"Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road."
- Jack Kerouac, On the Road
The Children of Owl
The wanderers. The outsiders. The dispossessed. The tribe with no home, no ancestors, nothing to tie them down. But from their loss, they have found their great strength.
They are by turns mysterious, informative, funny, and taciturn. A tribe in perennial diaspora has found among its membership garou of all kinds. What unites every Strider is their common heritage of being dispossessed through ancient grudges and another is their deep and personal connection with the afterlife.
Death holds no secrets to a Silent Strider. Banal to the Children of Owl is the deepest of mortal mysteries. Hauntings, wraiths, vampires, and other things that go bump in the night may be cryptic and confusing to the outsider, but the Strider has been exposed to them since his very first change. The darkness holds no mystery to a Strider, he knows exactly what wrecked things lurk down there.
Every Strider has a story about the ghost that made them do something crazy when they first screwed up crossing the gauntlet. You aren't truly in the family until you've found yourself delivering flowers and a bag of money in the name of a person you've never heard of to honor the memory of whatever crazy ghost sent you there in the first place. It's like our bar mitzvah.
Aside from dealing with the dead in a way that no other creature in the World of Darkness does, a Strider has other advantages over their Garou brothers. Most well known is the elephant in the room here, we’re super duper fast.
Between being the fastest Garou, and our ability to commune with the dead, getting from Point A to Point B is something we excel at; regardless of however secure, remote or infeasible that Point B might be. Secrets, traps, security, these things crumble before the speed, cunning and knowledge of a Silent Strider.
"To a nomad, secrets and stories are the only true currency. By that metric, we are the richest of all the Tribes. Shame they don't take them at Walmart."
- James Seta, Silent Strider Ahroun
Another strength, and one that’s easy to overlook is an attribute of all peoples born into a diaspora; humor. And in this we see the most stereotypical of Silent Strider guises. humorous, taciturn, wrily cynical. It’s often disconcerting for Striders to hear of the many complaints of the other tribes; be it disapproval from their Ancestors, the depletion of their lands, or an over emotionality relating to the dead. All of which can come from tribes which have Ancestors, who still retain their homelands, and the dead they can often speak to easily. Such callousness towards the Striders unique circumstances affects each Strider in its own way.
Many striders are always asked to 'give up the ghost' on all kinds of secrets. some will respond with a wink, others a chuckle, others with stony silence. The temperament of a Strider is generally in direct proportion of how many times in a given day they’re asked to detail the afterlife at length, or explain the weaknesses of vampires for the 50th time.
The last three thousand years have shown the whole world to be the true home of the Silent Strider. We stride across Geb's back, to borrow from the superstitions of the ancients, like no other Garou of the Nation. Rivaled in worldliness and savvy only by the Stargazers, the Strider is equally at home in any culture or situation, because he must be. From the slums of Africa, the Metropolises of the New World, or by dint of fate anywhere else, a Strider finds his home wherever his feet take him.
The Ancient Grudge
To the precocious Strider cub, a cautionary tale. While some may strive for their degree in Egyptology, it is difficult because we can't actually go there. Fieldwork in Khem is problematic at best. There’s a moral there somewhere.
In ancient times, the worst of the all vampires, Sutekh, a creature of such hideous evil and cunning that it fooled its undead offspring offspring into thinking it a god, cursed our people into banishment from our ancestral home.
While this makes it difficult to bring the fight to them, Gaia, in her infinite wisdom, has seen fit to populate the greater world with Sutekh’s offspring that we might kill the crap out of them wherever we find ourselves.
At the end of the day, bringing the fight to them in Egypt is probably not a good option, at least in this lifetime. However, the corrupt children of Sutekh have grown lazy and decadent; their guard relaxed. It is upon these most hideous of formor that we count our chief targets in our war against the Wyrm. For as an ancient Strider once said, "For they so loved corruption, I hit them in the face with a stone hammer. So let it be."
Due to the millennia spent in isolation from our ancestors, the Silent Striders have been forced to become citizens of the world, and they are among the most modern and cosmopolitan of Garou. The connection to Egypt is one of respect and history; but given the silence of our ancestors, each of us must find his own place in this world.
