, in the LARP variant, a tribal advantage). Since changing the tribe is extremely uncommon, the tribe chosen very much determines the characters future. In addition, most characters at least partly live up to the tribal archetypes.
The Tribes are listed below. Several tribes have joined into greater alliances. These alliances are mentioned after the tribal descriptions.
How the game benefits from the Tribes
The existence of tribes in the game adds greatly to the potential of themes that can be added to a Werewolf: The Apocalypse game. Just like the ability to play characters from different races in classic roleplaying game settings like Dungeons & Dragons, the tribes bring the potential to play werewolves from different historical and cultural backgrounds. The background and tribal descriptions, as they are presented in the various game supplementals, not only create the opportunity but in fact encourage the players and storytellers to deal in their games with more mature themes like racism, prejudices, religious fanaticism and such.
In fact, the different tribes were created in such matter, that some of them hold grudges against each other, while others are mistrusted or looked down on. But, since the game setting rules, that there are only a few Garou left, the Garou from different tribes must still work together. So, if the some players choose their characters to be from different tribes, this adds to character depth, since their cultural differences will inevitably emerge during the game. Some of the tribal dislikes and prejudices as given in the game setting:
- Silver Fang contra Shadow Lord - both tribes claim that they should lead the Garou Nation
- Red Talon contra humans (including homid Garou) - The wolf born Red Talon regard humans as evil and homid Garou as misguided
- Glass Walker contra Red Talons - Glass Walker use technology (sometimes for its own sake), while Red Talons believe that all humans and the cities they live in should be destroyed.
- Black Furies contra Get of Fenris - Furies think of Get as chauvinists.
- Bone Gnawer contra most others - Most Garou look down on Bone Gnawers and consider them beneath them.
- Shadow Lord contra most others - Shadow Lords have their own reasons for doing things that may not always benefit the other Garou.
- Wendigo contra European Garou - Wendigo dislike and/or distrust the European tribes, blaming them for the loss of land and caerns and bringing the Wyrm to North America.
- Get of Fenris contra Children of Gaia - The Get of Fenris view the Children of Gaia as peace-loving weaklings.
All tribes are in brief detailed in the Werewolf: The Apocalypse core rulebook, with additional material available in books on each specific tribes.
Black Furies Tribal Glyph: Totem: Pegasus Notable Aliases: Furies Alliances: Garou Nation Sourcebooks: Black Fury Tribebook
Black Fury Tribebook revised
The Black Furies represent the game's version of an amazon-like society as they are a tribe of avenging and warrior-like (usually) female werewolves. In modern days Furies appear all over the world. Their tribal totem is Pegasus. While childbirth is considered a sacred act among the tribe, only females and male Metis descendants of Furies are accepted. Fertile sons and most Metis are sent off to be adopted by other tribes (usually the Children of Gaia).
Furies are strongly connected to the Wyld and shun the Wyrm and the Weaver's work, including pharmaceutical care and test-tube babies, or, in other words, creations of Man that mess with Mother Nature. In their defense of Gaia, most Furies seek out violators of the land and females, in general. Contrary to stereotypes, very few Furies are adamant man-haters. The tribe is a fierce rival of the Get of Fenris, whom they view as nothing but a bunch of male chauvinists.
The older 1st Edition tribe book stated that the Furies originally held much power among early matriarchal human societies. When patriarchal societies emerged in the middle eastern region, their influence was reduced and they were driven back to Greece, what today is considered their land of origin. Furies regard patriarchal societies as being influenced by the Wyrm or Weaver to strip human leadership from female intuition.
- The Amazons of Diana - A camp which skews young in comparison to the others. Members of this camp live to battle fiercely, and have a reputation of choosing a warrior lifestyle over that of an avenger.
- The Bacchantes - Also called Maenads. This camp is the fiercest defender of the Mother, hunting down and destroying the most severe violator of Gaia's laws in overwhelmingly violent acts which are often depicted as natural disasters. Violators include physical abusers, rapists, vast polluters, etc...
- The Freebooters - Maintains a vigilant search for new Wyld places, and/or previously holy places which can be reconsecrated to serve as caerns. Members of this camp also manage to "obtain" misused fetishes to cleanse for holy use or destroy outright.
- The Moon-Daughters - Seeking to preserve Gaia through the changing times, this camp keeps closely to the modern world, embracing a New Age mentality.
