Unofficial Spirit guide
Unofficial Revision of Apocalypse Spirit Guide
Werewolf the Apocalypse: Guide to the Spirit World
“Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits, and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d tow’rs, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on; and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.”
- The Tempest, Act 4, scene 1, 148-158
- 1 Introduction
- 1.1 Creating Spirits in the Sanctioned Chronicle
- 1.2 Types of Spirit Minions
- 1.3 Combat
- 1.4 Spirit Charms
- 1.5 PC’s and Spirits in the Sanctioned Chronicle.
- 1.6 Spirit Broods
- 1.7 I. Understanding Spirits
- 1.8 Vocabulary
This is a guide designed to help storytellers, players, and prospective players a vision of how spirits are handled in the Mind’s Eye Society’s Werewolf the Apocalypse Chronicle. This guide seeks to illustrate how spirits are to be created, role-played, and tracked, as well as defining these spirits and how they interact with the Umbra. To do so, we will be using the following books to educate and illustrate.
- Laws of the Wild, revised (MET).
- Werewolf the Apocalypse, revised. (Table-Top)
- Axis Mundi: The Book of Spirits. (Table-Top)
- Umbra, revised. (Table-Top)
- Umbra: The Velvet Shadow, 2nd edition. (Table-Top).
When utilizing spirits, it’s often helpful to attempt to get into the mind-set. This is difficult, because spirits are alien and foreign to any mindset that human beings have.
Creating Spirits in the Sanctioned Chronicle
A. Spirit Types:
To figure out what goes into the creation of a spirit, it’s important to differentiate between the types of spirits out there.
Englings – Englings are special spirits which Gaia sends to her brood to renew their spiritual energy. When an engling dies, it gives its gnosis to its slayers. This is the purpose of an engling’s life. This is an engling’s entire purpose; they die happily. It’s proper to give thanks to the engling or to Gaia for this sacrifice. No offensive Charms should be purchased for the Engling, though defensive and helpful Charms are entirely appropriate. Upon their deaths, the remaining Gnosis of the Engling is distributed amongst the Garou presented. (For example – If the Engling dies with 6 Gnosis in front of three Garou, each Garou receives two Gnosis which remains until the end of the session. Englings lose on ties on all challenges.
Gafflings – Gafflings are single-purposed, somewhat mindless servants of Jagglings or Incarna just as often. They are simple spirits, lower powered, who perform functions for their masters. Storytellers are encouraged to steer away from the rare or particularly complex Charms when creating their Gafflings since most Gafflings are simple, purpose driven spirits. In challenges, Gafflings may bid traits equal to their permanent Willpower. Spirits do not lose traits when failing challenges.
Jagglings – Jagglings are a step up from Gafflings, and enjoy more intelligence and more freedom to go about their business. They can be assigned to a certain places, they can represent ideas and concepts, or they can exist as monsters. Pack totems are totem avatars. Totem avatars resemble Jagglings in form and powers. Pattern spiders, Nexus Crawlers, and vortices are such examples of Jagglings. Greater Jagglings may bid three times their traits when engaging in challenges. Greater Jagglings are nearly Incarna themselves, and may be built with all but the rarest of Charms.
Incarna – The Incarna are minions, consorts, advisors and warriors who serve the Celestines and derive power from their patrons. These powerful spirits seek both Gnosis and a purpose. Many of them seek to become Celestines. Totem spirits are the Incarna most familiar to Garou. These beings, most often servants of Gaia, can create many avatars to communicate and interact with the Garou. While Incarna are less powerful than Celestines, they are still immensely potent and vast, existing on many levels. Usually, only their avatars can be interacted with, although Theurges will attempt to tell you differently. Incarna do not lose challenges unless they mean to. Incarna also despise having their time wasted, and players doing so should be punished accordingly.
Celestines – The greatest of the Celestines are Luna, the spirit of the Moon; and Helios, the spirit of the Sun. Gaia’s most direct manifestation is a Celestine form. The true form of Gaia being so much larger than the Triat as to be completely unknowable by any means other than the transcendent bliss of mystical union. Other Celestines are powerful servitors of the Triat, but their forms are all but unknown to the Garou. They are sentient and highly intelligent. Most Celestines abide in Realms of their own design; here they are omnipotent and omniscient. They are usually visited only by Incarna. Celestines sometimes send avatars to communicate with Garou. These avatars are aspects of themselves that are approachable and understandable by Garou. The true form of a Celestine is unimaginable; it is only through an avatar that communication between them and lesser beings can take place. To create an avatar, the Celestine wills itself to appear in a finite, limited form. Because of its near-infinite nature, a Celestine may have many avatars active at one time. Celestine avatars cannot be destroyed or adversely affected in any way by beings of lesser potency than Celestines.
