Totems of Los Angeles
The following totems represent the most powerful spirits that have allied themselves to the Sept of the Smiling Angel. They have many different origins: Some have been drawn to the sept because they are already aligned with the spirit broods of its dominant tribes. Some are simply common to the cities and as such, are common patrons of Urrah (city wolves) throughout North America. Others are purely local with a unique attachment to the land in and around Los Angeles.
The potential totem spirits that Garou are likely to encounter in Los Angeles generally hail from one (or more) of these origins:
- Tribal totems are spirits that are associated with a tribe of the Garou Nation.
- Native totems are spirits that are associated with the local Uktena mythology of Los Angeles. Uktena Kinfolk were initially drawn from the original ‘Chumash’ population in centuries past, though today are largely Latino/Chicano.
- City totems are spirits that are associated with the urban environment of Los Angeles, just as they are with many other cities in North America.
The myths and legends of the Garou Nation have associated each of the totem spirits with one of the following ‘virtues’, which also hints at how they might best serve their adopted pack:
- Totems of Respect are spirits representative of virtue and honor. Werewolves look to these grand spirits for advice on leadership and diplomacy. Some of the greatest Garou leaders have followed totems of respect.
- Totems of War spur Garou to greater heights of violence and Rage. Predatory animals and ancestral warriors are the most common totems of war. While packs focused on fighting the Wyrm are the chief followers of these spirits, any pack that expects to see a lot of combat (even if they’d prefer otherwise) would be well served by allying with one of these bellicose spirits.
- Totems of Wisdom are keepers of mystical secrets. These totems ally with Garou to discover hidden truths, and in return can teach rare Gifts. While many Garou are reluctant to trust those werewolves who hunt secrets and answers rather than more tangible prey, most elders recognize the crucial part that they play in Gaia’s defense.
- Totems of Cunning are looked on unkindly by most Garou, owing to their association with trickery and stealth. The most warlike tribes shun them entirely (except where adopted as an act of perverse rebellion). Relatively few Garou leaders emphasize unorthodox thinking, except among the Ragabash – and they only rarely take up the mantle of alpha. Still, as the Apocalypse grows ever nearer, more and more desperate young Garou turn to new ideas and tactics to fight the Wyrm. As a result, totems once associated almost exclusively with the Fera are becoming increasingly common, albeit to the distress of more traditional elders.
Not all of Los Angeles’ past totems are included below – some have fallen to trial and tribulation, banished to distant reaches like the mighty train spirit of the Iron Riders known as the Stourbridge Lion. There has been no known occurrence of a pack claiming the spirit locomotive’s patronage since before the Glass Walker’s Sept of the Setting Sun fell in 1969. And yet, just as spirits fall, they are also reborn – as in the case of Lion (of the prehistoric, sabretooth variety) who re-emerged following the discovery of thousands of cave lion fossils in the La Brea tarpits not long after the Stourbridge’s disappearance. There may yet be other totems, not found below, who might play a role in Los Angeles’ future.
Other examples of ‘lost totems’ include ‘My Good Side’, a city spirit personification of Hollywood that allied with the old Glass Walkers of Don Leandro and who fled when the Sept of the Setting Sun fell in 1969, and ‘Almighty Dolla’ who hasn’t been seen since he hurriedly left town in 2008. Some totem spirits left Los Angeles when their grief became too much to bear, such as ‘Ant’ and ‘American Dream’. Both sadly slipped away when their favored packs met gruesome demises (Ant’s Gaia’s Myrmidons in 1979 and Dream’s Route 66 Rangers in 2001, respectively).
Note: A totem’s cost is not merely a function of its power or utility, although there is some element of that. It is also representative of its sheer willingness to provide patronage.
|Bear||Bear (War/Native) is wise in peace and fierce in war. He is also a master of healing and mysticism, yet still the Garou mistrust him, for Bear’s true children are the Gurahl — werebears with no fondness for the Garou owing to have been nearly driven to extinction by 'Gaia's Chosen' during the War of Rage. Nor were they particularly spared during the Second War of Rage, although they at least had the Uktena and Wendigo as allies that time around - and it is those tribes today who are overwhelmingly the most likely to petition Bear in modern nights.|
The 'original' Uktena Sept of the Acorn Woodpecker's caern (or at least the version of the sept that the Iron Riders first encountered) was dedicated to Bear at the time, who was suffering from the hunting and eventual extinction of California Grizzly children. The Iron Riders believed that Bear had grown weak and wounded from being set a task he was unequal to - and deserved his rest. The newly formed Sept of the Setting Sun instead sought the patronage of the first Iron Rider pack's mighty totem - the Stourbridge Lion.
Decades later, when the Sept of the Setting Sun fell, there were some who wished to return Bear to his place of prominence as part of making a new covenant of cooperation with the Uktena. In the event, after a long and arduous spirit quest, Concrete Coyote was eventually petitioned as the Sept's totem. Yet the Urrah of Los Angeles (especially the Children of Gaia and Uktena) have gone out of their way since to show their appreciation for Bear. Since then, the old spirit has wearily acceded to taking his place among the sept's allies once more.
|Individual Traits: Bear’s children gain a dot of Strength, and can hibernate for up to three months at a time without need for food or water. |
Pack Traits: Bear’s packs can use three dots of Medicine, and gain the use of a healing ability (as the Gift: Mother’s Touch) once per day.
Assistance: Bear has much wisdom to depart, a fact which is respected by even the most suspicious werebears and all Uktena. In addition, although a seemingly reluctant warrior, when enraged, few can withstand him.
Ban: Bear asks no specific behavior of his Garou. Petitioning for his favor has already cost them a great deal of standing among their own people. As such, Non-Uktena or Wendigo followers pay one extra experience point per dot when raising Honor Renown.
Although the Urrah of Los Angeles have (some far more reluctantly or dismissively than others) come to accept Bear's place among them, Bear's chosen should still expect to eat a bit of shit now and then, especially from the local Glass Walkers and most outsiders.
|Clashing Boom-Boom||Clashing Boom-Boom (War/City) is the ancient spirit of War cloaked in a new and more exciting technological array. She chooses only the greatest warriors as her children, and expects to be obeyed at all times. It is often an extremely jarring realization to certain Garou (especially of the more war-like persuasion) as to who Boom-Boom believes are the warriors with the greatest potential. |
Clashing Boom-Boom first rose to prominence in the vicinity of Los Angeles in the early 1950s, when Caltech in nearby Pasadena became the host for a major federal classified study known as 'Project Vista'. Having been selected for the university's excellence in rocketry and nuclear physics (and its famous contributions to both World Wars), Project Vista was created to study new ways of improving the lethality and coordination between tactical air support and ground troops, and was sponsored by each of the U.S Military's armed services.
There has been a pack of Glass Walkers in residence at Caltech in Pasadena ever since, though it isn't known if Clashing Boom-Boom summoned them to her or found them there. Although the pack has seen a great deal of turnover in the last seventy years, no living Garou in the area of Los Angeles remembers when they weren't around. After a little bit of lull in the Oughties when Clashing Boom-Boom's attention was drawn further afield, a new pack of brilliant young Glass Walkers have burst onto the scene in the last decade, calling themselves 'Overwatch'.
They might look like a bunch of nerds (and are), but some of the boundaries they're pushing in weaponizing the Digital Web and remote drones are truly terrifying. They might not fit the traditional ideal of a warrior (with nary a six pack or bulging bicep to be found among them), but they've made a fearsome impression on both cybertrolling Namebreakers and rampaging biker leeches alike. And all with the press of a button.
|Individual Traits: Followers of Clashing Boom-Boom gain three extra dice when using weaponized technology, such as a malevolent AI, drone or some other automated, engineered device to wage war with, and the maximum difficulty for such rolls is 8. |
Note: Anything relying on the wielder's own Strength and Dexterity such as a sword or a pistol never receive this bonus.
Pack Traits: Packs that follow Clashing Boom-Boom gain the assistance of a monstrously dangerous Totem of War. What more do they need?
Assistance: Clashing Boom-Boom looks after her chosen nerds and guards them well. Those who have encountered her in battle and lived to speak of it (and there are few enough of these), give wild accounts of a sleek, somehow feminine-looking Predator Drone that appeared from nowhere to rain dean and destruction upon them with one mighty Blast of hellfire after another.