- The Order of Our Merciful Mother - Oft derided by other groups, this camp centers on a balance between worshiping Gaia and loyalty to the Catholic Church. Originally created to subvert the patriarchal religion, the camp now seeks to work within humanity using the tools that are available to them.
- The Sisterhood - The network of the tribe, this camp maintains a wide range of contacts and information similar to Glass Walkers or Bone Gnawers. The camp served as a pre-Underground Railroad for Garou (and Kinfolk) during the Inquisition.
- The Temple of Artemis - A camp which skews older in comparison to the others. Made up of the most elderly and respectful Furies, this camp is also the most conservative in its doctrinal view. They are staunch allies of the Bacchantes camp, providing wisdom to the existing rage.
Black Spiral Dancers
Black Spiral Dancers Tribal Glyph: Totem: Whip-poor-will Notable Aliases: (none) Alliances: none, although some individual BSD or single packs ally themselves with Pentex. Sourcebooks: Book of the Wyrm
Book of the Wyrm 2nd Edition
The Black Spiral Dancers are a tribe of werewolves that have become corrupted by the Wyrm. They provide some of the antagonists in the game.
The first Black Spiral Dancers were from the White Howlers tribe, which originated in Scotland. Some of the Howlers were corrupted to serve the Wyrm by dancing the Black Spiral. They then forced the other Howlers to join, or killed them.
Later the term is used for all Garou who join the forces of the Wyrm. To do so, the Garou still has to perform a rite that mimics the original event to some degree. This is described as 'dancing the spiral'.
Within the Black Spiral Dancers, fallen Silver Fang Garou still bear their noble heritage and feel that they are still the born leaders. They call themselves Silver Spirals.
The Black Spiral Dancers don't honor the same virtues of the other Garou, they follow a darker set of rules and their renown is based on other character traits than that of the Garou Nation.
Bone Gnawers Tribal Glyph: Totem: Rat Notable Aliases: (none) Alliances: Garou Nation Sourcebooks: Bone Gnawer Tribebook
Bone Gnawer Tribebook revised
The Bone Gnawers, the Children of the Totem Rat, are the lowest of the Werewolf along the World of Darkness and the History. Their origins are uncertain, perhaps they descend from a "scavenger sept" of the prehistoric North Africa or perhaps they have been a collection of the desperate throughout the history of the Garou Nation. Bone Gnawers are often despised as honorless cowards; while this is true of some of the tribe some of the time, Bone Gnawers in general are devoted to the protection of the weak (the homeless, the mad, the exploited) from the corruption of the Wyrm, fighting in the core of the city with all the vicious strength of a cornered rat.
Bunyip Tribal Glyph: to be added Totem: Rainbow Serpent Notable Aliases: (none) Alliances: (extinct) Sourcebooks: Rage Across Australia
Wild West Companion
The Bunyip werewolves were knowledged in the traversing of the Umbra, and traveled through the Umbra to become the only tribe of Garou to originally inhabit Australia. Because of the isolation, the Bunyip performed various fertility rites in order to breed with the Indigenous Australians and thylacines (the marsupial/Tasmanian Wolf/Tiger) due to the lack of a wolf species in Australia. Their isolation also led to their severing of ties with the rest of the Garou Nation and alliances with the various Changing Breeds that inhabited Australia. They even made the Rainbow Serpent their tribal totem, along with other Australian fauna (kookaburra, Bunyip, kangaroo, brush-tail possum, magpie, wedge-tailed eagle, echidna, and lyrebird).
Europeans Garou who colonized Australia, killed off the Bunyip, having been fooled by the Black Spiral Dancers into mistaking them for enemies. After realising their mistake, the event became known as "War of Tears", leaving the Bunyip extinct by the 1930s.