B. Spirit Rankings:
To determine the ranking of a spirit, a static mental test is required vs. six traits. Due to their affinity with the Spirit World, Theurges receive a +1 trait. bonus on the test. This will allow the Garou to know what type of spirit that they are dealing with. The proper retest is Occult. If a storyteller deems it appropriate, the difficulty of this test can be increased up to ten traits in the case of the use of the Shapeshift Charm when employed by a clever spirit.
The Spirit Rankings are as follows:
- Rank One – Englings, low-powered Gafflings.
- Rank Two – Gafflings.
- Rank Three- Jagglings.
- Rank Four – Greater Jagglings.
- Rank Five – Incarna.
- Rank Six – Celestines.
C. Spirit Creation Rules
Spirit creation rules follow the rules presented in Laws of the Wild pgs. 235 to 252 with some exceptions which will be detailed below.
Storytellers have 10 x the Rank of the spirit in points to create a spirit. Further rules for spirit creation can be found on page 242 of the Laws of the Wild MET book.
Spirits are limited to one Essence Retest per challenge.
Spirit Traits –
- Rage: Spirits use their Rage Trait in strength-related Physical Challenges. A spirit’s unarmed brawling damage is also tied to its Rage.
- Gnosis: Spirits uses their Gnosis in Mental and Social Challenges.
- Willpower: Spirits use Willpower in dexterity- and stamina-related Physical Challenges.
- Essence: Spirits spend Essence to fuel special powers called Charms, and they can expend an Essence trait for a free retest in any challenge. Essence also serves as a spirit’s Health Levels: each wound taken reduces Essence by three points. When a Spirit runs out of Essence, it “dies” — disappearing into a slumber from which it may take years to awaken, without help.
Spirit Bans – The behavior of a spirit is confined by its nature. A specific act a spirit will not do is called its Ban. Spirits often have many Bans, and learning what those are can be a way for wily Theurges to gain power over them. A coyote-spirit, for example, may have a Ban to never speak the truth: maneuver that coyote into a position where it has no choice but to speak the truth, and it will likely do anything if you will allow it an escape. Totem spirits require Garou who follow them to obey a Ban, as an ongoing gesture of fealty. Breaking this Ban results in an angry patron, who withdraws all its spiritual blessings.
Types of Spirit Minions
Servants of the Wyrm
- Elemental Banes- these Wyrmish elementals mirror the traditional four elements in corrupted form: toxin (water), smog (air), sludge (earth), and balefire (fire). Balefire banes are the most feared as they can produce horrible mutations in creatures that come in contact with them, and their toxic fire can damage even the most hearty Garou.
- Scrags- These are warrior banes covered in chitinous armour. They frequently run in packs and will actively hunt creatures of Gaia.
- Psychomachiae- Psychomachiae are powerful banes that feed on carnage and death. They often possess weak-willed humans and send them on killing sprees. They may also subtly whisper into the ear of their targets, encouraging them to engage in even more brutal acts.
- Nexus Crawlers- These powerful creatures warp reality around them, which also serves as its most powerful weapon. They are one of the most powerful Wyrm-spirits Garou are ever likely to encounter… and many Garou never live to tell of such encounters.
- The Maeljin Incarna- The thirteen demon lords of Malfeas, the Maeljin Incarna each serve one of the heads of the Hydra. Each is more hideous than the last. Fortunately they are generally found only in Malfeas, so Garou are unlikely to ever encounter them directly. The Maeljin Incarna are easily capable of destroying entire septs of Garou by themselves.
Servants of The Weaver
- Pattern Spiders – Pattern spiders represent the foot soldiers of The Weaver. Pattern spiders are divided into several categories: Watchers, Navigators and Enforcers. All serve their purposes in maintaining the Pattern Web.
- Geomids (Icons within the Web itself) – Inorganic nodules and receptacles for information, these spirits often coordinate information and distribution amongst Weaver spirits.
Specialist Geomids -
- Attack Geomids – Front line defensive fractals and spirits used to defend other Geomids and other Weaver Assets.
- Informational Geomids – Knowledge specialists who specialize in certain subjects, used for interrogations and other functions.
- Structural Geomids – Construction supervisors designed to build the Pattern Web and guide Pattern Spiders.
- Drones – Human/Weaver spirit hybrids who serve the Weaver.
- Elementals – Some elementals are more inclined to serve the Weaver than others. Such elementals would include Plastic, Electricity, Glass, Alloys & Metals, Radiation, and Atomic spirits.
- The Machine (the manifestation of the gift of Technology), The Patriarch (manifestation of Dogma), Science (the manifestation of Science).
Servants of the Wyld
– Varied and somewhat chaotic, Wyld Spirits are becoming harder and harder to find in our material world.