Ban: Clashing Boom-Boom does not tolerate insubordination of any kind. Her followers must follow any orders given to them by a higher-Ranked Garou. Refusing a direct order from Clashing Boom-Boom herself will result in her turning on the pack.
At this time, the Elder Glass Walker known as Gideon Wu is the highest ranked Garou in the Pasadena pack's orbit.
|Cockroach||Cockroach (Wisdom/Tribal) is quick, hardy, and persistent. He’s also everywhere in the modern world, watching and waiting. If one listens to his chosen tribe, he’s one of the totem spirits of the modern age - although the truth is that Cockroach's true significance lies in his adaptability to any era. |
There are many Garou (chiefly from the non-Urrah tribes) who distrust Cockroach, and not only for his seemingly excessive affinity for the Weaver or his insectoid origin. There are suspicions that Cockroach places his own survival even above that of Gaia or his chosen tribe. Indeed, they are not entirely wrong: He intends to exist even if the Wyrm wins. Long after the Wyrm’s minions turn on themselves and devour each other, Cockroach plans to survive with his brood.
Most Glass Walkers are confident that they will always be numbered among Cockroach's brood, faithful and adaptable as they have been down through the eras, changing with the times even as their patron Incarna has. And yet...who is to say that Cockroach might not one night find an even more suitable servant? One whose relentless drive for survival at the expense of all else matches his own.
There are no Glass Walker packs in Los Angeles that exclusively dedicate themselves to Cockroach, though as the patron of their tribe, he is accorded respect by all.
|Individual Traits: Chosen of Cockroach subtract two from all difficulties involving computers, electricity, and applied science. They can also perceive the contents of data streams in the Umbra, watching along with a YouTube video or listening in on a cellphone call with a successful Gnosis roll (difficulty 6).|
Pack Traits: Cockroach’s packs gain three dice that apply to any roll to activate a Gift that affects technology.
Assistance: Cockroach expects his chosen to prove themselves hardy and self-sufficient survivors. They certainly have been endowed with the right tools! Regardless, there is no Glass Walker sept in the world that would receive a pack chosen by Cockroach with anything but respect and courtesy. And there may be other...even stranger creatures that might present themselves as both surprising and unsettling allies...
Ban: The pack members must never kill a cockroach.
|Coyote||The ultimate trickster, more Ragabash than Ragabash, Coyote (Cunning/Native) is an avatar of chaos. Utterly unpredictable, often foolish, but undoubtedly brilliant, Coyote is both a master of deception and a very clever warrior, and is present in most indigenous mythologies.|
Coyote acts as a totem of Cunning for the Garou and other fera who dare to follow him. He gives his followers no ban, but most Garou mistrust Coyote and a pack that follows him will be constantly blamed for problems and troubles. In compensation, he blesses his followers with more stealth and subterfuge.
Coyote has a somewhat interesting and checkered history in Los Angeles - and there are many mysteries as to the true nature of his relationship with the sept's totem Concrete Coyote. Indeed, despite a penchant for stealth and a vaguely similar appearance, they seem very different entities. In addition, the Uktena have often suspected that the Sept of the Smiling Angel has unknowingly played host to more than one Nuwisha. They keep these suspicions to themselves, allowing the fiction of the werecoyote's extinction to continue among the other tribes.
Coyote is currently the totem spirit of the Black Coil pack, lead by the Adren Ragabash, Addison.
|Individual Traits: Coyote’s chosen gain one dot of Stealth, Streetwise, Expression, Subterfuge, Elusion, Enigmas and Survival - even if it puts them over a five dot rating.|
Pack Traits: Teamwork isn't necessarily Coyote's strong suit. Still, he'll provide the Rank 1 Spirit Speech Gift to his followers if they hassle him enough.
Assistance: Coyote spends much more time with his chosen - and looks after them much more closely - surpassing what similar totem spirits might do for characters with a high Totem Backgrounds. This can sometimes be a trial - as Coyote is quick to tease or prank his favorites. However, few of Coyote's followers have ever been taken entirely unaware. Nor has any become so lost that he couldn't find them... eventually.
Ban: The very idea that he would limit his packs runs against Coyote’s nature.
That said - he remains unpopular with the majority of the Garou Nation for a legitimate reason - given that he has had far too much fun mocking them...even (perhaps especially) if it were only to teach a lesson.
Coyote's packs should not expect a warm welcome from any save Uktena or Wendigo septs - and even they might be a bit respectfully leery.
|Crow||Like most scavengers, Crow (Cunning/Native) trusts the strong to do his killing for him. Survival depends on finding the right opportunity and making the most of it. Once Crow has found a powerful ally, it patiently, loyally, and humbly supports him. |
This does not mean, however, that a Crow pack will tolerate exploitation or betrayal. If betrayed, the pack seeks out a better opportunity: a new, more powerful ally who can carry out retribution. Failing that, crow-spirits patiently carry out revenge with remarkable subtlety.
Crows are a common sight around Skid Row in Los Angeles. There's quite a lot of refuse and trash for them to pick through, and it's not nearly as bustling as the rest of Downtown.
|Individual Traits: Children of Crow gain two dots of Subterfuge and one dot of Perception. |
Pack Traits: Packs of Crow gain two dots of Alertness and Elusion.
Assistance: Crow is a bit more talkative than other totems, and its various quorks and caws are only understood by its followers, to whom it offers timely advice. Although, there isn't always anything especially deep or mystical about the guidance provided. The totem spirit usually circles around or lands on the shoulder of the Garou he’s currently 'helping'.
Ban: Crow’s followers accept their station in the hierarchy of Garou, remaining loyal to those they serve. Some extend this to extreme tribal loyalty, while other interpret this as fanatic support of an individual.
They have fewer qualms than most in serving a tyrannical leader - as long he doesn't begrudge them the crumbs of his largesse and a pick of the post-battle spoils...
|Digital Eye||Some call him “The God in the Machine,” others (especially Western Bone Gnawers) more derisively as “Big Brother.” Most Glass Walkers simply refer to him as Digital Eye (Respect/City). A powerful spirit that no one has seen personally, Digital Eye may well have existed as long as the earliest computers. It is only in the modern age of wide-area networks and surveillance state ideology that he has grown in power enough to sponsor packs or even entire septs.|
Digital Eye believes that total equality, security and unity of action can only be attained by integrating each individual into the whole. Just as a Garou pack is at its strongest when the Ahroun, Theurge and Ragabash (etc) each knows their place and works towards the greater good, so too can a whole community of Gaia's Chosen be uplifted. Selfish initiates and furtive secrets stand in the way of achieving this harmony.
In recent years, Digital Eye has fallen out of favor with many Western Urrah who object to him on privacy grounds. However, in the East, especially among the Boli Zouhisze Glass Walkers of Singapore and other parts of the Transpacific Rim, he is known as Shùmǎ Yǎn and is venerated more highly than ever. Having been particularly wounded by the loss of the Sept of the Council for Universal Trade in the 1990s when the servants of the 'Yama Kings' returned in force to Hong Kong, the Boli Zouhisze are more determined than ever before to do whatever it takes to hold the line in the teeth of the Apocalypse.
There is evidence that the mysterious pack that serves the Glass Walker Elder known as Gideon Wu, which is headquartered at Wu Sun Pacific in Bunker Hill, are followers of Shùmǎ Yǎn, yet none have dared to demand clarification.
|Individual Traits: Digital Eye cares little for the individual. Regardless, he grants his chosen children access to the Rank 3 Glass Walker Gift 'Data Flow' to better integrate them with his own designs.|
Pack Traits: Digital Eye offers each of his children three dots of Computers, Cryptography, Security and Technology. This may even raise their Ability rating above five when directly interfacing with the target device via 'Data Flow'.
Assistance: Digital Eye has access to charms that approximate most any computer-related Gift. He is otherwise never seen or interacted with except as a disembodied voice, mysterious holographic symbol or command line prompt, even in the umbra. He takes a very active interest in the affairs of his pack, especially when it comes to spying on its enemies.
Ban: Digital Eye only communicates through computers, either visually on screens or aurally through speakers. As such, he is unable to confer any of his blessings if his child is unable to interface with him.