Children of Gaia
Children of Gaia Tribal Glyph: Totem: Unicorn Notable Aliases: (none) Alliances: Garou Nation Sourcebooks: Children of Gaia Tribebook
Children of Gaia Tribebook revised
As described above the game setting sictetes, that there are dislikes and even grudges, some centuries old, among the tribes. So, in the game, the Children of Gaia represent a smoothing factor as their primal interest is joining together all of Gaia's creation to save the world and to accomplish that they need to unite all of the tribes as one. Of course the other Garou do not share this interest, some regarding friction with other tribes as their tribal tradition. Many Garou therefore consider the Children of Gaia as well-meaning but naïve tree-huggers who talk too much and do too little, but that's not how they perceive themselves and their duty. One of their practices is to teach humans better behavior to shield them against the Wyrm's corruption. Their reputation as being 'soft' is a result of this. The image of the tribe is the one thing that hinders the tribe the most. But besides their reputation, the Children are just as potent fighters as all the other Garou. Their access to a unique self-healing power especially makes them dangerous opponents. While they fight hard battles against the Wyrm's minions they also use subtle ways of combat, shielding body, mind and soul to wyrmish energies. In addition, most Children of Gaia don't see fighting duels as a suitable way to solve disputes with other Garou, so their hesitation might be perceived as cowardly, if a Child of Gaia is challenged to a duel.
All this leads to the other tribes' mixed feelings towards the Children of Gaia. Their achievements as mediators are overshadowed by their willingness to include the cast-offs from other tribes into their ranks. They indeed are the only tribe to actively seek out Metis and reformed Black Spiral Dancers to join them.
The Children of Gaia's totem is the unicorn, which represents innocence and purity, but also stands for healing, unity and chivalry.
Croatan Tribal Glyph: to be added Totem: Turtle Notable Aliases: The Middle Brother
(among tribes native to America)
Alliances: (extinct) Sourcebooks: Croatan Song
The Croatan were the Middle Brother of the Pure Lands. They were the most balanced of the Three Brother Tribes in the Americas. When the European Garou came to the Pure Lands, they were the ones that welcomed them with open arms. Because of that, they lost most of their Caerns to them. When the Eater-of-Souls came forth, they were the ones that fought it the hardest. They sacrificed themselves to Eater-of-Souls, to save the world from him, one after another leaping in its great maw. Their sacrifice however, was only a respite, as the Eater-of-Souls is becoming powerful again in the modern world. That is the key reason why the Wendigo are bitter towards the Uktena, for they believe that the Uktena did nothing to stop the Croatan's sacrifice. But Wendigo still prefer the Uktena over any other tribe of Garou.
Fianna Tribal Glyph: Totem: Stag Notable Aliases: (none) Alliances: Garou Nation Sourcebooks: Fianna Tribebook
Fianna Tribebook revised
The game authors designed the Fianna as a passionate tribe of Garou, descended from Celtic cultures. Widely known for their storytellers, bards, musicians, poets and other artistic types, the Fianna are a tribe whose love for parties, music and company is coupled with a strong sense of honor, potent ferocity, and strength in combat. The Fianna claim that the first Galliard was a Fianna and they're known for their ties to the fairy-folk (see Changeling: The Dreaming).
Every Fianna has a story to tell, their bold tales are only matched by the Silent Striders. Fianna lust for a good fight is matched by the Black Furies, whom they tend to hit on at grand moots, and Get of Fenris. Even though they share a common ancestry with the Gets, they are on bitter grounds with each other due to several conflicts the two tribes have had. The Fianna have warm relationships with the Children Of Gaia and Bone Gnawers and (mostly) obey the reign of the Silver Fangs.
While the tribe didn't originate on the British Isles, they now consider it their homeland (especially Ireland). They forced the White Howlers, who lived there before, to move into Scotland; while they overtook England, Wales and Ireland. With the first kings and queens, the Silver Fangs came to the isles to claim them their kin. Later the Get of Fenris invaded along with their Viking kinfolk (source of their bitter relationship). The isles were a relatively calm place otherwise, since they were well protected. But when the Wyrm managed to corrupt kinfolk among the local Garou and turned the White Howlers into the Black Spiral Dancers, the relative peace suddenly ended. Today Fianna still fight anyone with passion who bears wyrmish taint. Like their kinfolk, the Fianna of England and Ireland developed a grudge against each other. With the rise of the British empire, Fianna settled in America and in lesser numbers in Australia. They never settled in the British colonies in Asia, where the shapeshifter population is governed by the Beast Courts of the Emerald Mother.