"Egypt is our home. Its gods are our gods. We forget our heritage at our peril. Retaking Khem is not an option; it is a millennial imperative."
- Heart of Anubis, Silent Strider Philodox
A Word on the Dead
Striders know what happens when they die. They either get right back in the pool to be born again, or they hang around as ancestor spirits who can’t really help the Tribe in any tangible fashion. Dead of other tribes and of the vastly swarms of humanity are their constant companions. When Striders die, the bodies are disposed of, and they move on. Their friend will be back soon enough, after all. Nothing is lost.
There are two other issues which all Striders have devoted some time to in conversation with their tribemates, and unfortunately neither have easy answers.
First, wraiths are generally at least mildly tainted. There are some rare exceptions, but the generally positive interactions between ghosts and the Silent Striders belies a cooperation that is seldom spoken about outside of the tribe. That ghost of a wonderful father who was killed in a car accident and just wants to see his kids go to college? Wyrm tainted. It is not the fault of the ghost, as such, it is merely that being dead places them into affinity with Death. So how does one serve Gaia and help them?
Philosophers of the Tribe point out that the dead, once they have achieved their personal ends, move on. This rids the world of their taint in a permanent and real way beyond merely beating a bane into slumber.
Second, while ghosts seem preternaturally aware of Silent Striders they are generally ignorant of what they actually are, or other circumstances of being one. The dead are creatures with agency, and as such the veil should not be lifted around them any more than any other supernatural denizen of the World of Darkness.
It is for all of the above reasons that great care is taken by Striders when discussing the afterlife with those outside the Tribe.
What's better than being super fast, or super sneaky? Being super fast AND super sneaky. A Rag may be considered a hyper Strider, forward scouts beyond compare, delvers into the unknown and mysterious, a Strider Rag takes their role of sapper and scout, warrior and general rapscallion very seriously. All New Moons serve the nation playing voice to the counter argument and the Strider does the same, but the skills that Owl provide make them a force to be reckoned with.
Do not mess with these guys. Owl’s Crescent Moons wears many hats. First and foremost, they are, as the ancients would say, of the priestly caste. But more even than speaking to our spirits and our gods alone, they too deal with the dead. A Strider Theurge is functionally a necromancer without peer in this or any other world. But while other necromancers are feared and loathed by the dead, the Strider Theurge is given universal acclaim and respect by the dead. Here is someone who they can work with. A Strider understands the journey beyond life and their duty to Gaia, and their patronage to the great psychopomp Owl, is there to help ferry lost souls and assist them. Woe be it upon the Theurge who takes too much advantage of his power over the dead, the fury of the Restless Dead is nothing compared to the Rage this will inspire in your brother Theurges. Good will is a currency that is hard to replenish, once spent.
Mediators, arbitrators and judges, the half moons of all tribes fill these roles, the Strider usually from their novelty to a Sept is often seen as an impartial outsider. It is this aloofness amongst the tribes which sees our Philodox as a great arbiters. One of the greatest advantages of our Half-Moons is their ability judge the dead, garou and human alike. In politics and in battle, it is the striders who know, with finality, the truth of the fallen.
For those who tell stories, there is no older type of story than the traveller's tales. As worldly and cosmopolitan as many striders are, the Galliard is a creature of all worlds. Able to spin stories from caerns across the globe and from the travels between them is without peer in the variety of stories we can tell. We are a people who deal in secrets and lore, while other garou may have spanned the globe, few if any, have also travelled the other realms as extensively as a Child of Owl.
SS full moons find themselves in unique circumstances. All fight the wyrm, but few of the tribes have as specific enemies as our Full Moons. Many specialize in killing Setites, and over the centuries, we have gotten very very good at it. Additionally , they may find themselves combating Spectres and the other more esoteric threats that the Wyrm has to offer. At the same time, they are still expected to fight BSDs, lesser Formor and banes the same as any other Ahroun. This makes your stereotypical Strider Ahroun among the most knowledgeable of warriors. As the ancients say, know thy enemy. Any Ahroun can kill, but Striders has the intelligence to lead a war. Due to their gifts of astonishing speed, they are often able to flank and trap a routed enemy, or just run away if things are going pear shaped. You'd be amazed how many allies a Strider can carry away at roughly the speed of sound.