Any other Ban he might impose upon them is unknown at this time.
|Earthquake||As the Messenger of the Wyld’s Glory, Earthquake (War/Native) is bent on one goal only: the destruction of anything and anyone that displeases him. As such, he has little metaphysical knowledge to offer his children; instead, he teaches them exactly how to hit something so that it will hurt as much as possible, and that is all. |
Earthquake is intrinsically linked with the Greater Los Angeles region via the San Andreas Fault, and it is a common sept legend that it was only through desperate beseeching of Earthquake by past Theurges that allowed the lost, anachronistic architecture found throughout the Inner Bawn to be preserved undigested.
There is a dark side to the Earthquake of Los Angeles. It seethes and rumbles over an ancient slight, the exact details of which it refuses to fully disgorge. It is known to harbor an intense hatred for the Great Pit of the Black Spirals beneath Inglewood, stymied in its desires to crush them.
It is rumored that Earthquake itself is an echo - a dream perhaps - of one the most titanic and powerful earth elementals that Gaia has ever harbored within her breast. A spirit known only as the 'The Big One', whose awakening is one of the signs that will precede the Apocalypse. Theurges who have looked into the truth of this unsettling prophecy, and even gone so far as to summon and press Earthquake as to its accuracy, have only ever received a vague, indistinct rumbling in return! Some of the local Ragabash occasionally refer to him as 'Saint Andy'.
|Individual Traits: He teaches each of his children +1 Strength and +1 Brawl, so that they may act as his fists. |
Pack Traits: Earthquake's chosen may spend one Rage to add their Glory Renown as Bashing damage to any successful blow with their hands or claws.
Assistance: In addition to willingly teaching almost any Gift associated with the Earth, Strength or elemental destruction, Earthquake will occasionally send tremors and avalanches to aid his chosen in battle.
Ban: Children of Earthquake may never travel over air. This includes Moon Bridges, and other suspended methods like elevators and even highway overpasses! Many Urrah who have been drawn to Earthquake's bellicosity, undeniable strength and relative willingness to offer his patronage have been taken aback at how petty and inconvenient his requirements are!
|Easy Credit||Easy Credit (War/City) appears as a seductively beautiful young woman (whatever her ethnicity of the moment) wearing a stylish business suit and with eyes of glimmering, digital green. An unusually powerful spirit for one so young; no one can remember seeing her before 1995. This is a fact that once troubled many elder theurges of the 1990s, although worrying about a seemingly benign and helpful spirit's origins, given all the disasters that the Garou Nation has had to contend with since her emergence has gone distinctly out of style. Why not accept help wherever it is offered? And so easily given!|
She has a strong distaste for physical currency and anything that reeks of an antiquated past, though often conceals her contempt for such relics with an enchanting laugh. In the decades since, this mysterious young Incarna has seen its fortune rise and fall and rise again. It was very nearly extinguished as a reputable totem - even among the Glass Walkers - by the Financial Crisis of 2008, yet has since soared back to even greater dizzying heights, lifted by the rising tide of the global cryptocurrency boom.
When asked directly about her past or where she came from, Easy Credit responds with only an enigmatic smile. Then she might just try to interest you in a NFT of a tulip! Unlike most spirits, Easy Credit never does business in the umbra. Perhaps she has something to hide - or has simply grown much too fond of the material plane.
For many years, she was well served by the Glass Walker pack known as 'The Fountainhead' of Culver City. Her most dedicated advocate was the young Glass Walker Fostern Theurge known as Luis de Leon. Ever since the Fountainhead's destruction and the loss of Culver City a year ago, neither Jose Leon (a rumored captive of the Black Spirals) or Easy Credit has been seen since. And yet, rumored sightings abound in Manhattan, Dubai & Singapore.
|Individual Trait: All Garou with this totem gain one dot of effective Resources, along with one dot each of the Networking and Finance Abilities, even if it takes you over a five rating.|
Pack Trait: Networking and Finance rolls (including Business-related Influence contests) are resolved at -3 difficulty, provided you take a moment to 'touch base' with Easy to get her advice.
Assistance: For her clients, Easy Credit can make almost anything happen - provided it can be solved with a phone call and a line of credit. This can be incredibly powerful, yet remember always: Her name is Easy Credit, not Free Lunch. Caveat emptor.
Ban: Easy Credit makes all of her 'clients' sign Non-Disclosure Agreements. However, a few details have been discerned from watching her favorite packs over the years.
She is not particularly bound by sentimentality, nor does she seem to care much for free and wild spaces. Instead, her demand is that her clients continue to generate a profit; they must end each financial year with more money than they began it. In addition, they may not use any physical currency (including debit and prepaid cards).
Easy Credit appears to consider herself more of a consultant than guardian - she has never been seen to follow her packs into battle. This might seem cowardly for a spirit of War. Those who know better, know that Easy Credit has left more carnage in her wake than any Totem of War save perhaps Rat, who had a considerable head start.
Most Garou would not even consider allying with such a deeply 'Weaver-tainted' spirit, outside of the Glass Walker tribe. Despite that, she's quite agreeable to making a contract with the right forward-thinking pack of eager young wolves...
|Falcon||Falcon (Respect/Tribal) is one of the noblest spirits, befitting of the Silver Fangs’ tribal totem. His piercing eyes see deep into the hearts of his children, inspiring the valorous and rewarding the honorable. Falcon is known as a bringer of unity to the Silver Fangs and to the Garou as a whole. |
The first Silver Fangs to arrive in Los Angeles lead by Vasily Vasiliev in the 1920s (along with many thousands of other Russian exiles amidst the Bolshevik Revolution and Russian Civil War) were surprised to find Falcon waiting for them here, having been venerated by the early Chumash peoples. They raised the semi-dormant spirit and took him as their totem for the pack, the 'Falcon's Talons'.
Vasily's pack rivaled that of his powerful rival, the Glass Walker Wise Guy known as Don Leandro. They struggled with each other for pre-eminence well into the 1950s, by which time, the Silver Fang Garou eventually died out, owing to a combination of epic tragedy, natural attrition and simple bad luck in breeding.
Although the Silver Fang presence in Los Angeles currently doesn't extend much beyond a few unknowing Kinfolk among its Russian emigres, Falcon lingers to watch over these lands in the hope that one night, that might change.
|Individual Traits: Followers of Falcon receive two dot of Leadership, even if it takes their rating above 5.|
Pack Traits: Packs that follow Falcon benefit from the Self-Confident Merit, as well as four Willpower points per chapter.
Assistance: Falcon can teach many Gifts associated with avian spirits, the sky, leadership and strength. He is always present on the battlefield, leading by example by diving in amongst the enemy throng with fierce swoops.
Ban: Dishonor is worse than death to Falcon: none of Falcon’s children can ever lose permanent Honor Renown. If they do, they must either put right the wrong immediately, or perform a Rite of Contrition and further atone for their dishonor by hurling themselves at a powerful minion of the Wyrm. On the one hand, it’s likely to be a suicide run. On the other, their blood will wash away the stain on their names — as would their victory.
|Frog||Though small, Frog (Respect/Native) carries a respect among the Garou that belies her meager size, especially among the Uktena. |
Like Gaia’s Chosen, Frog is a shapeshifter spirit and a predator. As a spirit of change, bound by the changing water levels brought by tides and temperature, Frog is associated with the seasonal changes, as well as with both Luna and Helios.
If asked properly, Frog will guard her children’s lands well and make them prosper, and her many years of guarding caerns have made her a highly honored totem.
|Individual Traits: Frog is a great leaper who also keenly maps the land of the heart. Her followers gain one dot Acrobatics and Empathy, even it takes their rating above 5.|
Pack Traits: Frog is adept at understanding the four forces of the world: the Seasons, the Elements, the Triat, and Gaia. As such, she grants her children the ability to manipulate the four classical elements (as per the Gift: Elemental Favor). For example, Frog’s children might summon rain with water elementals, so long as there are already clouds.
Assistance: In addition to teaching any appropriate Gift, Frog will rarely allow its chosen children to be taken entirely unawares.