Get of Fenris
Get of Fenris Tribal Glyph: File:LogoTribeGetOfFenris.png Totem: Fenris Notable Aliases: Fenrir Alliances: Garou Nation Sourcebooks: Get of Fenris Tribebook
Get of Fenris Tribebook revised
The Get of Fenris (originally and sometimes still known as the Fenrir, or "Those of Fenris") trace their roots to Germanic tribes and wolf packs of Germania and Scandinavia. They are known as fierce and unforgiving warriors. The Get of Fenris prize strength in all forms, not only of body but also of mind. They constantly train in battle, duel, engage in survival activities to hone their warrior skills. Cult of strength and endurance is so prevailing that they prize every battle-scar and sometimes engage in ritual (self)mutilation to prove themselves. Once seen as elitist or even Nazi in temperament, the Fenrir are, in truth, one of the most meritocratic; any Garou who can prove themselves strong is considered worthy by the Get, regardless of their breeding. Those who are weak are worse than chaff, best lost in failed attempts to prove their strength.
The Fenrir are infamous for the constant "testing" to which they subject the other tribes of Garou. The Fenrir use these tests to determine the fitness of the other tribes in the task of defending Gaia and her Caerns. In practice, the Fenrir are known to challenge members of other tribes to duels and to take control of caerns, by force if necessary, if the rightful claimants are unable to defend them. It is for this reason (or pretext) that they have engaged in a series of battles with the Fianna tribe and were a primary force in the war with the Uktena and Wendigo tribes and their Native-American kinfolk.
They are also notorious for being unable to compromise and prone to rage - the reason they are derided by other tribes. Also, more manipulative tribes (like the Shadow Lords) tend to think of Fenrir as of cannon fodder.
Glass Walkers Tribal Glyph: Totem: Cockroach Notable Aliases: Warders of Man (Dark Ages)
Iron Riders (Wild West)
Alliances: Garou Nation
Beast Courts of the Emerald Mother (Boli Zouhisze)
Sourcebooks: Glass Walker Tribebook
Glass Walker Tribebook revised
The Glass Walkers are the wolves of the cities, sharing that realm with the Bone Gnawers. Whereas the latter tribe holds the streets and slums as its domain, the Glass Walkers are in the thick of the financial and technological flow, fighting their battles as often with guns, computers, and bank accounts as with fang and claw. Taking the unusual totem Cockroach as their spiritual patron, the Glass Walkers find themselves semi-pariahs among their brethren for their love for the city (and, to a lesser extent, for their affinity for humanity and its technology, which some other tribes proclaim as evidence of their corruption by the Weaver), but continue marching to the sound of their synthesized drums, confident that their chosen lifestyle holds the key to preserving Gaia.
All duties that the tribe holds are divided among the four houses of the tribe. Normally each house should be represented in each city, but if there are not enough Glass Walkers around, some duties are taken over by the houses present.
- Central House - Responsible for Leadership and dealings with other septs.
- House of Rightful Justice - Responsible for the fight against the Wyrm. Often secret assassination of Wyrm minions among human population.
- House of Urban Defense - Responsible for the spiritual environment of the city and removal of Wyrm energies and influences within the city.
- House of Technological Advancement - Responsible for the search for new inventions and first contact with spirits that might emerge from new inventions.
Red Talons Tribal Glyph: Totem: Griffin Notable Aliases: Kucha Ekundu (African split-offs) Alliances: Garou Nation Sourcebooks: Red Talon Tribebook
Red Talon Tribebook revised
Red Talons are the most separatist of the Garou tribes, camping in the far wilderness far from humanity, whom they despise. Red Talon beliefs hold that man, including all human kinfolk, is a "cancer" upon the earth completely corrupted by the Wyrm, For that reason along with the belief that humans have no instincts, the tribe typically only allows lupus members, products of Garou/wolf breeding; in recent years, the tribe has begun to accept metis offspring of lupus Garou.
Red Talons were instrumental in the Impergium, the forceful control of human populations through violence, some elders known as the Winter Council are trying to reestablish the Impergium, though no one outside the Red Talons know about the Winter Council.
As stated in the Red Talon Tribe book there are three main camps within talon society.
- The Lodge of the Predator Kings: Wish to go even further today, wiping out humanity altogether.
- The Warders of the Land: Believe they cannot kill all humans and seek to maintain the status quo - i.e. keeping humans out of the wild places and killing those that enter and befoul it.
- Whelp's Compromise: See some redeeming value in humans, they see that some people are trying to help the world, but Gaia help those who despoil the land near a Whelps Compromise Talon, for they will lash out with fury that would match any Predator King.