- Nemesis – Animals crossed with Wyld spirits who act against humans due to maltreatment or abuse at the hands of humans.
- Undergrowth – Plants infused with Wyld spirits.
- The Spark – Sparks of inspiration for those who help the Wyld.
- Vectors – Fast-moving beams of light that specialize in travel.
- The Echoes – Echoes are idealized versions of extinct animals.
- Sands of Time – The oldest of the Wyld spirits.
- Unravelers – Spirits designed to breakdown manufactured items into their base components.
- Origami Spirits – Spirits that fold and shape into various forms
- Serpentine Snakes – Spirits designed to heal.
- Howlers – Spirits that howl, thought to be former allies to the White Howlers, but unconfirmed.
- Gyre – A perfect circle representing rebirth and new life.
- Chatterer – A spirit that represents the Wyld’s rage at the Weaver, very nasty to be affected by.
- Twister – A spirit of dynamism and dynamic change.
- The Nameless – Powerful spirits, secreted away by The Wyld.
- Children of the Muse – Muses sought out by Galliards across the Wyld.
- Gorgons – The Wyld’s servitors in the real world, usually wild animals.
When a Spirit defends itself from a Mental, Social, or Physical Challenge, a Spirit uses their Willpower, Rage or Gnosis, whichever is appropriate for defending itself. The rank of the spirit determines how those interact.
- Rank 1: Base Trait, Lose on all Ties
- Rank 2: Base Trait
- Rank 3: 2x Base Trait
- Rank 4: 3x Base Trait
- Rank 5: Doesn’t Lose unless it wants to.
- Rank 6: Doesn’t Lose unless it wants to.
For example – Klatu, a rank 3 Jaggling Knowledge spirit, is not easily fooled by “Tricks the Moon’s” riddle. Klatu, who normally has a Gnosis of six, effectively has twelve traits to figure out the riddle.
When spirits attack, their damage is equal to their Rage divided by three, rounded down, with a minimum of one. Most attacks are accomplished with Aggravated Damage, though if the storyteller deems, it can be Lethal Damage.
Removing this section as it's almost entirely rules. Will update with actual national approved stuff later.
PC’s and Spirits in the Sanctioned Chronicle.
Spirit Enmity / Spirit Affinity – Approvals and Mechanics
Spirit Enmity / Spirit Affinity is assigned by Tribal Brood and Universal Broods. Tribal Broods are very common, whereas Universal Broods are exceedingly rare in modern times. Theurges may keep track of Enmity and Affinity through the use of the Spirit Network Merit
Spirit Affinity: Positive reputation and interaction with spirits. Spirit Enmity: Negative reputation and interaction with spirits. You may only have Spirit Affinity at the following levels:
- 1 Affinity at Level 5,
- 2 Level 4′s,
- 3 Level 3′s,
- 4 Level 2′s,
- No limit to level 1′s.
You may have any amount of Spirit Enmity.
You may only gain Spirit Affinity: Celestial Incarna with Global Approval.
Spirit Enmity is tracked by the player and approved by their VST until x4 when further negative deeds need to be tracked and archived by the National Storytelling Staff.
Spirit Affinity Levels:
- Level 1 – Low Approval – +1 trait on all social interactions with spirits of that brood (Summoning, Social challenges related to mood and requests, no challenges related to combat.) Some spirits of that brood in the area think you are a pretty cool guy.
- Level 2 – Mid Approval – +2 traits on all social interactions with spirits of that brood. Spirits outside your own home caern and area are beginning to hear about you, for good or for ill.
- Level 3 – High Approval – +3 traits on all social interactions with spirits of that brood. When creating a talen with the aid of a spirit of that brood, an extra talen is created without need for increased chiminage or the expenditure of additional traits. Spirits throughout the region know your name, and what you’ve done.
- Level 4 – Top Approval – +4 traits on all social interactions with the spirits of that brood. You are +1 trait all social challenges when dealing with Garou of the Tribe whose Totem you have at this level of Enmity. Throughout the Nation, word of your deeds on behalf of the spirits of this brood is known and spread.
- Level 5 - Top Approval / Global Notification – +5 traits on all social interactions with the spirits of that brood. When creating a fetish with the aid of a spirit of this brood, you are able to create the fetish with little to no chiminage due to your global acclaim amongst this spirit brood.
Spirit Enmity/Affinity is a single fluid system. You may not have both Enmity and Affinity in a single brood. If you have Affinity 4: Falcon, and gain a level of Enmity from Falcon, you drop to Affinity 3.
Spirit Enmity Levels:
- Level 1 – Low Approval – -1 trait on all social interactions with spirits of that brood (Summoning, Social challenges related to mood and requests, no challenges related to combat.) Some spirits of that brood in the area think you are a pretty lame guy.