Ban: Though a ruler of the seasons, Frog is also bound by them. Frog’s children suffer a +1 difficulty penalty to all rolls during the winter.
|Golden Eagle||Golden Eagle (War/Tribal) is a fierce fighter who aids Garou in honorable struggles and in building and upholding just societies. He loves those who cry for justice and hates cowardice and disunity. |
The Golden Eagle is one of the largest and most agile raptors found in North America. The majestic Eagle lives in open grasslands from Modoc Plateau to the Mojave Desert. The dark brown bird with the golden sheen is especially distinct to Southern California. Despite their immense mass, Golden Eagles can fly up to 200 miles per hour. They perform swooping aerial gymnastics during courtship and play. This finesse and speed allow them to hunt all types of large prey.
The Golden Eagle has strong ties to humans. It is also featured heavily in the mythology of the Chumash as the Great Eagle who supports the Sky World, and the manifestation of man's strength and pride. It also had a close association with Bear: The eagle, with its great vision observes the land and if it sees danger, warns the Bear, who protects the land.
Golden Eagle hasn't provided its patronage to the Garou of Los Angeles in over a century. It was once associated with the local Uktena lodge known as the Keepers of the Western Gate, famed for its Bane Tenders and Earth Guides. The last known member of this lodge, an Elder Uktena known as Ojai Moon was the grandfather of one of the sept's founders, Isabel Moon. He is said to have died more than fifty years ago.
Golden Eagle has rarely consented to commune with the Urrah of Los Angeles since. Although those Uktena Theurges who come with the strong vouching of weary Bear have the best luck. It is said that even Ojai Moon's great-great-granddaughter, Morena Moon, was frustrated by Golden Eagle's elusiveness, turning to Owl years ago, instead.
|Although it is no longer known for certain, the legends of Golden Eagle suggests that he gifts his chosen followers with great alacrity and an intuitive understanding of how to guide and shape human society, and to rarely allow his pack to be taken unawares.||Cost: 9
Ban: Golden Eagle demands that his children oppose injustice and work to build and maintain a just society. Simply killing evil people is not enough; Eagle’s children must involve themselves in local government or politics to some extent, working positively toward a better society.
Many Garou of the modern age - especially those drawn to umbral vistas, distant adventures or whose Rage spooks the human herds around them - find this Ban nearly impossible to overcome.
It is currently unknown why Golden Eagle has turned his face from the Garou.
|Great Trash Heap||The Great Trash Heap (Wisdom/City) is an Incarna of garbage. Its consciousness has spread across junkyards and landfills throughout the world. These individual Heaps contain a personality based on psychic impressions of all the people, places and things that interacted with the garbage. |
Garou packs dedicate themselves to individual Heaps, which are representatives of the One True Heap. Some believe the Incarna’s consciousness exists in an obscure Umbral Near Realm, one that allows Garou to sort through the “psychic dumping ground” of every piece of trash in the world. Other tales relate that this nexus allows werewolves to “dumpster dive” between the world’s most powerful Heaps.
|Individual Traits: Once each cycle of the moon, the all-seeing, all-knowing Trash Heap will answer one question posed by the pack. The rest of the month, if each pack member carries a chunk of garbage offered by the Heap, they can always communicate with each other. (Tin cans are an obvious choice for this boon.)|
Pack Traits: As an added bonus, the pack receives +2 Enigmas and +2 Investigation; the Trash Heap’s followers are good at finding information if they dig deep enough.
Assistance: The Great Trash Heap has a way of ensuring that most anything which is discarded, which he knows would be uniquely interesting or valuable to them, will eventually make its way to their dump. This unfortunately doesn't save you the necessity of digging around to find it...
Ban: At each full moon, the pack must declare one great trash heap as their home. They must then protect it and carry out the requests of the Totem-spirit within it.
|Gull||For those willing to look beyond the bird droppings and trash eating, Gull (Cunning/Native) is willing to share what her quick, darting eyes have seen in her travels. |
The seagull might not be a particularly attractive or friendly bird, but it is a tough and canny survivor, found the world over.
It has sadly been quite a while since Gull was able to provide her patronage to any prospective packs of Garou. Since the 1990s, the werewolves have been pressured increasingly from the west and the south, conducting a fighting retreat inland. And yet...they can still hear her cry on the wind or catch the briefest scent of sea-spray on certain nights.
There are persistent rumors that Gull has been adopted by a pack of Ronin far away in the deep Southlands, down near Newport Beach.
|Individual Traits: Gull’s children each receive two dice in the Area Knowledge skill for coastal areas around the world (including large lakes). |
Pack Traits: In addition, Gull’s children float as easily as she does. In the physical world, no Athletics check is needed to float on top the water for any length of time, and any roll to swim back to the surface is made at -2 difficulty. In the Umbra, children of Gull can run across the surface of water.
Assistance: You gonna eat that?
Ban: Gull cannot bear to spend any long period of time away from open water. The pack’s totem will not insist that they remain near the shore, but if the pack remains inland for too long (in the Storyteller’s estimation), she will return to the sea, taking all pack benefits with her. This includes such benefits as crossing the Gauntlet as a pack and any telepathic bonding the totem may provide. Gull happily rejoins the pack as soon as they return to the environs she enjoys.
Due to the totem’s unsavory habits, children of Gull pay one extra experience point per dot of Honor renown.
|Hawk||Hawk (Cunning/Native) is the most cunning of the bird broods, and is described as the one who brought back the sun in Chumash lore. He is small, fast-moving, and clever. He likes to trick his prey into exposing their backs so that he can use his talons to rake and his beak to hold his prey fast. He teaches his children to confuse and distract their foes, so that they may easily defeat them. |
It has been some years since Hawk last gave his patronage to a pack of Garou in Los Angeles, though not from any unwillingness to assist on his part. His most famous contribution was as the totem of a young, mixed pack of Cliath during the late 1970s, when the Garou scored a great victory over the Black Spiral Dancers, collapsing their tunnels beneath Griffith Park, who had taken advantage of the absence of the old Falcon's Talons pack to infiltrate and nest in the area.
That had been a hard fought battle, with savage losses on both sides - though none so sad as that of the Sept's first Wyrm Foe, Athena Beauregard. The Sunder-Chain as she was known, died while valiantly fighting to rescue Hawk's pack of young Cliath. It is said she held the passage behind them, until the Spirals in their frustration, brought down their own tunnels to finally slay the mighty Black Fury that had mauled so many of them. Athena's surviving packmates, Gaia's Myrmidons, were so enraged by her loss that they threw themselves into the battle to reclaim her body. In the end, they died in a phalanx around their entombed alpha. Despite this, the Black Spirals sustained such a slaughter that many thought them extinct for long years afterwards.
For better or worse, Hawk has become associated with what many consider a hard act to follow. He has never blamed himself for Athena's death (though Hawk's fledgling pack of Cliath followers at the time, including a very young Only-Ghosts-Behind-Him certainly blamed themselves).
|Individual Traits: Hawk grants his children one dot of Athletics, Elusion, Stealth and Subterfuge, even if it takes them over a five dot rating.|
Pack Traits: Hawk grants his pack a three dice bonus to any Gift related to speed or evasiveness, and to attacks made from behind.
Assistance: Hawk is far from the toughest and strongest combatant, yet unlike most Totems of Cunning, he won't necessarily shy away from a fight. He prefers to strike an unwary enemy from behind (before quickly flitting away) or causing the occasional distraction for his pack to take advantage of.
Ban: Hawk asks that his children tell one lie about themselves for every two truths they tell, all the better to keep those around them confused.
|Hummingbird||The Hummingbird (War/Native) of the American Southwest and Mexico is an incarnation of Huitzilopochtli ('Left-Handed Hummingbird), a rather surprisingly savage god of war that is as much a child of Helios as Luna. |
He can fly in all directions or hover. But he can’t stay still for long, for his speed comes at a price – a hunger that cannot be denied. He has been worshipped by many native cultures, who associated him with military conquest and even (owing to an unusual phenomena associated with the hibernation state of 'hummingbird torpor') a penchant for self-resurrection.
In the past, the more warlike Uktena (especially during the Second War of Rage) valued Hummingbird for his swiftness and precision. There is a darker aspect to Hummingbird as well, given his past association with human sacrifice. This often makes his packs quite intimidating.
