citations missing=April 2008
The "Glass Walkers" are a fictional tribe of , or werewolves, in White Wolf's "" role-playing game, set in the
World of Darknessmultiverse. Reliable Sources are , , and
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 , but continue marching to the sound of their sythesized drums, confident that their chosen lifestyle holds the key to preserving Gaia.
There are several disputed starting points for the Glass Walkers, who have several generally accepted "origin myths". The most prevalent one is that they were originally a pack of Garou dispatched to observe humanity's doings, called the Warders of Men (alternately, the City Warders or Warders of Apes, generally just shortened to Warders). This myth claims for the tribe some role in halting the Impergium, and states that as the Warders continued to observe humanity, it contacted the spirits from whom it learnt its new technologies, and made pacts of their own with them.
There are several confirmed starting points for the proto-Glass Walkers: one in China, among city-dwelling Garou calling themselves the Boli Zouhisze, who retain that name to this day despite being commonly called "Asian Glass Walkers"; the cities of Mesopotamia; and Italy, where the tribe really seemed to catch its stride. They were deeply involved in Rome, battling both the vampires and Silver Fangs for control of the city, and remained in the cities throughout the Middle Ages. The
Renaissancewas something of a golden age for them, and it was during this period that the tribe had the first of several name changes: the Warders became the Tetrasomians.
When the New World was opened to colonization, the Tetrasomians went with them, largely the younger ones who wished to escape the growing rigidity of the elders. They settled - of course - in the cities, and participated in the Revolutionary War, on both sides. In the 19th century, with the Industrial Revolution and the penetration of less rigid modes of thought, there came a rift between the Tetrasomians in Europe and America. This rift was exacerbated by the invention of the railroad; many of the ex-Warders got involved with it, seeing it as the hallmark of a new era, and began calling themselves "Iron Riders". The wealth and influence of these Iron Riders grew, until by mid-century, with the passing of the last Tetrasomian elders, they assumed command of the tribe and lent their name to it. The Iron Riders controlled the tribe right up through the crest of the 20th century, when another faction of the tribe, called "Glass Walkers" for their habit of using the reflective surface to enter the Umbra and seek out urban spirits, became so popular in the tribe that they assumed "de facto" dominance. The name has remained static to this day.
Throughout the 20th century, four different factions, or camps, of the Glass Walkers have held the reins of the tribe. Control has shifted back and forth almost violently at times, with one almost completed shift risking, indeed, the tribe falling to the Weaver. Currently, however, leadership rests in the hands of the Random Interrupts, and their "de facto" (if reluctant) spokesperson, Elizabeth Genereader, and it is hoped by many that a period of stability and rebuilding is around the corner.... one, perhaps, that will last long enough for the tribe to be ready to face Apocalypse.
While in the beginning of the tribe, the Glass Walker were unorganized, a tribal structure emerged over the centuries. During the 20th century Glass Walker septs were organized in Houses (as described in the 1st Edition Tribe book). The four Houses were both, local and Garou Nation wide organizations. On local level one Garou or maybe a whole pack of Garou, were responsible (or felt responsible) for the given task of the House. On a global level, all members of the House shared information on their given duty and worked together, to help. The main difference between Houses and Camps is, that houses share a duty not a philosophy. The four Houses are:
* Central House - Responsible for leadership, administration 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.Each House had a Headquarters somewhere in the world and meetings of all members where held on occasions. The House of Urban Defense also invited non-Glass Walker Garou, if they did an oath to do as their mentor-to-be orders them and to keep all secrets they were told.
The Wise Guys held the reins of power during the 20th century and controlled the tribe through the Central House. All senior Wise Guys and Glass Walker sept leaders (often one and the same) belonged to this House. With the waning of the Wise Guys, the Central House became a largely defunct body, with the majority of large-scale control now resting in the hands of camp leaders and powerful elders. Currently, there are no plans for the revival of a central tribal authority.
On the local level, Glass Walker septs are, unsurprisingly, city-based, often in skyscrapers, art galleries, and financial offices. The senior most Glass Walker in a city is called the "Don" or "Lord", another holdover from the heyday of the Wise Guys. While other tribes, and many Glass Walkers, often append this title to Glass Walker sept leaders as well, other prominent camps are as likely to call their sept leaders by different titles (for example, the Random Interrupts call their sept leaders "moderators" and Corporate Wolves call theirs "chairmen" or "VPs".
