Garou

"The ability to sustain life on earth is shrinking
In perfect unison with rising population.
Soon, half of all species will be lost to climate change
And ecological collapse due to human activity.
Thus, we either reduce our race voluntarily
Or nature will do it for us,
And She will be fucking brutal!"

—Cradle of Filth, Suffer Our Dominion

Garou is a term used by the werewolves to identify their race and culture. The term is used nearly interchangeably with Garou Nation.

In the Middle Kingdom, the corresponding term is Langren (Wolf People) or Ookami Senshi (Wolf Soldiers).

Garou adhere to the Litany, a code which depicts the laws of the Garou Nation. The place of each individual Garou is dictated by the moon phase under which he or she is born. There are five Auspices that mandate a Garou's function within werewolf society.

Rank


Rank is a fundamental part of Garou society, and the fullest manifestation of the hierarchical nature of werewolves.

  • Rank 1 - Cliath
  • Rank 2 - Fostern
  • Rank 3 - Adren
  • Rank 4 - Athro
  • Rank 5 - Elder
  • Rank 6 - Legend

Rank measures a werewolf’s station among other Garou, and it is determined by an individual’s renown totals — though the exact requirements are different for each auspice. All Garou begin at Rank 1 and may evolve to Rank 5 with time and effort - but only the wisest and most powerful among their kind will attain Rank 6.

A werewolf fresh from its First Change has no rank at all - it is merely a pup or cub. Many such pups go through training and preparation before their Rite of Passage, though the length and quality varies depending on the tribe and individual sept.

After the ordeal of the Rite of Passage, the young werewolf has proven his or her right and worth to join the Garou Nation in their war, and so earns the first rank, that of Cliath. With this success comes a small amount of Renown.

The Curse


Frenzy isn't the only effect that Rage has on Garou, and it is not at all the worst. Other animals, especially humans, can sense the predator in a werewolf, and they shy from him. Whenever a Garou's Rage exceeds a human's Willpower, the human will avoid contact with the Garou as much as possible. This avoidance may consist of crossing the street to avoid “that weirdo” or even running in fear.

Wolves are also subject to this dread, and most natural wolves will avoid Garou whenever possible.

Garou call this phenomenon the "Curse", for it makes normal relationships with humans or wolves all but impossible. Garou cannot usually maintain families among humans or wolves, as their nature as predators makes even their own Kin uncomfortable. Only among other werewolves can the Garou find true, honest companionship — and the logical result of such relationships is prohibited by the Litany.

In Seattle


As it stands now, Seattle is dominated by five packs: three
victorious Pure packs who stand astride the city and two
Forsaken packs who struggle to mitigate the depredations of
the Pure and keep the city’s spirits in balance.

The Pure packs — which include the most influential
werewolves in the area — are:

Vision of Flame: The Vision of Flame pack is technically
based outside of Seattle, in the more socially and religiously
conservative inland areas of Bellevue, Tacoma, and Kirkland.

However, they are more than happy to lend their aid to the
other Pure packs when need be, especially if this involves
the opportunity to kill Forsaken. As its name indicates, the
Vision of Flame pack is primarily composed of Fire-Touched
Pure, though at least one of them is a mighty Predator King.

The Vision of Flame’s personal belief system is a weird mix
of Evangelical Christian and Werewolf animism. Unlike most
Fire-Touched, they are not generally interested in accepting
converts from among the Uratha; the Forsaken are too corrupt
to ever achieve grace.

Old Gold: The Old Gold pack is mostly Ivory Claws, but
following a vision from Silver Wolf the pack leader admitted a
young Predator King as well. The Old Gold pack is primarily
concerned with the human infrastructure of Seattle to make
the city more comfortable for the Pure. Old money and pure
predator aggression doesn’t go as far in this city as it does
some, but the Ivory Claws have managed to accumulate a lot
of wealth, which they use to buy off cops and politicians when
they can. They have had more luck with Seattle’s organized
crime and exert a great deal of control over that system.