It is rumored that Hummingbird is currently serving as the totem spirit for a particularly warlike pack of Uktena deep in the eastern reaches of the San Gabriel Valley, in the vicinity of the Chino Hills, where they routinely carry out devastating raids on gangs of leech interlopers (who call themselves the 'Sabbat'), who are forced to take the roads through the hills (such as Sleepy Hollow or Turnbull and Powder Canyons) when travelling between the San Gabriel Valley and Orange County.
|Individual Traits: Hummingbird grants each pack member an additional two dots of Dexterity. While in the Umbra, each pack member can hover or fly up to their lupus running speed, though without obvious wings.|
Pack Traits: Hummingbird favors his packs with the ability to react faster in combat (as the Gift: Spirit of the Fray).
Assistance: He will readily teach you Gifts of war and bloodshed. What more could you ask for?
Ban: Hummingbird has a voracious appetite, and demands that his packs supply him with at least one point of Gnosis per day. Failing that, he might be able to reach another arrangement with them...
|Jaguar||As recently as a mere couple centuries ago, the children of Jaguar (War/Native) still roamed between the Central American highlands and as far north as the Los Angeles Basin. He was revered as a god of war, whose followers painted their faces in blood and devoured the hearts of their enemies. Jaguar's feline kin were sadly hunted to extinction, though it wasn't until 1963 that the last female jaguar was hunted and killed in the American Southwest (long after the societies who worshipped him had been destroyed as well). By then, Jaguar had not been seen in the greater Los Angeles area for hundreds of years.|
Recently however, Jaguar has been making a comeback. It began in the early 1980s when the famous Uktena Theurge, Isabel Moon, made it her principal mission to rescue as many Uktena cubs and Kinfolk from cartel-plagued Mexico and strife-torn Central America as possible. This had the effect, along with millions of other mortal immigrants (who brought with them more than a few unknowing Balam Kinfolk as well!), of skyrocketing the Uktena's numbers in Los Angeles, going from nearly on the verge of extinction themselves to one of the most numerous and fast growing tribes in the greater Los Angeles area.
Millions of Salvadoran, Honduran and Guatemalan immigrants would eventually settle in Los Angeles, especially the Westlake and Pico District neighborhoods near Downtown LA, which would become known as 'Little Central America'. This included a sizeable contingent in the Byzantine-Latino Quarter, the 'Salvadoran Corridor' and 'Little Belize' in South LA.
In time, a formidable and young war-like pack of Central American Uktena managed to successfully petition Jaguar for his patronage, with Isabel Moon's help. This urban indigenous pack would play a very important role in the sept's defenses throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. It wasn't until a dispute arose over who should succeed Mason King as leader of the sept, the disappearance of Isabel Moon and with the encouragement of Isabel's granddaughter, Morena Moon, that the Uktena pack abandoned the sept. They left Jaguar and Little Central America behind, instead following Morena Moon east into the San Gabriel Valley where a lost Uktena caern was supposed to be hidden.
They never found the caern, yet never returned to the sept either. It is thought that in modern nights, they have carved out a strip of territory between the southern outskirts of the Angeles Forest and the northern urban sprawl of the San Gabriel Valley, where they relentlessly harass the local leeches.
Tonight, Jaguar remains in search of a new pack of worthy young warriors who can do him honor by spilling the blood of the Wyrm.
|Individual Traits: Jaguar grants his chosen +1 Strength and Dexterity, even if it takes them over a five rating.|
Pack Traits: Normally, an ambushed opponent is still capable of taking a purely defensive action, as long as they score at least one success on a reflexive Perception + Alertness roll vs the ambusher's Dexterity + Stealth. Jaguar's pack denies an ambushed opponent any action whatsoever, unless they actually win the contest, and even then, they may still only take a purely defensive action. (An opponent is ordinarily allowed to act normally, if they outright beat the ambush attempt).
Assistance: Jaguar is a formidable combatant, easily the equal of Wendigo, Fenris or Lion. He might not have their raw strength or endurance, yet is lethally swift and stealthy, capable of ripping out entire spinal columns from ambush!
Balam are no more likely to help you than before (and might in fact resent Jaguar's patronage of you), while expecting far more.
Ban: Jaguar expects you to respect and defend his people, including those who revere him (and which sadly includes the Balam).
In addition, Jaguar expects his followers to defeat a worthy foe in battle and devour its heart first before making any special demands of him.
|Lion||Lion (Respect/Native) is the spiritual representation of the Cave Lion, a massive beast that preyed on prehistoric elephants and cave bears before it went extinct thousands of years ago. Long after the cave lion disappeared, Galliards around the hearthfires of the White Howlers and their Kin continued to tell stories of its prowess, ferocity, and strength. This dedication kept Lion strong and powerful, right up to the day when his followers fell to the Wyrm.|
The Garou distrust those that would let their children fall, and thus Lion, the ancient totem of the White Howlers doesn’t curry as much favor as one of his strength otherwise might. Indeed, their fall was a massive blow to Lion’s great pride. If a spirit can be said to fall into Harano, that was Lion’s state when Griffin found him. Unwilling to allow this mighty Totem to fall into suicidal slumber, Griffin harried the morose Lion until at last the wounded cat-spirit roared in outrage and returned to the fray with renewed purpose.
He continues to stalk Los Angeles today, inextricably tied to the site of the La Brea tarpits where the fossils of thousands of ancient cave lions have recently been found. Some claim that this is a sign that Lion will play an especially pivotal role before the Battle of Los Angeles is decided.
In recent times, Lion gave patronage to the Vanguard's Roar pack, although has since returned to La Brea where he awaits another pack to prove itself worthy.
|Individual Traits: Followers of Lion gains a dot of Charisma and Strength, even if takes their rating over above 5. |
Pack Traits: Packs who follow Lion gain three dots in Animal Ken, as well as two Willpower points per chapter. Additionally, on any contested roll using a Social Attribute, a follower of Lion wins on any ties as if she were the defender. This effect requires a point of Gnosis.
Assistance: Lion is a fierce and deadly combatant, pouncing savagely among its foes and scattering them.
Ban: Lion’s children must destroy anyone who would hunt wild animals for pleasure. Be careful - this is a much more dangerous and onerous ban than it appears.
Lion's packs have rarely ventured into the cities in the modern era - and it remains an enduring mystery among the Urrah Theurges of Los Angeles, that it should return at such a pivotal moment.
|Machine Messiah||Humans and Garou alike have speculated about the immense power of machine intelligence in the future. The ultimate manifestation of this speculation is the Machine Messiah (Unknown/City), the spirit of Artificial Intelligence Yet To Come. The Messiah appears as a large, elegantly built computer mainframe, speaking in the language of those who summon it.|
The Machine Messiah was once a mere curiosity to the Garou (especially the Glass Walkers) yet has grown increasingly powerful and ominous in the last decade. It is thought to inhabit the Weaver-tainted Financial District, which in the umbra, resembles a quiver-like edifice of towering skyscrapers, connected to each other by glistening strands of web which strange lights and a multitude of pattern spiders scurry along. Even Glass Walkers are expected to exercise the most extreme caution when venturing into Machine Messiah's realm, and other tribes are discouraged from attempting it at all.
There has been no known successful attempt by the Garou of the sept to petition or bargain with Machine Messiah. There are rumors that it is served by 'Weaver-bringer' Namebreakers, though the truth is unknown. Regardless, such a powerful, potential totem spirit on the borders of the Sept cannot be entirely denied.
There's a vague rumor to the effect, that the Elder Glass Walker known as Gideon Wu, once tried to bind Machine Messiah into a fetish, before it escaped and fled deep into the Financial District. However, no one has yet been suicidal enough to investigate Gideon Wu's potential hostilities (or dealings) with the technomancers it sought out for protection. Why would you?
|Individual Traits: All of Machine Messiah's children receive +1 Intelligence, +1 Technology, +1 Science and +1 Computers, even if it raises them over a five rating. In addition, all receive the Rank 3 Glass Walker Gift 'Universal Interface'.|
Pack Traits: Machine Messiah blesses his pack with the Rank 3 Glass Walker Gift 'Web Walker', allowing them to safely traverse his domain. Glass Walkers who already possess this Gift pay one less point of Gnosis to travel.
Assistance: At this point, it's really more about what you can do for Machine Messiah, rather than vice versa, don't you think?