Movement between camps can happen. As described in the tribe book, one notable elder and a member of Whelp's Compromise was quite the impassioned predator king in his youth yet giving his reason for changing camps as to be he believed it was not the humans fault, it was the fault of the Banes (Wyrm spirits) influencing humanity.
The Red Talons claim to have invented the Garou runes when their leader clawed the Silver Fang leader during the inception of the tribes, saying that the mark would be their clan name.
To the Red Talons the life of one wolf is worth more than any number of human lives. The Talons do everything they can to protect all wolves. However, because they reject their human halves, they cannot do much except kill interlopers.
Shadow Lords Tribal Glyph: Totem: Grandfather Thunder Notable Aliases: Hakken (Japanese relatives to the tribe) Alliances: Garou Nation
Beast Courts of the Emerald Mother (Hakken)
Sourcebooks: Shadow Lord Tribebook
Shadow Lord Tribebook revised
Hengeyokai (for Hakken)
The Shadow Lords are a tribe of manipulative Garou, originally of Slavic origins, but the tribe's main focus is on ability rather than race.
These black-pelted followers of Grandfather Thunder are masters of diplomacy and Machiavellian intrigue. Waiting for the right moment to strike is essential to the members of this tribe. The power-structure within the Shadow Lords is a strict hierarchy where you climb higher through means of cunning, physical prowess, and mental mastery of those around you. The Shadow Lords’ lives are a constant competition for power. Despite the appearance of "inner turmoil" they are one of the most unified tribes in the nation. They have great insights into psychology of their enemies and scrupulously exploit anyone’s weak spots if needs be. Shadow Lords respect power and patience, they condemn weakness and impetuousness. Any cub that’s not strong enough in their eyes is banished from the tribe.
To the other tribes, the Shadow Lords’ goal is simple: to push the Silver Fangs off the throne and obtain power over the Garou Nation; the Shadow Lords and the Silver Fangs have been bitter rivals ever since the ending of the Impergium. Because of this rivalry, and of the apparent descent of Gaia's favor to the Silver Fangs (each new cub has either a physical or mental deformity from inbreeding), the Shadow Lords tout the Silver Fangs as unworthy and suggest a tribe as strong as their own should rule the nation.
The other tribes are wary of them at best, but even the ones who hate them most don't question their ability to get things done.
Silent Strider Tribal Glyph: Totem: Owl Notable Aliases: (none) Alliances: Garou Nation
Sourcebooks: Silent Strider Tribebook
Silent Strider Tribebook revised
Rage Across Egypt
The Silent Striders were exiled from their homeland of Egypt by the Followers of Set, and have been roaming the world ever since. They are involved in the world of Wraith: The Oblivion and Vampire: The Masquerade more than any other werewolf tribe.
Since their exile, they have traveled the world, and their kin are now the Gypsies, better known as the Roma. They are cursed to always travel, yet yearn for a home to call their own. Many serve as messengers and couriers, traveling from caern to caern as a global information network.
Silver Fang Tribal Glyph: Totem: Falcon Notable Aliases: Fangs Alliances: Garou Nation Sourcebooks: Silverfang Tribebook
Silverfang Tribebook revised
The Silver Fangs are the traditional rulers of the Garou Nation, with literally millennia of selective breeding and heroic tradition behind them. While many of the Garou Nation's finest leaders and warriors have come from the ranks of the Silver Fangs, in recent centuries the tribe's stock has fallen dramatically among its ostensible citizenry. Centuries and centuries of inbreeding has caught up with the tribe, with madness and stubborn clinging to tradition becoming more and more common among its senior members. Also, the rise of democratic thought across the world has weakened the tribe's ability to use its royal heritage as an asset, and prompted disaffected tribes to be vocal about their disagreements and disapprovals. Still, the Silver Fangs are far from defunct, and the rise of dynamic young leaders like King Albrecht in North America and Queen Tamara Tvarivich in Russia, along with the continued patronage of its noble totem Falcon, may give the tribe a much-needed infusion of strength and purpose.
Stargazer Tribal Glyph: Totem: Chimera Notable Aliases: (none) Alliances: Garou Nation (former)
Beast Courts of the Emerald Mother
Sourcebooks: Stargazer Tribebook
Stargazer Tribebook revised
The Stargazers are named after for their tendency to seek the stars patterns to discover their path.