Dead Moon: Every system has its outsiders. In the
system of Seattle’s Pure, the Dead Moon are the Pure who
just don’t belong: a young Ivory Claw with a grudge against
one of Old Gold’s plutocrats, a fervent pagan Fire-Touched
who can’t stand the Christian “taint” to Vision of Flame’s
spiritual practices, a brutal Predator King shamed by the
unjustified killing of one of her fellows, and several recent
Uratha converts. Dead Moon is the most active in directly and
personally persecuting the Uratha in an effort to drive the
Forsaken packs out of Seattle forever.

Seattle’s Forsaken are on the run. The Pure are closing
in, and they fear that when the time comes for a final
confrontation, they will be forced to either flee their home or
die defending it.

The Sea Wolves: Neither wolves nor humans are aquatic
creatures, and the Uratha have always looked askance at
packs that adopt an “unnatural” way of life. However, the
Sea Wolves’s very eccentricity might be what has saved them.
Seattle is a city riddled with water: Lake Washington on the
East, Puget Sound and all its meanderings, coves, and bays to
the West, and Union Bay and Portage Bay and Lake Union
right down the middle. This pack lives on a barge, owns a small
fleet of speedboats, and has dedicated themselves to balancing
the spirits of the sea. The Sea Wolves have survived because
they have such an efficient escape mechanism available to
them: they can just take to the sea and motor away.

Who’s Left: This pack takes its name from a grim joke
(“war doesn’t determine who’s right — it determines who’s
left”). They are a motley bunch of Uratha, mostly survivors
from the other Uratha packs who have been slaughtered by the
Pure, though they also count a few recent recruits among their
number. As a result, they are unusually large for a werewolf
pack — eight members — and may be on the verge of dividing
into two groups.


Are you familiar with the networking site ‘Voicebox?’
It’s one of a number of small tech startups that have popped
up in the wake of the social networking boom, trying to
get in on the action. Like so many others, it’s building its
foundations in Seattle. If it plays its cards right, it could
be the next Facebook. One of my Kinfolk relatives learned
enough about company law to follow the trail of ownership.
Eventually, much of the startup’s funding comes from
Sunburst, a software company ultimately owned by Pentex.
I was out on the West Coast in the summer of 2012
when I received a call from Broken Staff, the younger
brother of the Stargazer who mentored me. He’d learned I
was in the area and invited me to come visit him in Seattle.
Even if I’d wanted to I couldn’t deny such an invitation.
Seattle is not as rainy as pop culture suggests. Their
summers are actually rather mild and warm and the city’s
climate is pleasant at that time, as I learned first-hand. Broken
Staff, who is practically an uncle to me, was waiting for me
at Sea-Tac and we took the light rail into the city proper.

