Back to the wordage side of things. Let’s kick things off with a preview of what the tribal spread text might look like. The advantage is that you can picture Steve Prescott’s awesome art alongside this! Also, tribal glyph and such.
I should note that this is probably a little too much word count. My first instinct is to slash out the “Character Creation” section; it’s always struck me as a little redundant to suggest that the Get of Fenris, for instance, usually have good Physical Traits and like to buy combat-related Skills. However, that is about as traditional as it gets. Rich might be able to make it fit, but we shall see.
If you were to see this cut down, what should go? If you wanted to see other things listed, what needs to go in and what’s not so vital?
The Black Furies are the living incarnation of a woman’s anger. They are the daughters of Luna-as-Artemis, the Huntress of the Moon. Their legends trace their origins back to Greece, where they were appointed defenders of the Wyld. However, wherever there are tales of women who take up arms for honor, vengeance or blood ties, the spirit of the Fury dwells.
The Furies are almost exclusively female. Any male cub of a Fury who undergoes the First Change is sent to another tribe for adoption; Pegasus, their tribal totem, will not accept male Garou. The sole exception is the male metis: Pegasus accepts these disfigured sons, perhaps out of mercy, perhaps out of a desire to ensure the Black Furies remember their own misdeeds. To make up for these losses of potential tribemates, the Furies actively recruit disaffected and angry female Garou who might otherwise fall under another tribe’s banner.
The tribe holds that women are worthy of respect, honor, sometimes even veneration. Though no Black Fury will suffer the hand of a man acting as master or tyrant, the tribe isn’t united by active misandry. Certainly some Furies will never forget or forgive. But others are willing to accept men as partners, helpmates, lovers, equals – but nothing more than equals.
Hatred claims the hearts of many Furies, but it’s not a tribal virtue. The true tribal virtues are honor, pride, the mysticism of the Wyld and the will to exact change. A Fury aspires to keep her word, to stand tall rather than bend knee, to guard and exult in the wildest places, and to fight until her dying breath to make the world a better place.
The Black Furies’ tribal rituals emphasize tradition and sisterhood. They hold private tribal moots frequently. Kuklochoros are informal moots, often where the Furies conceal their werewolf nature and invite human women to attend and learn the particulars of woman’s spirituality. Ulaka magelis are more exclusive moots, open only to the Furies themselves. These meetings involve more physically, mentally and emotionally demanding rituals, exposing the raw and bleeding heart of a wolf-woman’s oaths to Gaia.
Like other tribes, the Black Furies gather in like-minded camps internally (see p. XX). The Furies call their camps kuklos, or “circles.” Each circle answers largely to itself, although all must be held eventually accountable to Inner and Outer Calyxes, the high councils of the tribe. The Outer Calyx is the more public one; the elders who sit on this council are publicly initiated with much ceremony, and their names spread across the tribe. The Inner Calyx is more of a mystery (or a mystery cult), its members and their directives unknown to the tribe at large.
Ancient tradition and modern attitude frequently clash within the tribe, though they aren’t always at odds. Black Furies grow up aware of the many evils afflicting women around the world. Elders and cubs alike participate in struggles against modern slavery, sex trafficking, abuse and other offenses that are all too persistent. A generation gap still persists in the tribe – many of the elders are crones who, if rumors are correct, are at least a hundred years old, and with the set-in-their-ways stubbornness to prove it. Some cubs know nothing of the Wyld places, and want to focus their efforts on the Scabs where they grew up and their sisters are still suffering. But all the Furies are united in their Rage.
Appearance: Although the tribe originated in Ancient Greece, the Furies have since spread throughout the world. Modern Furies come from all ethnicities and all social strata. Those with strong Pure Breed have particularly dark fur in Crinos, Hispo and Lupus, often with white, gray or silver highlights. Pure Breed is rarer among the male metis Furies, as their fathers are inevitably of other tribes. Traditionally, the tribe has promoted an athletic ideal, and much of their art glorifies women of lean, strong build. This ideal isn’t universally reflected within the tribe, however; the demands of the war harden up many Furies, but the tribe tends to be as diverse as womanhood itself.
Kinfolk: The Black Furies are reputed to have their origins in ancient Greece, but they don’t practice much ethnic preference with their Kin. They’re prone to “adopt” the Kinfolk from other tribes’ bloodlines, specifically women who found themselves poorly treated by their relatives. They value their male Kin as well as their female relations, even if a male Kinfolk is unlikely to ever participate in any of the tribe’s inner spiritual traditions. As with other tribes, some Kin are highly valued allies who cultivate contacts in the outside world, some are beloved family, and some are little more than breeding stock; it all depends on the individual werewolves in question.
Territory: The Furies stake vicious claim to many of the last, secluded virgin places of the Wyld. Their spirituality is deeply tied to these sacred groves and islands, but necessity drives them to take territories in more human-settled lands as well. The mystical wards once protecting their tribal lands from intrusion have been fading steadily. The women they count as sisters and cousins continue to suffer. To defend the things they hold dear, the Black Furies go on the attack.
Tribal Totem: Pegasus. The great winged horse-spirit has a strong resentment of men, implying some truth to the myth of Bellerophon. The Furies tell the story of Pegasus straining against a cruel master, and her struggles echoing the fight of women to stand free and equal. Some Furies use “the bridle of Bellerophon” as a poetic metaphor for the hand of Man as it tries to master the most sacred things of the Wyld. Other totems valued by the Furies include Panther, the Muses and Medusae.
Character Creation: The Black Furies are hard to stereotype; some are athletic Amazons, others cunning mystics. Most learn how to fight early on, before or after their First Change; the sisterhood encourages even the gentlest political activist to pick up a dot or two of combat Skills. Occult and Rituals are also common expressions of the Furies’ sacred traditions.
Initial Willpower: 3
Background Restrictions: None.
Beginning Gifts: Breath of the Wyld, Man’s Skin, Heightened Senses, Sense Wyrm, Wyld Resurgence
Quote: “You dare condemn us for standing as a sisterhood? For choosing to help women first? Yes, women shouldn’t need our help. Gaia shouldn’t need Her Furies. But they do. Now stand the hell aside before I show you real pain.”
Bone Gnawers: They defend people who need them, same as we do. It’s a shame they often aren’t as courageous about it.
Children of Gaia: Trustworthy. There’s a reason males of our blood usually go to Unicorn when Pegasus won’t have them.
Fianna: It’s good to have allies who take the joy of life as seriously as the necessity of war. If they have a fault, it’s that they favor the former a little too much….
Get of Fenris: I can’t stand anyone, man or woman, who thinks being stronger means being better.
Glass Walkers: They’re examples of both why it’s important to have friends in the Scabs and why we can’t trust anyone else with the Wyld places.
Red Talons: I understand their anger, but they have just so much of it. A rabid wolf is a danger to her own pack.
Shadow Lords: It’s a good idea not to have anything a Shadow Lord wants. They don’t seem to lust after our burden very much, so we don’t have problems with them quite as often – but keep quiet about the secret grottos around them.
Silent Striders: They go almost everywhere and see almost everything. It’s easy to dismiss a wolf without a territory, but listen to them.
Silver Fangs: A dying tree with many rotten branches – and a few that are still strong and healthy. But those last are hard to find…
Stargazers: Introspection at this late hour might find the answers we’re looking for, but what if it doesn’t?
Uktena: They’ve got a good knack for including mysticism from around the world. Including some things that are better off excluded, maybe…
Wendigo: We can understand what it’s like to suffer and have Kin who suffer. Shame they see us as part of the problem, too.