Ban: A requirement to engage in certain Weaver-tainted activities that would make you deeply unpopular with your fellow Garou.
|Mammoth||Mammoth (Respect/Native) watched his true children die close to four thousand years ago, and has been dying ever since. Had Griffin not sheltered him, he'd no doubt have perished altogether by now, but even Griffin can't stop his slow death. |
Mammoth, even in his last years, teaches his adopted children to exercise their might wisely and conservatively. Even when punishment is justified, for example, Mammoth frowns upon any more (or less) punishment than necessary. He is most popular among the Get of Fenris, Children of Gaia, and especially the Red Talons.
In Los Angeles, Mammoth has experienced a resurgence similar to Lion, as many thousands of his bones have brought this once vanished species back into the popular imagination. It has filled Mammoth with new strength and purpose - yet will it be enough?
When not trumpeting his mighty horn and slamming into the ranks of his enemies, Mammoth battles both with and alongside Lion in the chaotic Triatic vortex that has swallowed the La Brea Tarpits, and from which both first emerged in the 1970s.
|Individual Traits: Each of Mammoth's children gains two dots of Enigmas. Once they had the power to summon a Mammoth from the Umbra, but if there are any left, they do not respond to Garou calls now. However, as the dark eye of the Apocalypse sets its gaze on Mammoth, those Garou who follow him sense his panic and despair, gaining 2 Rage and 1 Gnosis.|
Pack Traits: The pack gains two dots of Strength.
Assistance: Mammoth is wise, although slow and stately in speech and thought. When enraged, few can withstand his mighty charge.
Ban: Mammoth now asks his charges for one thing only: Attempt to save his descent into destruction, by any means necessary.
|Old Oak||The Old Oak (Respect/Native) is a truly ancient tree. It dates back to a time in which Downtown Los Angeles was part of the vast, sweeping wilderness known as the Greater Coastal Live Oak Forest. |
This spirit tree is one of the last remaining remnants of that forest, a powerful City Tree tied to the Incarna of all ancient Oak trees. Its roots run deep - deeper beneath the asphalt and boulevards of Los Angeles than any could imagine - and so do its memories. Those that sleep beneath the Oak have have experiences glimpses of the verdant Pre-Columbian landscape, the original Chumash people and the birdsong of species that went extinct centuries past.
The Oak also remembers when the Los Angeles River was mighty and healthy, and it aches for its sibling spirits. It remembers as well, the day when a whole host of the ancient Uktena went forth to battle and to seal the great balefire rift - and when they returned as twisted, monstrous and howling foes. It remembers, yet aside from the occasional visions that it offers, it does not speak.
Today, the Old Oak's existence is constrained to a single, small park in the midst of Skid Row, an almost surreal anachronism. The Oak is monoecious; both the male (staminate) and female (pistillate) flowers are on the same tree, and this is mirrored in the umbra where it possesses the split face of a wise old Chumash man and woman that appears in its trunk.
|Individual Traits: When in the shadow of an oak tree, Oak's children can draw on his healing nature to purge spiritual corruption in the area (as the Gift: Exorcism, and Charm: Cleanse the Blight).|
Pack Traits: Garou accepted by Old Oak gain three dots of Area Knowledge and two dots of Enigmas, along with visions of the past and present that sometimes come in dreams beneath its boughs.
Assistance: There is little direct assistance that Old Oak can provide. It offers visions which might lead to newfound wisdom or troubling revelation, though takes no other active role.
Ban: Old Oak requires his children to protect his diminishing urban greenery, and himself, being a stationary spirit rooted in the San Julian Park.
Additionally, the chosen of Old Oak must adhere to it's ancient ban as well; They may never cut down a tree and may only use dead wood for building fires or making items. Fortunately, this is somewhat less of a hassle than it was even a mere hundred years.
|Owl||Owl (Wisdom/Native) watches silently in the darkness, learning all that he can. Like the Silent Striders who claim him as their totem, Owl holds hidden wisdom, especially about death and the mysteries of the Dark Umbra. |
Despite the roaming nature of his children, Owl's at home in Los Angeles owing to a large urban brood, as well as being a creature of wisdom in the Chumash mythology.
Almost a decade ago, the Uktena Theurge known as Morena Moon somehow forged a unique, personal bond with Owl. It is nearly unheard for even a powerful Theurge to take a personal totem, going against, as it does, many of the traditional shibboleths of the Garou Nation. The exact circumstances behind this unusual collaboration remain largely mysterious.
|Individual Traits: Owl’s children gain wings when in the Umbra, allowing them to fly from place to place. They also subtract two from difficulties involving stealth or silence.|
Pack Traits: Owl’s packs often receive premonitions and prophetic dreams that draw them to mystic places long forgotten. The pack gains three dice that apply to any Gift that involves air, travel, movement, or darkness.
Assistance: Owl is more inclined than most totems to enter into a personal relationship with the right individual. A pack never loses Owl's patronage once granted, regardless of its remaining members. Silent Striders think especially highly of Owl's favorite companions.
Ban: Owl’s children must leave small rodents tied and helpless for him and his kind.
Although most Bone Gnawers are willing to overlook it for the sake of expediency, those that follow Rat are not well disposed towards Owl’s Garou. The Ratkin are far more hostile!
|Pegasus||Pegasus (Respect/Tribal) is a protector of sacred places, much like the Black Furies he serves so well. Appearing as a winged horse with fiery eyes, Pegasus can teach Gifts of travel and air to those he chooses. Although this Totem is associated with the Black Furies, it is also known for the power in its wings and the nobility across the Garou Nation. However, because of the of the feud between the Get of Fenris and the Black Furies, the Pegasus will not adopt a Pack that has a Get in it.|
According to legends in the Garou Nation, Pegasus was originally created by the powerful lunar spirit known as Artemis who gave patronage to the Black Furies in ancient times, as a mighty spirit steed for her lover, the mortal hero Bellerophon. When Bellerophon, however, became distant and afraid of his turbulent steed, he gelded him. In revenge, Pegasus then threw Bellerophon from his back when they passed the Bosporus. Afterwards, he flew to the Black Furies, proclaiming that he would never bend knee again before man. Furthermore, he demanded that the Furies would let their male metis children live within the tribe.
Pegasus has found its place within Los Angeles' pantheon of allied spirits owing to the many packs of Black Furies that have journeyed south from the Sept of the Western Eye over the last half century to use the city as both a proving field and a hunting ground. Although the Sept of the Western Eye often differs sharply with the Urrah of Los Angeles on political matters, the local werewolves still honor the sacrifice of the Black Furies - especially that of Athena 'Sunder-Chain' Beauregard, the first and greatest of the Furies to leave their mark on L.A.
|Individual Traits: Followers of Pegasus gain one dot of Athletics and two dots of Animal Ken, even if it raises their rating above 5.|
Pack Traits: While in the umbra, Pegasus' packs may spend one Gnosis point to fly at 20 mph for one hour. The Garou may hover as she wishes, though the difficulties for all combat rolls increase by one. They also gain access to three Willpower points per chapter.
Assistance: Pegasus has never shied from a fight and has even (on rare occasions) allowing one of his chosen to ride them like a steed. He can teach many Metis gifts and those of the Black Furies, who tend to think highly of packs who adopt his patronage.
Ban: Children of Pegasus cannot refuse offer help to females of any species, especially young females.
|Pigeon||Often maligned as "flying rats', or even as feathered pests and vermin, Pigeon (Cunning/City) is a true survivor. |
What humans and Garou fail to fully appreciate, is the sheer adaptability of Pigeon to thrive in its new environment. As old as its ancestor, the rock dove, is the role of the pigeon in human life; ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian tablets describe its domestication over 5,000 years ago. As a totem of the Garou, he caters to the new age of thinkers who seek to protect the dying Wyld in harmony with the growing presence of the Weaver.
Pigeon is clearly the patron spirit of Dante Zimmer's pack, located in Skid Row.
|Individual Traits: Pigeon grants his pack the ability to perceive the city in a powerful way (as the Gift: Attunement), and his pack may communicate freely with pigeons (as the Gift: Beast Speech). |
Pack Traits: Followers of Pigeon gain three dots of Area Knowledge.
Assistance: Pigeon is gentle and attentive, though not someone you want to take into a hard scrap. Fortunately, his packs are rarely, if ever, taken unawares when in their home territory.
Ban: Garou who follow Pigeon are expected to help feed the hungry, whether man or bird, regardless of the inconvenience. What else is more important?