They are of Hindu decent, and don't sway too far from their traditions. They believe in reincarnation, a common belief among Hindus. They developed a form of martial arts, Kailindo, that is made specifically for the shifting abilities of the Garou (and possibly other shape shifters.) The Stargazers also created their own gifts to help with Kailindo techniques. The Gifts lend power, agility, and shifting ability to make Kailindo maneuvers easier.
The Stargazers are experts in the study of the heavens and philosophical matters. They are a tribe of usually absent minded Garou who strive to discover the truths of Gaia in the patterns and behavior of the stars and the planets. This frequently provoked the other tribes, because while they were fighting in the battlefields for Gaia, the Stargazers were "doing nothing useful" (as those other tribes said).
As the Apocalypse drew near, the Stargazers' numbers continued to dwindle, culminating in the Wyrm-led fall of one of their last large caerns in Tibet. This final act was a breaking point. The growing threat to their ethnic homeland, as well as the growing gulf between the Stargazers and the rest of the tribes of the Garou Nation, led all but a handful of the tribe to leave the Nation and return to the far eastern Beast Courts of the Hengeyokai.
Skindancer Tribal Glyph: to be added Totem: none (but Minotaur is willing to ally himself with Skindancers) Notable Aliases: (none) Alliances: (none, but some Skindancer share a secret caern with a sept of Uktena) Sourcebooks: WoD:Outcasts
Chaos Factor (supplement for Mage)
The Skindancers aren't a tribe in the classical sense, since they usually don't share any family ties. The Skindancers are humans who used the magical 'Rite of Sacred Rebirth' to turn themselves into Garou. The Rite is powered by the Wyrm and all Skindancers bear the taint of the Wyrm.
The first Skindancer was a human who was kin to the Children of Gaia tribe, named Samuel Haight. He was jealous of his Garou relatives and sought to gain as much power as possible. The rite was one of his tools on that journey. Following his death in Mexico in the late 1990s, Haight's "tribe" was left headless, but a few Skindancers still remain, and new ones are created every once in a while.
Later the rite was taught to other kinfolk, who also were ready to perform the necessary deeds to become Garou. So there are a few Skindancers today. Although the rite turns them into beings of the Wyrm, some of them remain loyal to Gaia - but with the taint of the Wyrm on them, they must live in hiding from other Garou.
The completion of the Rite of Sacred Rebirth requires the pelts of five Garou, taken during the same moon phase, in addition to the fat of human infants and several other repellant components. Most of the humans who are about to undergo the rite are so filled with hatred, that they kill their Garou relatives without hesitation.
While the Skindancers don't have a true tribal totem, Minotaur is a powerful spirit ally to the "Forbidden Tribe." He especially hates Black Furies and requires that his adherents attack them on sight, but, unlike most other spirits, he is willing to accept Skindancers as followers.
Uktena Tribal Glyph: Totem: Uktena Notable Aliases: The Big Brother
(among tribes native to America)
Alliances: Garou Nation Sourcebooks: Uktena Tribebook
Uktena Tribebook revised
Uktena are said to be animistic peoples from all over the world. Most are of Native American heritage, though adopted werewolves are from a variety of backgrounds. The Uktena are a tribe of mystics, shamans and arcanists; because of their close ties to the magical and knowledge of the arcane many fear that there are those among them who may be turning to the Dark Arts, and their history of having their land gradually taken from them have made some of the Uktena very bitter indeed. Their main talent lies in the sealing of Banes, and as such they may have deeper knowledge of the Wyrm than the other tribes are comfortable with.
The totem of the tribe is based on Uktena from Cherokee myths. Early artwork depicted the totem, Uktena, slightly different from myth: a giant snake with wings and antlers. Later artwork and descriptions changed from this image to that of a serpent's tail, a cougar’s head, a cougar's upper body, and antlers. Uktena was combined with the legends of Water Panther (Underwater panther) for this new hybrid beast.
