Garou

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Origins

The Garou are beings of both physical strength and spiritual depth who are natural born shifters that have the ability to transform into huge, hulking wolves under the light of the full moon. Unlike the werewolves that are created by the Lycanthrope curse, Garou are not mindless predators or lunatics. In fact, they are known throughout the ages as the protectors of the natural order of life.

According to Garou oral history, it was always their duty to keep the balance in nature on behalf of the Totem Spirits they serve (think along the lines of Native-American gods). They did so by culling overgrown populaces, hunting too powerful predators that otherwise would rampage unchecked and fending off other magical creatures such as vampires and Nosferatu that overstepped their bounds.

The formation of nations and cities was the first radical change wrought on the Garou by humanity. Being a proud race, the tribes banded together to prevent themselves from being wiped out as the humans sought to settle on tribal lands. The Garou prevented this incursion by declaring a limited yet brutal war upon humanity. Garou will know this event as the Great Purge. During this time, Garou are credited with destroying large human cities, retarding the technological and scientific progress of the human race, and even imposing population caps upon the humans of any given area, killing and sometimes eating humans when they grew too numerous and became a threat to Garou in the area or to disruptive of the natural order.

Though the Great Purge dates back to the Mythic Age, well before recorded history (occurring over a period of approximately 3,000 years between 13,000 and 10,000 years ago), humanity has retained an inborn fear of the race. Humans seeing Garou in their wolf form are usually struck by a state of panic and denial that has been largely responsible for modern humanity's disbelief of the existence of the Garou. Most humans who have seen a Garou in his wolf form either have very little memory of the incident that caused it, or they rationalize it and remember it as an animal attack, or the work of a psychopathic human. Subconsciously however, the human may experience an aversion to wolves and other Candis (dogs, foxes etc) in general, or to the particular Garou they witnessed. The memory loss or rationalization of events as well as the fact that the general public is unaware of Garou existence is called the Veil (not to be confused with the mystical barrier between material and spiritual world) and the tribes will do whatever it takes to make sure the Veil is never lifted.

Lifespan

Pure-blood Garou tend to live to be anywhere from 150-200 years of age, though it is very rare for a Garou to make it to his 80th birthday due to inter-pack and inter-tribal warfare along with the more common territorial disputes. Half-blood Garou tend to live to around 90-100, similar to their human counterparts. This will all depend on which side of the half-blood is more dominant (Garou or Human), though it isn’t unheard of for a lucky half-blood to live upwards of 120 years. Since Garou are always on the look out to improve their individual rank and station they have no qualms about bashing in a few heads or taking a life. Garou as a species tend to age at a much slower rate than humans, giving them the appearance of being far younger than they actually are.

Strengths/Weaknesses

Strengths
Strength - Garou tend to be quite a bit stronger than their human counterparts when it comes to brute strength. It is a highly valued trait as any Garou that is considered weak is generally killed or run off.

Heightened Senses – As most Garou are incredibly in tune with their inner wolf, senses such as sight, hearing, and smell are greatly enhanced making them one of the ultimate predators.

Rage – All Garou have access to their Rage; a supernaturally strong anger which motivates them and pushes them beyond their natural limits. Rage allows a Garou a slight increase in speed, strength and agility as well as giving them a small resistance to some magical spells such as a stunning or binding spell. Rage is a double edged sword though and can just as easily cripple as aide a Garou. If a Garou falls too far into his rage he will essentially enter a frenzy of animalistic violence and loose all sense of friend and foe.

Healing – Garou have a natural ability to heal themselves from small to fairly severe wounds. The speed at which a wound heals depends greatly on the nature of the wound. Small wounds heal within minutes to hours; larger wounds can take up to weeks to properly heal. This ability is hindered greatly by silver.

Weaknesses
Rage – All Garou have access to their Rage; a supernaturally strong anger which motivates them and pushes them beyond their natural limits. Rage allows a Garou a slight increase in speed, strength and agility as well as giving them a small resistance to some magical spells such as a stunning or binding spell. Rage is a double edged sword though and can just as easily cripple as aide a Garou. If a Garou falls too far into his rage he will essentially enter a frenzy of animalistic violence and loose all sense of friend and foe.

Silver – There is nothing more a Garou fears more than pure silver. Silver in its purest form can kill a Garou instantly if the Garou is hit with it in a vital spot such as the heart or lungs. Not all items though are pure silver thankfully, in most cases, knives and bullets tend to be some form of mild steel or lead and just coated in silver. Depending on the amount of silver a Garou is hit with, injuries can be anything from severe sickness, to blood poisoning, to acidic like properties such as eating away at the flesh. Even touching silver objects will cause severe burns and unpleasant pain. Silver also blocks a Garou’s natural ability to heal until it has been purged from their system.