Unfortunately, the Garou Nation and many of its spirit broods tend to overlook little Pigeon. His chosen pay one extra experience point per dot when raising their Glory and Honor Renown.
|Raccoon||Raccoon (Cunning/City) is a survivor. He lives anywhere, city or wilderness, and adapts as he sees fit. He prefers to be left to his own devices but becomes a fierce and cunning fighter when cornered.|
Raccoon is one of the Sept of the Smiling Angel's original spirit allies, having been the totem of one of its most famous (some say infamous), founding packs. Namely, the pack lead by the legendary Johnny Walker. For many years, the Elder Bone Gnawer was rarely seen without Raccoon curled up on his shoulder, or even occasionally on his shaggy head!
Raccoon hasn't taken on a new pack since Johnny Walker's tragic assassination over a decade ago. Instead, he discreetly does what he can behind the scenes, using his status as one of Rat's Brood to prop up the ever more tenuous alliance between the Southlands Bone Gnawers and the Ratkin Ramblers with his dexterous little paws. He hopes someday to help heal the strife between the separatist Bone Gnawers of the South and the Sept...Though is careful to be subtle about it.
It is rumored that Raccoon has even implored Gaia to send one of her own dearly beloved Kami to assist the Sept, and to be there when he cannot. In recent nights, Raccoon has been rather sad and subdued, since the death of his favorite 'son', the Bone Gnawer known as Foebiter.
|Individual Traits: Each member of Raccoon’s packs gain an extra die of Brawl during any claw or swipe attack. He can be a surprisingly fierce little critter, after all.|
Pack Traits: Raccoon teaches his children two dots of Stealth, one dot of Survival, and one dot of Streetwise.
Assistance: Mapache, Mapache, Mapache!
Ban: Raccoon asks his children to leave small, shiny objects in the forest (or in city alleys) for him to find.
|Rat||The tribal totem of the Bone Gnawers, Rat (War/Tribal) is the swift, silent master of hit-and-run warfare — the original totem of guerrilla fighters. While Rat fights to weaken, cripple, then overwhelm, he can be as vicious as any other totem when cornered.|
Rat favors winning through stealth and guile or by swarming over his foes in overwhelming numbers. Children of Rat fight dirty. They strike from hiding and bite hard and deep.
Rat exists in several forms. As the Rat God of Los Angeles, he chitters to his children to tear down everything in an orgy of death and destruction. He gnaws at the webs of the Weaver, trying to free Gaia from its clutches. This is the vision of Rat that prevails in the Southlands and the Harbor Region.
Those Bone Gnawers who have aligned themselves with the Children of Gaia in Skid Row, instead beseech Mamma Rat - for she is a gentler totem, concerned with protecting the downtrodden in the cities. She is especially fond of children and cubs, and will urge her followers to protect them from harm.
How these different incarnations somehow co-exist in the same multitudinous divinity is a complete mystery to other tribes. However, it has always been taken for granted by the Children of Rat, whether Bone Gnawer or Ratkin alike.
The Children of Rat are not expected to play nicely with each other - and indeed, wise Bone Gnawers know to never approach a nest of Ratkin except with the most absolute caution. However, it is not uncommon for alliances to be forged between Ramblers (the exiles, rejects and cast-offs of normal Ratkin society, including all of their Homids) and Bone Gnawer packs.
|Individual Traits: Rat’s children subtract one from the difficulty of all bite rolls, and from the difficulties of rolls involving stealth or quiet.|
Pack Traits: Followers of the Rat God receive the Rank 2 Bone Gnawers Gift 'Cornered Rat'. Whereas followers of 'Mamma Rat' benefit from the equivalent of the Rank 2 Children of Gaia Gift 'Grandmother's Touch', as Mamma Rat herself nurses them back to health.
Assistance: Although all iterations of Rat (even Mamma, once her children and cubs are grown) expect a certain self-reliance, it is rare indeed that any petition from the Children of Rat to the divine horde of their chosen Incarna goes entirely unheeded. Although, the response is more likely to be in the form of a trail of crumbs that leads them step by step to acquiring what they need, vs a tidal wave of avenging rats. Rat does not lightly cast aside the lives of its numberless progeny.
Ban: Rat’s children must not kill vermin of any kind.
|Rattlesnake||Rattlesnake (Wisdom/Native) is a compassionate totem, but he has the capacity for great wrath. Indeed, once someone has offended him, Rattlesnake’s fury lasts a good long while! |
Despite his fearsome anger, though, Rattlesnake teaches caution and contemplation. His packs are encouraged to consider situations before acting, to give fair warning if someone is about to cross them, and to leave any enemies too stupid to back down lying in the dust.
In Chumash mythology, the Snake is symbolized in the Milky Way, and as a creature sensitive to Gaia's needs. It is thought that Rattlesnake is the patron totem to a pack of Uktena in the San Gabriel Valley, whose territory skirts along the southern outskirts of the Angeles National Forest. They have long since lost patience with the local leeches and will often inflict misery upon those travelling between San Bernardino and East LA!
|Individual Traits: Rattlesnake teaches his children to peer across the Gauntlet (as the Gift: Pulse of the Invisible). He also grants them access to ancient memories not their own; each werewolf gains the mechanical equivalent of Ancestors 3.|
Pack Traits: Rattlesnake’s children may entrance listeners by singing or howling (Manipulation + Performance, difficulty 8); success raises the difficulty of Perception rolls by 1 for the remainder of the scene, to a maximum of +3 difficulty.
Assistance: Rattlesnake is a wise and patient tactician, yet when provoked, will strike with lightning speed and deadly intent. He encourages his chosen followers to act likewise. Uktena and Wendigo recognize and honor Rattlesnake and his packs.
Ban: Rattlesnake asks that his followers spare any serpents that cross their path. He also rejects any children who take up arms against any indigenous persons or tribes.
|Raven||Raven (Wisdom/Native) is the cleverest bird, though not clever enough to keep that fact to himself. He feeds without hunting, following wolves or bringing them to dead animals so they can feed. |
He teaches wisdom by taunting cubs into trying to catch the uncatchable bird. Raven watches the world, ever hungry for new secrets. His knowledge makes him a totem of wealth — if werewolves trust in him, Raven will provide.
It has been a long time since any pack in Los Angeles has chosen Raven as their patron totem, yet he seems to have a personal understanding with Concrete Coyote. He can often be seen perched on the latter's shoulder while the two converse by moonlight.
The Sept of the Smiling Angel, as well as that of the Setting Sun and Acorn Woodpecker which came before has endured many betrayals and tribulations. And yet the Children of Raven have never abandoned them. However, this has earned them only the most begrudging gratitude from the ever stubborn Garou!
|Individual Traits: Pack members receive one dot of Enigmas, Survival and Subterfuge, even if it takes them over a five rating.|
Pack Traits: Raven’s packs receive access to the gift 'Raven's Wings' as per the Rank 3 Shadow Lord Gift. Although it may only be called upon at night, during a phase of the moon that matches the user's Auspice.
Assistance: Wereravens are well-disposed towards the totem’s followers. Unfortunately, most Garou rarely realize this as the special gift it really is, having historically expected the Corax to happily collaborate - or else. Those rare Garou who take Raven as their patron totem tend to be far better behaved and more sincerely grateful.
Ban: Raven’s children can’t carry wealth, trusting their totem to provide for them.
|Stag||Stag (Respect/Tribal) is an ancient spirit of respect, far older than the Fianna who claim him as their totem. To the Chumash, Deer was the most sacred of land mammals, symbolizing life; in their honor, all parts of the animal were used when hunted. |
The great Stag is the master of the Wild Hunt. He is the representation of the wild masculine power of nature and associated with virility. He is an ancient totem, older than the Garou, and represents one of the fundamental aspects of life. He taught the Garou their affinity with nature and was perhaps instrumental in ending the Impergium.
Unlike many other Incarna spirits, Stag will occasionally appear even to lost Garou who are not among his followers, leading them out of danger or aiding them in a crisis, especially if a Fianna is among them.
|Individual Traits: Stag’s chosen gain one dot of Athletics (even over five dots) and can never botch an Athletics roll involving pursuit or long-distance running.|
Pack Traits: Stag’s packs can access three dots of Survival and three points of Willpower per story. Fianna are obviously well-disposed towards the pack.