- Level 2 – Mid Approval – -2 traits on all social interactions with spirits of that brood. Spirits outside your own home caern and area are beginning to hear about you, for good or for ill. During travel, you might find yourself being watched with disapproval or anger.
- Level 3 – High Approval – - 3 traits on all social interactions with spirits of that brood. You are down 3 traits on social challenges regarding convincing spirits of that brood to enter into Talens you wish to create. Spirits throughout the region know your name, and what you’ve done. When alone with spirits of that brood, you might find yourself under attack by them, or your location being sold for chiminage.
- Level 4 – Top Approval – -4 traits on all social interactions with spirits of that brood. You are -1 trait on all social challenges when dealing with Garou of the Tribe whose Totem you have at this level of Enmity. Throughout the Nation, word of your deeds on behalf of the spirits of this brood is known and spread. You might find yourself making pacts or deals with other spirits to prevent attacks from the targeted brood.
- Level 5 – Top Approval / Global Notification – -5 traits on all social interactions with spirits of that brood. You are -2 on all social challenges when dealing with Garou of the Tribe whose Totem you have at this level of Enmity. You might find yourself targeted by spirits of the targeted brood and their allies. You will find challenges harder, if they’re accepted at all by members of the offended tribe. No spirit of this brood will willingly enter a fetish or talen for you.
Deeds for Affinity / Enmity
The following is a list of things that can earn you Affinity.
- Improving/expanding the influence of the spirit‘s material-world counterparts (i.e. expanding the borders of a protected forest, successfully promoting awareness of a species importance to the environment, etc) (Affinity)
- Protecting the spirit‘s material counterpart (preventing a major catastrophe, helping keep a species or it’s environment in good health, etc) (Affinity)
- Creating works of art to honor the spirit/brood, especially if presented to the general public (Affinity)
- Retrieving a Talen that has been taken by minions of the Wyrm (Affinity)
- Retrieving a Fetish that has been taken by minions of the Wyrm (Affinity)
- Publicly adopting and upholding a Ban (Affinity)
- Freeing a Spirit that has been trapped in the Pattern Web/Calcified (Affinity)
- Freeing an abused or mistreated spirit from a Talen, Fetish, Klaive. (Affinity)
- Granting more chiminage than the initial agreement called for. (Affinity)
- Making amends for a past indiscretion against a Brood. (Affinity)
- Making amends for past indiscretions by your ancestors against a Brood. (Affinity)
- Performing successful spirit quests. (Affinity)
- Assisting in the righting of wrongs against a spirit brood by a packmate or complete stranger. (Affinity)
- Performing deeds for a spirit brood outside of your Tribal Brood, putting yourself at great risk, expecting nothing in return. (Affinity)
- Accepting, unconditionally, the punishment, quest, or price of a spirit brood for killing a member of it’s brood and completing what happens next. (Affinity)
The following is a list of things that can earn you Enmity.
- Binding spirits into inappropriate items. (Enmity)
- Binding spirits unwillingly. (Enmity)
- Binding spirits into servitude without chiminage. (Enmity)
- Failure to grant chiminage after promising to do so. (Enmity)
- Bad-mouthing, talking smack, insulting or being dismissive of a spirit or Tribe. (Enmity)
- Breaking a pledge, promise, or your word to a spirit brood. (Enmity)
- Being a pack-mate in a pack that disgraces or dishonors a spirit brood. (Enmity)
- Killing a member of a Spirit Brood for any reason. (Enmity)
- Failing to perform an Act of Contrition against a Garou. (Enmity by the offended Garou’s brood)
- Altering a spirits nature or brood. (Enmity)
- Allowing a spirit to become tainted or corrupted as a result of doing a favor for you. (Enmity)
- Needlessly awakening spirits from slumber. (Enmity)
- Using the gift Command Spirit to avoid paying chiminage. (Enmity)
- Forcing a spirit to converse without spirit speech. (Enmity)
- Ignoring a pack totem ban. (Enmity)
- Opening a moonbridge into a bawn without permission of the caern spirit. Includes bridge walker, and totem bridges. (Enmity)
- Hunting Englings for sport or out of malice. (Enmity)
- Failure to perform proper rites for prey spirits. (Enmity)
- Failing to honor the spirits of your ancestors. (Enmity)
- Ignoring prophetic warnings. (Enmity)
- Cheating in a contest of riddles or game craft. (Enmity)
- Summoning an incarna avatar or above without a good damn reason. (Enmity)
- Teaching a gift to another Garou directly. (Enmity)
- Learning a gift to another Garou instead of finding a spirit to teach you. (Enmity)
- Vouching for someone to learn a Tribal Gift outside of their Tribe. (Enmity)
- Vouching for someone to learn a gift outside their Breed or Auspice. (Enmity among the Universal Broods)
- Destroying a Talen, Fetish, Klaive inhabited by a member of the targeted Brood without releasing the spirit. (Enmity)
The following are examples of Spirit Broods found throughout the Umbra.