Wendigo Tribal Glyph: Totem: Wendigo Notable Aliases: The Little Brother
(among tribes native to America)
Alliances: Garou Nation Sourcebooks: Wendigo Tribebook
Wendigo Tribebook revised
The Wendigo are wolves and indigenous peoples of the Arctic and Sub arctic of North America. Unlike their Brother Tribe the Uktena they have not actively begun to include other cultures outside of their traditional Kinfolk into the tribe. As a whole the Wendigo tribe carries a grudge against the rest of the Garou Nation (of which they consider themselves only nominally part) for the conquest of their caerns and protectorates during the European colonization of North America. It was this reckless time period that lead the Wendigo and Uktena to refer to non-Native Garou as Wyrmbringers. The grudge against Wyrmbringer Tribes can be expressed as mild condescension and mistrust among mainstream Wendigo to violent confrontation and guerilla warfare among the more extreme groups of the Tribe. Even before the conquest of the Pure Lands the Wendigo had a reputation as savage and vicious fighters; this has led them to have strong rivalries with the Get of Fenris tribe who have a similar reputation.
They still claim Canada and the northern United States as their homeland, and are locked in the almost hopeless struggle against the encroachment of Wasichu society and its effects. This same tribe follows the spirit of "The Great Wendigo", a mighty spirit of the winter and the wind who takes the form of a great white wolf and aids his people in their times of need. The spirit is known to be a cannibal spirit, and many Garou of the Wendigo tribe are likewise reputed by outsiders to have a temptation to eat human (or Garou) flesh.
White Howlers Tribal Glyph: Totem: Lion Notable Aliases: none (they are known as Black Spiral Dancers today) Alliances: extinct Sourcebooks: Past Lives
The White Howlers are a fallen Tribe. Their former Kinfolk were the Picts of northern Scotland. Lion, the spiritual representation of the now extinct European Cave Lion was their Totem. Today they are a changed tribe known as the Black Spiral Dancers.
The White Howlers were amongst the bravest warriors of Gaia. In their zeal to fight the Wyrm they pursued it to its lair, the Black Spiral. Once there, they were defeated by the forces of the Wyrm. The survivors were corrupted to become slaves to that creature and willingly "dance the Black Spiral", entering deeper and deeper into a state of insanity to gain enlightenment in their war against their cousins, the Garou.
The tribes that are considered part of the Garou Nation are Black Furies, Bone Gnawers, Children of Gaia, Fianna, Get of Fenris, Glass Walkers, Red Talons, Shadow Lords, Silent Striders, Silver Fangs, Uktena, and Wendigo (see above). The Stargazer formally withdrew their support from the Garou Nation around 1999. Beginning with the start of the games latest Edition (2nd revised Edition) the Stargazers are now associated with the Beast Courts of the Emerald Mother, although some Stargazers continue to live among the other Garou as members of septs or packs, just like other garou do.
The Garou Nation has no central leadership or organized structure, it is more a fundamental understanding that the members of all tribes associated, should work together to battle the Wyrm's minions. While the holy laws of the Litany provide a common ground for such a coalition, old grudges and the different philosophies of the tribes often hinder it.
The Tribes of the Garou Nation share a common hierarchic system. Based on the renown a given Garou has, he is considered to be of one of five ranks. Their ranks are called: Cliath (lowest), Fostern, Adren, Athro and Elder (highest).
Renown is divided into three aspects: Glory, Honor and Wisdom.
Since all tribes have, more or less, the same concepts of these three renown aspects, they acknowledge the ranks of Garou from other tribes and therefore have an understanding of who is equal to another.
There are some Garou, whose renown is greater than that of even an Elder. Those Garou are known by name to any Garou, since everyone has heard of least one of their deeds. Those Garou are often referred to as Legends or legendary Garou, although they are still alive. In the game mechanics these Garou are treated as if they were of rank 6.
The Wendigo tribe takes a special place within the Garou Nation, since they hold a grudge against all tribes, save the Uktena and Stargazers.
Tribes among the Beast Courts
Besides the Stargazer tribe, there are other Garou among the Beast Courts.
Hakken Tribal Glyph: Totem: Grandfather Thunder Notable Aliases: none Alliances: Beast Courts of the Emerald Mother Sourcebooks: Hengeyokai - Shapeshifters of the East
The Hakken Garou of Japan are a tribe exclusive to Asia, based in Japan. Revised Edition states, that the Hakken share the patronage of Grandfather Thunder as tribal totem and originate from him, just as do the Shadow Lords, but that there is no shared roots besides that. Their culture is very different from the Shadow Lords, as the Hakken have adopted the Samurai Codex Bushido and they generally perceive the western garou as barbarian in their ways.
There is a branch of Glass Walkers in Hong Kong known as Boli Zouhisze, which developed separately from the tribe. Since they are small in numbers and very localized they play no part in the Beast Court society in general.