You're a guy, born in a place. Your average philodox could be from Flint, Michigan or Galloway, Kyoto, or even Florida. Who knows? Striders having been everywhere, are from everywhere. No two Striders have the same stories, and no three can agree on much of anything.
You know, sometimes, on the road, it gets cold at night... And well, things happen. The relationship of the Metis to the tribe at large is more one of pity or as the ancients would say, rachmanis (misfortune). Given attention by the spirits that feel affinity towards them and the dead who see them as a chance to get favors, the Metis is almost paradoxically doted upon by forces outside of the Nation, which shuns and pities them.
There ain't many of them left, but they like all their brethren share an uncanny resemblance to the jackal. As death holds no fear to a wolf, beyond other kin, they have seen the dead for their entire existence. They tend to be sheltered and provincial, like many lupus.
A Change in the Curse
Stories are conflicted as to what actually happened in Los Angeles in September of 2013, but what is clear to all of us is that the nature of the Curse of Sutekh has changed.
Silent Striders WITH Ancestors dot
Ancestors can be heard faintly, as if from a great distance. All but a few date to periods from before the Curse of Sutekh went into effect.
The Striders who sacrificed themselves to weaken the curse are now ancestor spirits, but have been hard to get a hold of. When asked, they've responded along the lines of, "Busy. Very freakin’ busy."
Silent Striders WITHOUT Ancestors dot
Striders less in tune with the new developments cannot communicate with their Ancestors, new or old, in any way whatsoever. This can lead to almost comical failures of communication with their more attuned brothers.
New Striders may enter play with a single dot of Ancestors, as per the Addendum. The backdating period for existing sheets has expired.
These were the first Garou to take the Prophecy of the Phoenix seriously, or so some say. They spilt up and wandered the world looking for Wyrmsign and brought the word back. They are still not done telling the Garou of all the Wyrmsign they found. Most importantly they bring hope. They are among the wisest of the Garou, so you better jump when they tell you to.
Most of us are a Seeker in some form or another. Seekers wander from place to place looking for information they haven't yet learned. Seekers tend to be clever, resourceful, inquisitive and stubborn as all hell. If you want to know something ask a Seeker. If they don't know the answer, they will point you in the right direction. Seekers know what has happened and what is happening now.
One can't help to worry about the Dispossessed. They try nothing harder than to settle down somewhere. Something always prevents them from settling down. It is no wonder that they are so bitter. They study about the Apocalypse and are the most morbid among us. They watch for portents of the coming Apocalypse and tell their warnings to those who will listen. There are even rumors that they have conquered the land of the dead, taking up the new nickname of 'Deathlords'. They believe that they will have a home after the Apocalypse.
Perhaps the ones that really make the rest of us angry. These Striders sell their services to the highest bidder. They are talented though. If one says he will get your message through, it will go through. Just because we have talents that make us good messengers, we shouldn't be selling them to the highest bidder.
Swords of Night
Above most of the Wyrm's forces, the Striders hate vampires. The Swords dedicate themselves to learning to hunt and destroy the monsters. The Swords are relentless in their hunts of the undead.
Eaters of The Dead
When we were exiled we stopped eating the brains of humans due to possible Wyrm taint. Some of our tribe did not stop. The Eaters of the Dead still practice the Rite of Dormant Wisdom in secrecy. Sure they know a lot, but at what cost? Some say they have begun to perform the rite on immobilized Leeches while they are still conscious.
These Striders are so ill-natured and spiteful at this point that they've taken it upon themselves to avenge all the slights the Striders have suffered over time. They aren't violent like some camps in the Fianna. They use the evil-eye, the curse, the bad mojo, the Amria. Be careful not to cross them or you'll find yourself on the receiving end of a curse. Your guts will be twisted into knots and leave you puking and feeble as a cub for a week.
Striders Directory (likely not up to date)