Seattle lives up to the hype of a city of the future
between the affordable mass transit, technology-oriented
companies, and Earth-friendly business concerns. The
biggest concentration of Glass Walkers in the northwest
is hard at work within various enterprises, keeping them
honest and turning what resources they can to benefit Gaia
and the Garou Nation. Garou of almost every tribe have
found Seattle palatable enough for a city and our efforts
have made sure there’s plenty of light to go with the city’s
share of darkness.
We arrived in the middle of a protest at the Uwajimaya
Village. Apparently the Uwajimaya company wanted to
expand their shopping and residential complex, leading
to opposition from locals who didn’t want to see the
neighborhood reshaped any more than it already had
been. Things grew heated because of accusations that a
manager of the complex had hacked the Voicebox accounts
of some of the protestors and presented damaging private
information that had ruined their reputations.
I was not familiar with the site and while asking a
couple of people off to the side what happened, I met a
Glass Walker blogger named Melissa Press-Pass who was
writing up the protest for her website. According to her,
the Voicebox website was likely the guilty party and if I
wanted to know more she could get me into sort of a ‘town
hall’ meeting hosted by a nearby sept. I was too intrigued
not to get involved and Broken Staff came along to find
out what was going on.
The meeting was held in Capitol Hill, an entertainment
and nightlife center of the city, at a Walker-owned coffee
house called the ‘Coast of Java.’ The crowd appeared to
be mostly Glass Walkers and Bone Gnawers with a light
sprinkling of other tribes including a surprising number of
Wendigo given the location. The crowd mostly consisted
of Garou from the Menagerie Caern in Discovery Park
and the Little Water Caern, which is located in a South
Lake Union high rise.
A Glass Walker Philodox from the Little Water Caern,
Jean Broadcast-Depth, led the meeting. She put the call out
to ask local Garou to assist in an impending investigation
into Voicebox centered on their office in South Lake Union.
The website, she explained to us, was officially focused
around bringing people together through the medium of
discussion groups much in the same way some sites do it
through common interests. This made it a natural fit for
a lot of major protest groups, and had been used as an
alternative to Facebook for a lot of event planning.
However, Jean had reason to believe that the site also
intentionally directed disruptive elements to good causes.
She suspected that Voicebox’s influence in an incident
where elements of Occupy Seattle used the ‘People’s Mic’
to interrupt their own speakers and sow discord. The
website’s security was also selectively dismal, causing some
private conversations — all the more damning out of context
— to appear on public pages while others vanish into the
electronic ether behind inscrutable ‘censorship’ filters.
Jean and her pack asked for Garou to help them get
into the Voicebox offices and see what they can do to
disrupt their efforts and retrieve information to use later.
The plan was to cause a disruption at the office so someone
could sneak in and get a look at their files. A Wendigo in
attendance asked why they just didn’t hack in. She explained
with some embarrassment that the company’s security was
not only watertight against everyone up to and including
Anonymous — unless a leak suited them — but was backed
up by unidentified spiritual assistance.
Broken Staff and I volunteered, as did most of the
Glass Walkers and Bone Gnawers in attendance and a
couple of young glory-seeking Wendigo.
A few days of preparation later, we gathered at the Little
Water Caern. As Broken Staff and I made our way towards
the target we could feel the Gauntlet thickening around us
like stepping out into high humidity. The concentration of
human businesses, many of them Internet and technologybased,
couldn’t help but feed the Weaver and thicken the
local Gauntlet.
Jean split us up into three teams. One team would cause
a commotion outside and two more would go inside where
one would cause more trouble to distract security while the
rest of us moved in to get at the files we needed. Broken
Staff was on the team outside while I was on the retrieval
team, being what one of them referred to as ‘the hitter.’
We trickled in a few at a time, pretending to be there for
the various companies in the building, while the protest
they arranged ramped up outside. About the time police
were to be called, the second team got into motion, pulling
fire alarms and committing acts of random vandalism in
a few different offices.
Employees in the building, not at all used to this
sort of carnage, ran for the exits in a near-panic. Security
guards from all over the building scrambled every which
way trying to get ahead of the vandals and we managed to
get into the Voicebox cubicle farm. We made a big show
of directing employees towards the exits while looking
around for their private files.
The place smelled, not only of faint Wyrm taint
but also of rotten food. A couple of the Walkers on the
team ducked into offices with fetish USB drives to steal
information. That left me with a Bone Gnawer Ragabash