The Glass Walkers, as city-based werewolves, comprise many different walks of life; it would not be unusual for a police detective, a mafioso, a hacker, and an EMT to all be Glass Walkers, and to operate out of the same sept. There are, however, sizeable factions of people who tend to do the same thing as a "day job", and these factions are large enough, and often affluent enough, to form "power blocs" in the tribe. Here are some of the more notable camps:
*"Wise Guys" - As the name suggests, Glass Walkers involved in organized crime. This camp dominated the tribe for much of the 20th century, but with American and Italian crackdowns on the Mafia, and the passings of most of the camp's leaders, the Wise Guys are currently near-defunct.
*"Corporate Wolves" - As the name suggests, Glass Walkers who work in big business. The camp with the bulk of the tribe's money and material assets, the Corporate Wolves, despite not holding dominance, are a major player within the tribe's councils.
*"Random Interrupts" - While not all Glass Walker hackers are Random Interrupts, the best of them tend to be. Thanks to Elizabeth Genereader's quick actions in saving the tribe, this camp currently rides the wave of dominance.
*"Cyber Dogs" - Once the tribe's pride and joy, today the few survivors serve as a demonstration of how the other tribes's charges of falling to the Weaver are not without merit. Originally only a single pack of Garou under a visionary alpha, these Glass Walkers implanted themselves with extensive cyber-fetishes and openly flaunted their adoration for the Weaver. Only the actions of the Random Interrupts kept them from ascending to tribal leadership and dragging them down with them.
*"Dies Ultimae" - An offshoot of the Corporate Wolves, Dies Ultimae is a powerful mercenary force, using its mercenary cover to attack Wyrm-tainted targets. This camp is unique in that Kinfolk function as near-equal members of the strike teams.
*"Urban Primitives" - Less an actual camp then a general philosophy, the Urban Primitives often eschew much of the urban trappings their cousins adore, attempting to find the wilderness in the city's landscape.
*"City Farmers" - These Garou, often regarded with amusement or contempt by their tribemates, attempt to bring the natural world into the city, creating "random Gaian explosions" of natural life throughout the city.
*"Boli Zouhisze"- Less a camp than an ethnic faction within the tribe, the Boli Zouhisze are often pegged as "Asian Glass Walkers". While this is not untrue, this is an oversimplification. The Boli Zouhisze have their own customs and history, their own Gifts (although they share the general tribal Gifts), and their own perspectives on the Apocalypse War. The Boli Zouhisze's main base is in Hong Kong, and it's not very common for them to venture beyond the Far East. They are generally allied with, but not officially considered part of, the multi-species Beast Courts of the Emerald Mother which govern the shapeshifters of Asia.
Perspectives on the other tribes
Glass Walkers tend to see the Black Furies, Bone Gnawers, Children of Gaia, Silent Striders, and Uktena as allies, if not friends. They don't hate the Silver Fangs, but see the majority of them as inbred and self-important. The Shadow Lords are not especially liked, but respected for their ability to get things done; their opinion of the Get of Fenris is similar. The Red Talons hold the Glass Walkers as mortal enemies, and the Wendigo, seeing them as a blatant reminder of the rape the Europeans - and European Garou - enacted upon their lands, are not terribly far behind. However, many Glass Walkers see the Red Talons with more pity than hatred or anger -- Ironically, both share a dwindling population of Garou due to their exclusivist breeding practices.
*"Glass Walkers Tribebook", by Emrey Barnes. Published in 1995 by White Wolf Game Studios.
*"Players Guide to the Garou", by Bjorn T. Boe, Jackie Cassada, Lisa Clark-Fleishman, Shannon Hennessey, Forrest B. Marchinton, Matt McFarland, Deena McKinney, Nicky Rea, Sean Riley, and Adam Tinsworth. Published in 2003 by White Wolf Game Studios.
*"Tribebook: Glass Walkers", by Sean Riley. Published in 2002 by White Wolf Game Studios.
*"Werewolf: The Apocalypse (Revised Edition)", by Deirdre Brooks, Brian Campbell, Harry Heckel, Heather Heckel, Forrest Marchinton, Matt McFarland, Deena McKinney, Kyle Olson, and Ethan Skemp. Published in 2000 by White Wolf Game Studios.
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