Chimera: Belstu, The Aralin, Woneyah Kohne (Dream Ravens), Meneghwo (Patchwork Wolf), Suzaku the Red Bird, Bya-akko the White Tiger, Seiryuu the Azure Dragon, Genbu the Black Tortoise.
Cockroach: Kilakac’n, Gremlins, Mula’Krante, Guardian of the Gates, Scab Birds, Ol’Mighty Dollah & Easy Credit, Clashing Boom-Boom.
Falcon: Talons of Horus, Children of Karnak, Firebirds, Merlin, Osprey, Buzzard, Eagle, Wyvern, Peregrine Falcon, Harrier, Heron, Hawk.
Fenris: Surtur, The Norns, The Fimbul Wolves, Hrafn, Sturms, Bragir, Cuckoo, Aegir, Snow Queen, Firedrake, Seadrake, Ratatosk, Raven?
Grandfather Thunder: Crow, Typhon, Bat, Stormcrows, Rogue Raven Gafflings who manage to get away, Night Spirits, Spirits of Pain.
Griffin: Saber-Tooth Tiger, Lion, Simurgh, Mammoth Gafflings, Sphinx, Scavengers, Old Wolf of the Woods, Badger, Wolverine, Wild Raven.
Owl: The Twice-Born, Death’s Breath, Darklings, North Star, Scarab, Cobra, Sphinx-of-War (feminine aspect), Crocodile, Ibis, Sirius the Dog Star, Gull.
Pegasus: Chimera (different aspect), Haima the Red Mothers, Pegasus Gafflings, The Tryptich – Maiden, Mother, Crone; The Muses, The Gorgons, Eurayle, Istheme, Helena, Medusa, Stheno, Panther, Themis the Dream-Weaver.
Rat: Rat Gafflings, Raccoon Spirits, Heap Gafflings, Urban Englings, Feral Pyschagonea, Lost Dogs, Wanderlust Spirits, The American Dream, Tasmanian Devil, The General Lee, Jackal, Mouse, The Great Trash Heap, Crow, Hyena.
Stag: Dawn, Grain, The Hind, Impala, Rabbit, The Brook, Squirrel, Yale, The Black Stags, Kelpies, White Harts, Morrigu, Herne the Hunte, Danu, Brigid, Epona, Merlin, Cockerel.
Uktena: Oriental Dragons, Feathered Serpents, Sea Serpents, Kolowissi, Inadu (Snake), Dakwa’s Spirits (Fish spirits), Wild Turkey, Gila Monster, Dragonfly, Hummingbird, Roadrunner, Lesser Uktena, Turkey Gafflings.
Unicorn: Black Unicorn, Dove, The Misshapen, Narwhal, Heart Guides, Myrrhae (Olive tree glade children), Starlight, Duck, Father Mule, Eagle, Sea Otter.
Wendigo: Kwakwadjec (Wolverine), Atcen, Ice Elementals, Windtooth, Mosquito spirits, Dolphin, Moose, Caribou, Sturgeon, Rabbit, Goose, Porcupine, Beaver, Great Wendigo, Aurora.
Elemental Spirits: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Electricity, Glass, etc.
Enigmatic Spirits: Englings, Chimerlings, etc.
Epiphlings: War, Courage, Knowledge, Forbidden Knowledge, Positivity, etc.
I. Understanding Spirits
A. What are spirits?
Spirits are children of Gaia who have been stripped of their bodies, or who have never had bodies to begin with. When the Gauntlet arose, it divided matter and spirit, and many beings retreated into the Spirit World to be forgotten by humans. These beings come in many forms, for they are as varied as imagination itself. Spirits can represent ideas, concepts, even the elements themselves. Spirits are all around us, inhabiting objects, elements, animals, to some extent, people.
B. What do they want?
This is a more complicated question that it seems. At the basic level, spirits trade in favors, acts, deeds and pacts. A water spirit may wish for a polluted lake to be cleaned. A fire spirit may wish for more fuel. A spirit of pain may wish for more suffering. The more complicated the spirit, the more complicated thechiminage it will ask for in return. The spiritual mind is not a human mind, so therefore, their needs and want are not necessarily those that we would recognize. Spirits are also organized by rankings, much like Garou, and sometimes desire more power or authority. For some powerful spirits with enough knowledge, living inside fetishes or klaives bestow more honor and recognition to them. Though, honor as a concept may not fit with what you have and they have.