Both editions of the Silver Fangs Tribebook claim the Silver Fang house Blood-Red Crest's rule over Asia and India (and Asian immigrants to Australia). However, other sources do not mention the Silver Fangs, while Hakken are explicitly included and detailed in the Hengeyokai source book (ISBN 1-56504-338-3) and Boli Zouhisze are featured prominently in the Glass Walker revised edition tribebook.
Tribes among the Ahadi
The Ahadi is a coalition that formed in Africa, after the evil ruler of the supernatural inhabitants of Africa, a werelion named Black Tooth was defeated. The Ahadi consists of many changing breeds, among them are the local Silent Striders and the Kucha Ekundu, an off-shot the Red Talon Tribe.
How Black Tooth was defeated (and killed) and by whom isn't canonised in the game world, since the developer of the game line wanted to give the individual storyteller the chance to let his troupe be responsible for freeing Africa.
Tribes among the minions of the Wyrm
For most Garou Black Spiral Dancers is a general description for all Garou that follow the ways of the Wyrm. And indeed every Garou that has succumbed to the Wyrm's power, will join the tribe eventually. Not only do Dancers force fallen Garou to do so, but joining the tribe does also provide a social surrounding and security (to some degree) to the otherwise lone werewolf.
As mentioned above, the fallen Silver Fang, consider themselves special among the Black Spiral Dancers, using the term Silver Spirals to refer to themselves.
The Skindancers (see above) also hold a special position. They are very, very few and try to keep their existence secret. They might join the Black Spiral Dancers as well or could serve the Wyrm as sole agents.
Extinct Garou Tribes
The Bunyip tribe were killed off in the late 19th Century by invading European Garou tricked by the Wyrm's minions (particularly the Black Spiral Dancers). Their vengeful spirits still dwell in the Australian Umbra. Rules for playing Bunyip may be found in the Werewolf: The Wild West supplement Wild West Companion.
During the early years of the European conquest of the New World, The Croatan, along with their kin and spirits associated to the tribe, sacrificed themselves ritually to save the world (or at least to buy more time until the Apocalypse). Their tribal totem turtle hasn't been patron to any Garou since then and their tribal homeland (an Umbral region mirroring the tribal essence) is inhabited only by flora but no fauna at all. Rules for playing Croatan appear in the Werewolf: The Apocalypse supplement Croatan Song.
The White Howlers are extinct. After the first of their tribe had fallen to the Wyrm and reappeared as Black Spiral Dancers, they forced the remaining White Howlers to join or die. In the process the tribal totem of the White Howlers, Lion, lost his place among the tribal totems and became a servant of Griffon (Red Talon tribal totem). Due to the reduced power of today's Lion, no whelp can be a White Howler, even if he is a descendant of that tribe and bred true. Rules pertaining to playing White Howlers have never been published, as the tribe has been extinct for almost two millennia. White Wolf has advised that their tribal gifts, if necessary, can best be represented with a mixture of Fianna and Ahroun gifts.
While extensive information on the White Howlers is not available, White Wolf did release a supplemental entitled Past Lives. This gives information on all of the Fallen or Extinct Tribes and Fera.
- ^ Capcom and White Wolf announce alliance at GenCon. Business Wire; August 9, 1995
- ^ The encyclopedia of vampires, werewolves, and other monsters - Page 132, Rosemary Guiley, 2004
- ^ a b c d Werewolf: The Apocalypse, page 33-34, ISBN 1-56504-365-0
- ^ Werewolf Storyteller's Handbook - FAQ Section, Page 21, ISBN 1-5586-304-4
- ^ The Complete Idiot's Guide to Werewolves, by Nathan Robert Brown, 2009
- ^ Laws of the Wild revised (Mind Eye Theater), page 36 - 61, ISBN 1-58846-501-2
- ^ a b Werewolf Storyteller's Companion - Timeline, Page 59, ISBN 1-56504-323-5
- ^ Shadow Lords (revised Edition), Page 46, ISBN 1-58846-311-7
- ^ Silver Fangs, Page 37, ISBN 1-56540-331-6
- ^ Silver Fangs (revised Edition), Page 56, ISBN 1-58846-316-8
- ^ Player's Guide to the Changing Breeds, Page 209, ISBN 1-58846-318-4
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