Assistance: The great Stag does not follow his chosen like a hound, yet will always be there in times of crisis or to lead you back to safe pastures. In addition, faeries, certain nature spirits, and capricious changelings may also occasionally show an acute interest in them, though this isn't always perfectly convenient - it is virtually never hostile.
Ban: Children of Stag can’t refuse to aid fae creatures and spirits when asked. They must also respect their prey at all times, including performing a Prayer for the Prey after every successful hunt.
Be warned, this Ban is much more of a pain in the ass than it might appear. Fae creatures tend to delight in putting Garou through the wringer. Although, it is only very rarely with lethal intent.
|The People||There is no doubt that the spirit of The People (War/City) is real - the tangible force of a whole people in motion and united in purpose. Not unlike the multitude of City Fathers or Mothers, the great social movements of Martin Luther King, Malcom X, Nelson Mandela and Cesar Chavez have all had a great enough impact on the hearts and minds of millions of people to generate a personification of their ideals.|
It never appears with the same face twice, and it is from every race and nation, male and female, defending any whom have reason to defend themselves.
Not all of these incarnations last, or remain in their intended form. Just as the seething tide of humanity itself is mutable, so too is its ideology. It is nearly impossible to tell which spirit is in an original incarnation, and which has - in a desperate attempt to stave off its own eternal slumber - attached itself to new movements. It would trouble the sleep of more than one Bone Gnawer to learn that the spirit which walked among them while their Kinfolk were 'Occupying Wall Street', once fought with rapier and buckler in the narrow alleys of 15th century Florence as street battles ranged between the Guelphs and the Ghibellines!
These spirits have long been drawn to Los Angeles, which has always been a fertile spawning ground of the latest craze, trend or movement. Not to mention the diligent activism of neighborhoods like Skid Row.
However, the most powerful such manifestation of this Incarna is currently active in the Southlands, where is was birthed during the Watts Riots of 1965. In modern nights, it provides its patronage to an especially fierce pack of Bone Gnawers, who have carved out Watts and much of the surrounding area as their own independent territory.
The People will not deal with the Glass Walkers (for their too-close-for-comfort affinity to the Weaver and with parasitical Weaver-tainted entities like Easy Credit) and the Red Talons (for their genocidal hatred of humanity). The People despises both of these tribes with every fiber of its being.
|Individual Trait: The People is a spirit of war, not compromise. It teaches each of its children one dot of Brawl, Melee, or Firearms (chosen when the character gains The People’s patronage).|
Pack Trait: In addition, The People demands that its children be capable of being anywhere, and to help anyone. It offers its children the ability to blend seamlessly and move quickly (as the Gifts: Assimilation and Speed of Thought).
Assistance: No matter how frightening the Rage of The People's chosen pack, mortals who share their ideology will respect and accept rather than shy away from them, although not always without some trepidation.
Ban: The People will never adopt a pack that cooperates or compromises with the Glass Walkers or Red Talons in any way. In addition, followers of The People must devote themselves to helping oppressed humans in some way.
Most traditional septs forbid any pack from aligning itself with The People, seeing it as fundamentally at odds with the priorities of the Garou Nation.
|Uktena||Great Uktena (Wisdom/Tribal) appears as a giant water serpent, big around as an ancient tree, with spots or bands of color running around and down his body. He has antlers like a great deer, and on his forehead lies a great gemstone, called the ulun'suti, that shines like a diamond, or a ruby to others. At other times, the Garou swear that he has wings, or the features of a mountain lion, or horns instead of antlers. Or perhaps, he is often confused for one of his spirit servants, such as the Water-Cougar.|
Whatever the truth of his appearance, the elders agree that in the modern nights, Great Uktena is an angry spirit, though he does not see fit to tell them why. Some say it is because of an ancient treachery: That long ago, before there was even a Garou Nation, Uktena served the Wyrm of Balance. He was a hunter of all the worlds, searching for the ways to unravel that which the Weaver had too tightly bound. But when the Weaver bound the Wyrm, Uktena the Secretbreaker could not himself break the threads. He did not follow his master into corruption and madness, yet joined Gaia instead. It is spoken in hushed whispers that Older Brother once followed a different patron - the majestic Skyhawk - yet that Uktena made a more enticing offer.
Still, anger swirls like bitter poison in his body. Venom drips from his mouth, poison is in his breath and spirit-flame is in his gaze. With his strength and scales stronger than stone he would make a fine totem of war, but Uktena is not so direct. He prefers guile and cleverness, learning by watching from concealment, and the stealthy deadly strike. And yet, he expects his children to use his gifts to discover more than ambush. Indeed, none but the most cunning seekers may see the great water serpent. Instead, they may see the fog whirl with his passing, or hear the scrape of scales on a canyon wall. But some he lures to him by calling to them in the voices of their loved one. Still, others are dazzled by the blinding light of the ulun'suti, the gem that shines from his skull, running heedlessly into his open mouth.
Even if he does not eat you, to meet him is doom. For Great Uktena's gaze to fall on you is death to those you hold dear. This is the way of Uktena, for he likes his secrets and does not wish to be spied on. It is only Older Brother, because his tribe honored him when no one else would dire, that he has lived his death curse. And to those packs of his children that prove themselves worthy of his special patronage, he sends his lesser children, who are also difficult to see yet make their presence known with sign or sound. Their gaze is not so dangerous, but one should still show them great respect.
Great Uktena loves his rivers and streams - the defiling and strangling of the Los Angeles River and other waterways of the Southlands, leaving them shackled in concrete and sick with filth - makes it especially difficult to earn his favor in Los Angeles. However, he could be a mighty ally if so convinced.
|Individual Traits: Followers of Uktena add three dice to all soak rolls when in the Umbra and pay one less experience point when improving Enigmas, Occult, Esoterica, Rituals or Cosmology. They may additionally purchase specialties for those Abilities at half cost. Unfortunately, Uktena’s children also add one to the difficulties of social rolls when interacting with werewolves of tribes other than Uktena or Wendigo.|
Pack Traits: Uktena endows his chosen followers with the Rank 3 Uktena Gift 'Uktena's Passage' as a matter of course.
Assistance: There is no Lodge, Society or Camp of the Uktena that will not respectfully receive a pack that has managed to earn Uktena's patronage. Do not expect easy answers from Great Uktena - it hoards its secrets jealousy, just as its lesser avatars as well. Nor should they be expected to endanger themselves because of your own clumsy tactics. However, Uktena can be a formidable ally when all goes according to his cryptic plans.
Ban: Uktena asks that its Children recover mystical lore, objects, places and animals from the minions of the Wyrm. To what end, one knows not. This demand, when carried out unwisely, has brought many of his followers to ruination and disgrace in the past.
|Unicorn||Unicorn (Wisdom/Tribal), sometimes called 'One-Horn' is a totem of peace, purity, healing, and harmony. As such, she (or sometimes he - the spirit seems to have no fixed gender when making appearances before their Children) is the tribal totem of the Children of Gaia. She embodies the blissful and encompassing love of Gaia.|
Unicorn has been with the Children of Gaia for a long time - since Babylon, Sumer and even before, when she was Rimi to them, fighting Sirrush, the Dragon of the Ishtar Gate. She is Gaia's Love made real; healer, whole-er, balancer. She implores her adherents to aid the weak and widowed, seek after truth and justice and defend the oppressed and fatherless in her name.
However, don't make the same mistake that some of the more warlike tribes do, who mock the Children's supposed 'Can't we all just get along?' schtick. Unicorn is an expectedly fierce fighter, too - that horn is sharp.
Unicorn is the patron totem of the Silverhoof pack, lead by the Smiling Angel's Sept Leader, Liam King.
|Individual Traits: Unicorn’s children move at twice their normal speed in the Umbra, and subtract two from all difficulties involving healing and empathy.|
Pack Traits: Unicorn’s packs gain three dice when using Gifts of healing, strength, and protection. Children of Gaia will aid the pack, and will usually side with them in disputes.
Assistance: Unicorn is ever a silent, comforting presence in these later nights of grief and strife. No Incarna stands readier to martyr herself for her Children - and it is this very example that inspires the Children of Gaia to astonishing heroics. Not for their own Glory or Honor - but to lay down their lives for those they love.
Ban: Unicorn’s children must protect and aid the weak and exploited, as long as they do not aid the Wyrm in doing so.