named Grabby-Hands, so the two of us checked the corner
office that was the source of the odd smells.
A skinny woman sat at the computer, staring
dispassionately at the screen. Her hands rested on the
keyboard, unmoving, as the computer appeared to work
itself. Next to her on the desk sat four bags of O’Tolley’s
takeout, left by co-workers but untouched. She turned
and looked at us, her body oddly clean for someone in a
place like this.
Grabby feigned concern and rushed over to help her
out of the office. The woman refused to move and explained
how important it was that she be allowed to continue her
work. Her voice reminded me of the hum of an A/C unit
and Grabby’s eyes glazed over. A fog settled in my own mind.
I reflected on koans to snap myself out of it. I shook the
Gnawer’s shoulder and woke him. He jumped back, panic
in his eyes, and his body tensed for a moment.
“She did something, I can’t shift,” he gasped, backing
towards the door to yell for help.
Not being as reliant on my other forms to engage
enemies, I moved in to get her away from the computer. I
grabbed the woman and physically pulled her out of the
seat but she calmly laid both hands on me and a massive
electrical charge hit like a live wire had fallen on me. Next
thing I knew I was laying on the floor looking up at her
standing over me with a lazy, curious look.
A series of gunshots rang out from the doorway, bullets
ripping through her and splattering the wall. She staggered
and as she turned around to face one of the Glass Walkers
with us I could see tiny filaments crisscrossing the bullet
holes and weaving together over the wound. I swept her
legs out from under her and sprung to my feet. Another
Walker at her computer yanked the fetish flash drive out,
tossed it to me, and shouted for me to step sideways (since
I can get by without a mirror) and get it out of there.
I made a run for the stairs, not wanting to step across
into an empty Umbral reflection if I could help it. I
heard more commotion downstairs, presumably from the
vandalism team. Rather than wade through the chaos, I
closed my eyes, put the USB drive in my mouth, and focused
on stepping sideways. The Gauntlet was even thicker than
I’d expected and it took a few agonizing minutes to push
through to the Umbra. I shifted to Lupus in mid-air to
better handle the landing, as the building was too new
and not yet important enough yet to exist on both sides
of the Gauntlet. The flash drive, a sturdy model for just
this reason, was already held in my muzzle.
As I turned to leave the empty space I saw the
programmer appearing in the Umbra. In the distance,
Pattern Spiders skittered closer as if summoned. I didn’t
stick around to question how she was able to follow me.
I took off on all fours for the Little Water Caern,
moving at the best speed I could manage. I didn’t slow
down until I was close to the caern. I stopped and returned
to Homid form and thanked Gaia she hadn’t followed me.
All I saw were the buildings of Seattle’s Umbra and flashes
of light coming off the Weaver webs like dew caught in a
spider’s web. I slipped into the Umbral representation of
the building where someone from the caern was waiting
for me. I gave him the data and we stepped back across.
I told them what happened while I caught my breath
and they started decrypting the data. The others returned,
more or less in one piece. I took a moment to track down
Jean while we were waiting for results on the flash drives.
I asked the obvious question: “Does the Weaver have
any real stake in Voicebox?”
“No,” she said with the weary sigh of having heard this
question before. “She benefits, but no more from Voicebox
than any of those other services. Honestly, slightly less
given how much instability it causes.”
I admit I wondered if making Voicebox more stable
would be worse in the long run, then. But our goal was
finding something that could be used to bring it down
altogether so I kept any further commentary to myself. I
found a quiet spot in the corner to meditate so I don’t
know how much longer it was before Broken Staff was
gently shaking my shoulder to get my attention.
Jean and the rest of her pack explained that the prize was
a beta version of the new website, complete with new privacy
policies and security software. The new policies made it harder
to prevent online harassment, sold users’ personal information
to companies that were all known Pentex subsidiaries — the
final confirmation some needed as to Voicebox’s true masters
— and also gave the company legal loopholes to withhold
information from police in the case of child predators using
the site. Melissa started emailing contacts of hers to leak the
information and I asked Jean what that would accomplish.
“It should do a lot of damage to the company, although
I imagine they’ll find the funds to weather the storm. It
will buy us time to find ways around their defenses for the
long haul. Maybe we can find ways to exploit their ties to
the rest of Pentex.”
I nodded with sincere approval and then asked her
about the obvious interest the Weaver’s brood had taken
with the place. After a moment’s thought during which
her face registered confusion, frustration, and a hint of
defeat, she told me they’d do what they could.
Forest for the trees, cub. Forest for the trees.

