Lodge of Prophecy
The Tale of Blind Owl
As Kamduis-Ur traveled the world, she noticed that asmall, white owl followed her. The bird had grown curious as to what this mighty spirit-wolf was searching for, and flew along after her, always watching. At first, Death Wolf resented this, but slowly she came to realized that the owl was on the same quest as she was, and accepted his company. They rarely spoke, for Death Wolf slept on the ground and the owl in the trees, but they formed an unspoken partnership. The owl watched the horizon for Death Wolf, hooting an alarm if any dangerous approached from the air, and the wolf watched for danger from below.
One evening, Kamduis and the owl left a deep forest and found themselves in the foothills of a great mountain range. Death Wolf had tracked a wise but vicious spirit to these hills, and found its spoor leading into a small cave. Glancing at the mountains, she could smell guardians hiding and hear them grating their teeth, but she knew they would not dare challenge her directly. If they blocked the pass to the east, though, she would be trapped. She said to the owl, “I must enter this cave, but you cannot follow. You must watch the east and make sure that the things we cannot see do not entrap us.” The owl, young and not yet wise, agreed, and stood on a branch staring out to the east.
Kamduis entered the cave, defeated the spirit and took his knowledge for herself. When she emerged, three days and three nights had gone by — but the owl still stood on the branch, eyes burned white, staring blindly forever into time.
Death Wolf howled in pity and regret for Blind Owl, but he told her to quiet herself. “I can see now,” he said, “better than ever before. And, as you bade me, I shall watch the horizon for the unforeseen.”
Pre-requisites: Members must maintain Harmony 7 or higher, as well as Wisdom •••• and Occult ••••. In addition, applicants must know the following rites: Bind Spirit, Call Gaffling, Call Jaggling and Wake the Spirit.
Totem: Blind Owl
Joining the Lodge Becoming a Prophet isn’t simply a matter of asking to join. Much of the decision-making process is out of the applicant’s hands entirely. A would-be Prophet must petition a member of the lodge and ask to be considered for membership, whereupon the senior werewolf consults whatever oracular method she favors to see if this new applicant has the makings of a lodge member. If the result is unclear or if the Prophet feels that the applicant’s destiny lies elsewhere, she may turn the applicant down flat. The applicant is within her rights to petition another Prophet, but the chances of two members of the lodge disagreeing are extremely slim (though two members locked in some sort of rivalry might provide a window of opportunity).
Another option is for the applicant to find and petition Blind Owl, the totem spirit of the Lodge of Prophecy. This involves an extended quest into the Hisil, since Blind Owl never manifests in the physical world. It might be possible to summon him with rites, but a werewolf who does this loses any chance of being inducted into the lodge, as Blind Owl regards summoning spirits to be a great affront to their dignity. No werewolf that Blind Owl has approved has ever been subsequently turned down for membership, but the spirit’s requirements are more stringent than the lodge’s as a whole. (He requires, in addition to the prerequisites below, at least one dot in Honor, Purity and Glory and two in Cunning.)
After the applicant has the blessing of either an existing member or Blind Owl, she begins the five tests. The applicant may take as long as she needs on each of these tests, but she only has one lunar year to complete them all or else her application for membership is rejected.
The first of these tests is the Vision. The werewolf uses whatever form of oracular ability she is most comfortable with and predicts where she will be one lunar year from the present date. She writes the vision down and gives it to her mentor within the lodge, and it remains unread for the remainder of the test.
The second test is the Riddle. The werewolf faces a seemingly impossible question or challenge, sometimes concocted by another Prophet, but usually asked by an Ithalunim. The question might or might not have an answer, but the true purpose of the Riddle is to hone the werewolf’s skill in lateral thinking, symbolism and most of all, thinking like a Prophet. The werewolf must learn to recognize what a question is truly asking rather than what the words in the question mean.
Third, the werewolf must complete a Hunt. The mentor names a specific location, usually a famous locus or stronghold of the Bone Shadows (though not always of the Lodge of Prophecy). The Uratha must journey there and back and share what she has learned. The generally accepted method of passing this test is gaining Renown of some kind, but returning with a new prophecy or just a story with a good lesson is enough.
At any time during these tests, the werewolf might be called upon to face the Lie. The applicant is attacked, distracted or simply informed that she has not been accepted into the lodge. The point of this test is to recognize false wisdom or futile action and to be able to walk away from it. While it might seem that just remaining focused on the task at hand is enough to avoid this pitfall, this is the stage of the test that disqualifies the greatest number of applicants, as their natural curiosity works against them.
Finally, at the end of the year, the werewolf revisits her vision for the Revelation. If her vision was correct, she is immediately inducted into the lodge. If not, she isn’t necessarily disqualified, but is asked to explain why she was mistaken. Sometimes a careful reading of what she wrote or explanation of what she saw leads to a reinterpretation of the symbolism that validates the vision, but, sometimes, the only conclusion that the applicant can come to is that prophecy is not infallible. Depending on how she performed on the other tests, she might still be inducted. Her mentor and four other members of the lodge, one from each auspice, meet and discuss the new applicant. The decision rests in their hands.
If the applicant is not accepted, she is told so and barred from ever attempting to join the lodge again without direct intercession from Death Wolf or Blind Owl. If she is accepted, she participates in a ritual lasting for an entire night under her auspice moon, during which she receives the blessing of the five lodge members who accepted her and any other Prophets who choose to attend. After that, she has earned the right to add the title ihitar (“seer”) to her name.