C. Where do they live?
Spirits reside everywhere, in everything. From the deepest forest to the most crowded city, spirits swarm and reside wherever they can manifest. Spirits primarily reside in the Umbra, on the other side of the Gauntlet where they can do whatever it is that they are compelled to do.
D. Roleplaying Spirits.
Whether you’ve received a sheet from storyteller or whether you’ve created the spirit yourself, it’s important to consider a few things.
First, what kind of spirit is it? If the Storyteller’s story has the PCs going through a certain type of realm, it’s worth reading up on the type of realm that they are passing through. For example, PCs traveling through the Ethereal Realm are more likely to meet with Air spirits rather than Earth or Knowledge spirits. As such, the Air spirit that you’re playing is probably a Gaffling or a Jaggling, it’s important to know which one. The distinction will help you when you consider the various power levels and your goals. Gafflings are fairly simple-minded and purpose-driven beings rather than Jagglings who have more motivation and intelligence. Both serve Celestines and Incarna, who are near-deities in themselves possessed of limitless intelligence and omniscience.
Second and perhaps most important, get your motivation from your storyteller or narrator. Spirits rarely act alone or without motivation. If you have players coming to meet you, chances are, you have something to trade them, whether it’s essence or knowledge or an offer. For example, if you are playing a Hawk Gaffling and your purpose is to lead the players a Trout Jaggling who has knowledge for the players, you will do your best to direct the players to the Trout. If you are just a basic spirit, your job is very specific and easily handled. Oftentimes, storytellers will simply handle such tasks themselves.
Jagglings are a different story. Jagglings are still servants, though they are more self-aware, more intelligent, with motivations that may not relate to whom they serve. As an example, if you’re playing a Tabby Cat Jaggling spirit whose task it is to confound or gain information from players in order to give it to another spirit, or even trade that information for other information more useful to you. In this case, you’d want to play it coyly, giving information, then squirreling it away for later. You should always come out at least even in the exchange if not ahead.
If you’re chosen to play an Incarna or a Celestine, you should feel glad! This is a special undertaking and you should be excited. You are being trusted to portray the power and awe of a spirit that is a near deity unto itself. When portraying a spirit of this magnitude, it is important to have a set of goals and an outline of your script in mind. You should speak in grandiose, sweeping terminology. Perhaps you may not know everything there is to know, but you can make others feel like you do. Realize that you are portraying a near-deity, so you should be receiving the respect and honor that is due to you. Your Storyteller will have more instructions for you, but research never hurts to get you into the role.
Here are some terms to help you get familiar with what we’re talking about throughout this guide.
Abyss, The – An Umbral realm which is tear in the fabric of creation. The Abyss is a yawning, chasm that consumes everything that is forgotten or abandoned. In its depths are things long gone and things best forgotten. As the Apocalypse approaches, it steadily grows larger.
Aetherial Realm – Stretching across the Umbral heavens, portions of the Aetherial Realm wend their way across the barrier between Earth and the Deep Umbra. Powerful Garou tend to Anchorheads, places where travelers may pass through Earth’s Gauntlet to other worlds; many of these distant realms are staunchly defended by the Stargazer tribe. Aetherial totems strong influence on this realm — the “planetary Incarnae” of Luna and Helios are among the most powerful.
Airts – (Old Form) The pathways leading into and through the spirit realms (moon bridges, spirit pathways, spirit tracks etc.)
Ancestor Spirits – Garou are faithful to tribe and Gaia unto death and beyond. The spirits of the long-dead wait in the Umbra, watching the exploits of their descendants and ready to aid the living with knowledge, wisdom or perhaps by lending their expertise in combat.
Anchorheads – Elusive spirit gates leading into various Realms and other areas in the Near Umbra.
Arcadian Gateway – Here one may find a dying relic of a bygone age, and perhaps portents of the future. This realm is the manifestation of the fae in the Near Umbra, a place where emanations imbued with faerie energy act out the classic roles of fae myth. However the ailing plight of the fae has affected this realm; an Endless Winter slowly advances across the landscape, destroying the old ways. If Garou seek truths about the Fair Folk’s past, they had best quest here soon.
Atrocity Realm, The – Millennia of suffering from all the world’s victims have created the Atrocity Realm, a place where the worst cruelties and tortures have been immortalized. No Garou seeks this place for glory — those that come here do so to learn, no matter how painful the lesson.
Awakening – The process of arousing a slumbering (inactive) spirit. When performed on plants, this is known as sanctification. The Rite of Spirit Awakening is used in this process.
Ban – Limitations placed upon the spirit by its nature or by something else. Bans represent what the spirit cannot do, will not do, or may do in certain circumstances.
Bane – Evil spirits that follow the Wyrm. Many different kinds of Banes exist, including Scrags, Kali, Psychomachia and more.