ALLIANCE?
Five-Rounds-Rapid, a Glass Walker Theurge, reports in:
The programmer encountered during the raid on
the Voicebox office is colloquially called a Drone, a
human with a Weaver-spirit bound up in her much like
a fomor. They’re as hard to kill as we are, can strengthen
the local Gauntlet, and to our embarrassment can
do a lot of the same technology-tricks that we can.
Sometimes a human falls to the seductive song of the
Weaver and is ‘welcomed’ into the fold.
Incidents like the Voicebox raid reinforce
irrational fears that the Weaver and Wyrm work
together. Sometimes an employee of a technological
company that’s already a thorn in our sides will lose
himself to Weaver-song and be remade into a Drone.
It’s becoming more common now that the Wyrm’s
forces are getting more cutting-edge technology.
We’ve yet to see anything to seriously suggest that
it’s more than just coincidence at the moment.
Of course, try telling the other tribes that.

Names


Do all Garou have deed names? Does having a less-than-serious deed name carry renown implications? Only for certain tribes, perhaps?

If a Garou doesn't have a deed name, how do Garou speaking in the Garou tongue refer to, say, homid cubs who only are called "Joe Smith" or "Ayesha Simmons"? Do they gurgle out "JOH" or "EYESHUH" amid all of the wolfy noises? Or might they call Joe "the Glass Walker Full Moon boy cub" and Ayesha "granddaughter of Walks-In-Shadows"?

I'm generally curious, but I'm more specifically looking for opinions because the Glass Walker Philodox I'm playing doesn't currently have a deed name or a "Garou name" at all, and someone was wondering how they'd refer to her, or call to her, during a fight or even during a ritual done in Crinos or Lupus. She does have a nickname - "Starbucks", because she's a coffee nerd - but that's not really more easily said in wolf tongue, either. (Though I have amusing images of a lupus Garou interpreting her name as the equivalent of "Starry Deer".)

As for your character in particular, she'd most likely be called Star-Buck by more traditional Garou. But yes, all Garou should have, if not a deed name per se, some sort of more traditional cultural name… even if it's sort of a pun/joke for Glass Walkers and Bone Gnawers in many cases. :)

In my games, not only do all Garou have deed names, but they all have *multiple* names, and collect more as they get older. As an example, my favorite Fenrir lupus was called "Ice Eyes" as a pre-Change/pre-Rite cub, "Burning Cold" as a Cliath, "Hears-the-Other-Side" as a Fostern, "Calls Tigers" as an Adren, and finally, "Winter's Grief" as an Athro. And that's not even going into the possibility of earning Renown-related deed names!

Of course they only list all their names and deeds and such during very formal encounters and situations, and use the most recent or applicable or familiar name during other situations, depending on what exactly is going on. To me, this feels most compatible with their tribal, intricate way of life and their half-wolf nature. I can see how it could be a nightmare to track, though. You could just imply they have multiple names but only actually *use* one or two on screen to keep the work down.

I just ended a LARP in which the concept was that we had a sept of Garou and a Chantry of mages forced into an uneasy alliance to protect a very special Caern from falling into the wrong hands. Now, while my character was a mage (An Orphan, to be specific), I can give you some examples of some of the names that our Garou were given (Though we had a big group, so I don't remember all of their deed names)

We had a Black Fury Ahroun named Silences-The-Wyrm, a Shadow Lord Ahroun named Eye-Of-The-Storm, a Silent Strider Ragabash named Unbreaking Light, a Bone Gnawer ragabash named That's-Not-Food (his metis deformity was Pika, so he would eat anything and everything, and we kept having to say to him "That's not food" until it became his name), a Glass Walker Galliard named Rides-The-Short-Bus (Long story), a Glass Walker Ragabash named Strikes-With-Rage, a Get of Fenris Theurge named Communes-With-Yggdrasil…And I had a back-up character in case my Orphan died who was an Uktena theurge named Rising-Dawn.