Pack Mentality – Can be seen as both strength and a weakness. Most Garou would do anything for their pack, which more often than not is the only family a Garou has. Depending on the Tribe and Pack, this family bond can be fairly strong and lead a individual Garou to do things he normally wouldn’t in order to help his pack out. The Black Spirals in particular are known to be exceptionally protective of their own, so much in so that they will kill anyone they think has a remote possibility of hurting a pack member.

Transformation

Garou transform into hulking huge beasts under the light of the full moon. In wolf form they can stand anywhere from 5'-0" at the front shoulder and upwards of 9'-0" when fully upright. They closely resemble their smaller wolf cousins though they do take on basic anthro characteristics when they move upright.

Garou can run just as well on two feet as they can on four though most prefer to stay on four. Coat color depends entirely on what tribe he comes from. The change itself is rather violent and causes the Garou an incredible amount of pain as bones break/shift and reform and skin stretches etc.

Most Garou can expect their first change at the age of 5 though it can come earlier or take longer. Generally the first change happens between the ages of 5 and 13.

The Litany

Tribes are bound by a set of laws that make up the Garou Nation and all Garou are expected to follow it or risk being exterminated. These laws have been set in place by the ruling Silver Fangs to give the warring tribes/packs common goals and to prevent excessive killing. Any Garou found to be breaking these laws will find himself dead real quick. Black Spiral Dancers follow a similar set of laws that are much darker in nature.

  • Kill anyone that is a threat to the Garou way of life - Simply put, protect your kin, protect the natural order and protect the veil.
  • Submit to those of a higher station - Respect those whose rank is higher than yours. This is key in the basic structure of pack life. The strong protect the weak and the weak serve the strong.
  • Do not eat the flesh of humans - Often humans can be found working in conjunction with some Garou tribes/packs. It is seen as bad form to eat those who could potentially further the Garou cause. They also taste bad.
  • Respect those beneath you - Alphas and Betas are to show respect to those of a lower station and in return they are to have the undying loyalty of their pack members. A pack is only as strong as its weakest member.
  • The veil shall not be lifted - The secrecy of the Garou is paramount. Any found to be bringing undue attention to the Garou Nation will be killed without question.
  • The alpha may not be challenged during times of war - Pack tactics are vital to the Garou's success against those they consider enemies, and obedience is vital to successful pack tactics. In battle, the word of the alpha is immutable law. Dissension is not tolerated. That said, Garou are opportunists at heart and it's understandable that in the heat of battle accidents can and will happen.
  • Take no action that will cause a tribe/pack harm - Any and all actions by Garou that are deemed detrimental to their tribe/pack will be killed on the spot. A tribe/pack is family and family is life.

Relations

Tribe/Pack Relations: As far as inter Tribe/pack relations go, they are tentative at best. Garou are proud creatures and will do almost whatever it takes to make sure their tribe and pack is the strongest. Fighting among packs is fairly normal and in most cases over rank or territorial disputes. However there has been occasions when a pack feels it has been wronged and whole tribes will get involved and when tribes get involved things get nasty real quick.

Garou/Species Relations: Relations between Garou and other life forms aside from humans is practically non-existent. Garou see themselves as the superior race and will not lower themselves to associate with other races or creatures unless the Garou can gain a benefit from it. They deal with humans mostly because they think they can be used to their own gain.

Mating Habits: Garou will only mate with other Garou or, on rare occasion, a human. They will however not permit themselves to breed with other species. To do such would bring the wrath of all the tribes and the offending Garou and its offspring would be ripped to shreds.


Offspring Children resulting in a paring between a human and Garou will only take on and have Garou characteristics (rage, shift, claws, enhanced strength, enhanced senses etc) if half-blood or higher. Anything less and at most the child will display and retain small canine quirks - they can not shift, access the rage, or gain anything more than just what their natural human heritage would give them.

Playable Tribes

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. Most tribes value heritage very much, so only children of Garou from the given tribe are sworn to the tribes totem spirits. The Silver Fangs, Fianna, and Get of Fenris are among those who especially value heritage; in these tribes a young Garou wouldn't be allowed the proper rites and trails to join the tribe if he wasn't 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 very 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. Not all tribes are friendly with each other.


.Black Spiral Dancers. .Get of Fenris. .Bone Gnawers. .Silent Striders.

Non-Playable (NPC for now)

.Black Furies. .Children of Gaia. .Fianna. .Glass Walkers. .Red Talons. .Shadow Lords. .Silver Fangs. .Uktena. .Wendigo. .Star Gazers. .Hakken. .Siberkah.