Binding – The process of attaching a spirit to a Garou, making it his servant. Garou generally feel that spirits should only be bound when needed.
Blight – Any corrupted area in either the spirit world or physical reality; a realm reflecting either the most perverse and desecrated ideals of the Wyrm, or the static and dehumanizing agenda of the Weaver.
Caern – A sacred place; a meeting spot where the Garou can contact the spirit world.
Caern’s Heart – The most sacred part of a caern is its center. This is the spiritual heart of the caern. The caern’s heart is where the Gauntlet is nonexistent, and hence the place where the most powerful rituals are conducted.
Calcification – The actor process of becoming woven into the Pattern Web by a Pattern Spider.
Celestine – The greatest spirits; the closest things the Garou have to gods. Examples are Luna (the Moon) and Helios (the Sun).
Charms – Powers of a spirit that are usable by a spirit to help or harm.
Chiminage – favors or deals made between spirits and Garou, currency for services performed. Chiminage is also used to describe services performed for the proper spirit in exchange for fetish creation or services rendered.
Corruption – The act of destroying, devolving or debasing life; also, the overwhelming effects of the Wyrm’s actions.
Cyber Realm, The – The war against the Weaver has come to the glass and steel skyscrapers of the CyberRealm. In the urban squalor of the streets below, anarchists and idealists gather their forces. High overhead, the Weaver dominates a high-tech realm. “Corporate ladders” of webs stretch across many vertical miles. Computer terminals scattered throughout the upper levels grant access to a sub-realm known as the Computer Web.
Dark Umbra – Few werewolves know much about the Dark Umbra, the realm of death. When a werewolf dies, his spirit returns to the Earth Mother; some Garou linger on as ancestor-spirits to guide their kin, while others are said to be reborn in different bodies. For this reason, most werewolves have less a fear of death than a fear of dying poorly
Deep Umbra – The aspects of the Umbra that lie outside the Membrane. Reality becomes more and more fragmentary the farther one travels from the Realm.
Disconnection- Werewolves who spend too much time either in the Umbra or away from it may experience disconnection. This dangerous condition can lead to madness or even Harano. Lone wolves are more likely to suffer from disconnection than pack members. The cure for disconnection is to step sideways.
Domain – A mini-Realm in the Umbra, usually connected to a larger Realm in the Deep Umbra.
Drones – Humans merged with Weaver-spirits, the Weaver version of Formori.
Engling – A spirit sent by Gaia for the purposes of renewing her brood. Their purpose is one of sacrifice, being sacrificed to give Gnosis to Garou.
Enigmatic Spirits – Most of the spirits that Garou deal with are tied to something concrete and understandable, such as a type of animal or plant. Some have no such connection, though. Lacking a frame of reference, they are often difficult to comprehend.
Epiphling – A spirit that represents an abstract idea or concept.
Erebus – Gaia’s wrath manifests in caverns below the Umbrascape, where failed Garou atone for their greatest sins. Sinister broods of black or silver Crinos brutes exact punishment against werewolves. Their charges writhe in a river of molten silver. Visitors may pass through and learn from the errors of others … or may challenge the broods for knowledge and power. Charyss rules here, watching from the parapets of a castle in the center of a silver lake.
Flux Realm – Anything is possible in this highly transitory realm. When the Wyld faded from Gaia, it’s said, he left his heart in deep in the Umbra. Now the Weaver has encased it and trapped it in the Flux Near Realm. Pure madness and energy surge here.
Fomori (singular “formor”) – Humans who have turned to the Wyrm and draw supernatural power from it. Common enemies of the Garou.
Gaffling: A simple spirit servant of a Jaggling, Incarna or Celestine. Gafflings are rarely sentient.
Gaia: The Earth and related Realms, in both physical and a spiritual sense; the Mother Goddess, the great spirit the Garou serve.
Gate – The ancient places have many strong ties. In times past, mighty spirits forged gates between realms in the Umbra. Gates transport travelers from one location to another instantly. They are permanent constructs able to withstand any force that a werewolf could bring to bear.
Gauntlet: The barrier between the physical world of Earth and the spirit world of the Umbra. It is strongest around technological (Weaver) places, weakest around caerns.
Ghost – Ghosts are the spirits of dead humans who are somehow prevented from passing on to their final reward and are marooned in the Dark Umbra.
Glen – A domain where the Wyld is supreme. Their earthly reflections are places of great beauty, while their Penumbral shadows are ideal for meditation.
Helios – The Garou name for the Sun.
Incarna: A class of spirits; weaker than the Celestines, but still greater spirits by any measure.
Jaggling – The spirit servant of an Incarna or Celestine.
Kin-Fetch – A spirit, sometimes bound into a fetish or talen, which serves to alert nearby Garou that a First Change is about to occur.