Of course, now I'm having a similar problem myself…you see, in this game we just ended, my Orphan (Carmen) and the alpha of the sept, a Silver Fang prince named Ahmir, had fallen in love. And now there's going to be another game set 18 years in the future, in which my friend and I intend to play Carmen and Ahmir's children, since they had twins…and one of the twins Awakened. The other Firsted. So now, I need a garou name for my Silver Fang princess who inherited her mother's rebellious streak…you know the type. She's got pure white fur…and every time she comes back from a hunt, she's covered in mud. So if anyone has any ideas for her, I'm all ears. Thanks.

In the game I play, most of the characters have deed names based on either something that happened in their backtory or an aspect of their personality (we would actually consider Starbucks a deed name in our game). Though there are a few characters that lack a deed names and they are just refered to by whatever they happen to go by.

We haven't really put much thought in how the names would translate to Garou or Wolf tongues. We've actually considered wolf a language and if you don't know it, you don't understand it and can't speak it. We also go by the asumtion that basically anything can get translated through the Garou language in some form or another, which includes names. Haven't really thought into the details about how those names come out sounding like.

Garou names and Deednames are not the same thing!

Every Garou has a pre-change name. For a homid, this is something like "Joe Bloggs", or a nickname.

For a lupus, this is something in the lupine language of howls and sniffs and it cannot be completely expressed in any other way, much like "The Spirit with No Name" does not have a name that can be expressed outside of the lupine language. I'm trying to remember which book clarifies this principle; it might be RT: revised, or it might be PGtG. It's essentially what the wolf feels in their heart and might translate to "The way that the light dances on the water during the spring".

For a metis, it is likely to be in the Garou tongue, though may be lupine if they grew up among lupuses, and homid if they grew up among homids.

Then we have the Garou name. This is the way that the Garou refer to each other in the Garou tongue, and is usually something that has a translation in all tongues. Garou names are something given during cub training or rite of passage. A lupus might have a translation/approximation of their birth name, such as Whiteear or Swiftpaw, Howling Moon or Whispering breeze. Lupus, being straightforward, often don't see the point of adopting a new name when they're still the same person.

Many homids on the other hand will have to gain that kind of name, and it may describe a characteristic or an action they did during their rite of passage. Firespeaker, Waverider, Swift Judgement or Honeyed Tongue would all be good examples. It may be a facet of their personality or a way they wish to present themselves to the world. Roams the Forgotten Paths or Dreams the Lightened Path might be such examples. Garou have a little influence over their Garou names, and PGtG suggests that elders choose a few different ones then ask the new garou for their preference.

And then there are deed names. Deednames are additional names given to celebrate great deeds, or great misdeeds (occasionally known as Shamenames or Punishmentnames). These are given only for great things, and so most cliaths and fosterns probably wouldn't have one.

Deednames are great and glorious things, the kind of thing that is said with awe when the person passes. They are given by the elders, and most typically a galliard, so that the great deed is remembered every time the person is seen. For example, White Raven was a Garou who gave his life for his sept in a very spectacular way, and was subsequently deeded Last Winter Spirit.

The garou may choose to still use their Garou name, but they will probably be known by the deedname. I suppose a comparison would be the deedname being like a title of nobility. (e.g. A man would still be Richard to his friends, but Sir Richard if mentioned, and in the same way, White Raven might still be called White Raven by his packmates, but would always be referred to by most people as Last Winter Spirit.)

Shamenames record deeds of great embarassment, again so people don't forget. They are given by elders, there's no choice in them, and again it's usually a galliard (or a ragabash) that gives them. Whines at Battle would be an example of a shamename. The name remains until the Garou proves themself, and often requires earning deedname to do so.

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