Legendary Realm – The legends of the Garou live on. Packs in the Legendary Realm can experience the lives of their ancestors in this Umbral realm. Incorporating the legends of all the tribes, it has created a mythic fantasy realm, a place that never was, but will exist until the end of time. Galliards give this realm strength by reciting tales from the old days.
Luna: The Incarna of the moon; powerful spirit patron to all shapechangers.
Malfeas – Just as the Cyber Realm pulses with the growing power of the Weaver, Malfeas bears witness to the diseased might of the Wyrm. Though the Wyrm itself may make its home in the Deep Umbra, the most corrupt and demented of its servitors have flocked here, to the realm born of its most hideous dreams.
Membrane, The: The barrier between the Near and the Deep Umbra. To breach it, an Anchorhead must be found.
Moon Bridge – One of Luna’s many gifts to her children are paths through the mists of the Umbra. A moon path appears in the Penumbra as a shaft of moonlight. A werewolf who touches the light can find herself travelling on a moonbeam with the mists of the spirit world swirling all around her. Also a gate between two caerns.
Naturae – The spirits a Garou is most likely to encounter are nature spirits. Some are the spirits of dead animals that haven’t yet cycled to life; others are generated from significance (or belief in such significance) of a place or thing.
Near Umbra: The spirit world surrounding the Gaia Realm.
The Pact – The ancient pact between the Changing Breeds and the spirits. The spirits agreed to empower the shapeshifters’ rites if properly performed and teach them Gifts, as well as agreeing to enter into material shells in order to serve their wielders. This is not, however, a one-sided affair. The oldest rule of spirit negotiations is that nothing is free; a shapeshifter must offer something in return in order to gain a fetish of any power.
Pangea – This Umbral realm is a world before civilization; a world before the Impergium. Pangaea is a spiritual memory of primal Earth, as it was and as it should have been. Dinosaur kings and bronze-skinned human tribes live on as Pangaean spirits. Packs have been known to degenerate here over time, resembling their ancient ancestors more with each passing day.
Pattern Spider: The most common Jaggling servants of The Weaver, pattern spiders preform any number of duties for The Weaver.
Penumbra: “Earth’s Shadow”; the spirit world directly surrounding the physical world. Many, but not all, terrain features have reflections there.
Realms: The worlds of “solid” reality within the Tellurian. Earth is referred to as the Realm. Other realms include Summer Home, Malfeas, etc.
Scar – Created during the Industrial Revolution, this Umbral realm once reflected the idealistic efficiency of mechanical perfection. The Wyrm and Weaver have since claimed the realm as their own, sacrificing captured spirits to create Wyrm-tainted fetishes. Every employee’s nightmares come to life here. The soul¬-deadening horrors of the workplace thrive in Scar.
Shrine – A place on a caern’s bawn set aside to meditate or pray. It is a place to do homage to a spirit, to dedicate victories to a totem, or to ask for aid. Packs often have shrines dedicated to their totem, although Garou with a close personal tie to a spirit (such as an Ancestor-spirit) may keep a personal shrine as well.
Summer Country – This is another realm that is steadily fading away, becoming lost in the depths of the Umbra. It is a world of Gaia’s pure, uncorrupted love, where she offers her bounty to all who would receive it. Some Garou debate whether it exists at all anymore.
Tellurian: The whole of reality.
Totem: A spirit joined to a pack or tribe and representative of its inner nature. A tribal totem is an Incarna, while a pack totem is an Incarna avatar (a Jaggling equivalent).
Trait, The: The Weaver, the Wyld, and the Wyrm. The trinity of primal cosmic forces.
Umbra: The spirit world.
Weaver, The: The Manifestation and symbol of order and pattern. Computers, science, logic, and mathematics are examples of the Weaver’s influence on the material plane.
The Web – The Weaver’s webs hold all things together. Without the Weaver, there would be no form or substance. Some young werewolves have dared to use the webs as a highway of sorts. This method of travel is unmentioned in the traditions of the Garou, and few old ones trust it.
Wolfhome – Upon reaching the Umbral realm of Wolfhome, all werewolves immediately shift to Lupus form … and cannot change back. To survive, one must master the ways of the wolf. Here one finds vast stretches of untouched wilderness, the answers to primal mysteries the world has forgotten, and even urban labyrinths where animals are hunted and feared. Homids are sometimes sent to quest in Wolfhome when lupus elders are angered.
Wyld, The: The Manifestation and symbol of pure change. The chaos of transmutation and elemental force.
Wyrm, The: The Manifestation and symbol of evil, entropy and decay in Garou belief. Vampires are often manifestations of the Wyrm, as are toxic waste and pollution.
Wyrmhole: A place that has been spiritually defiled by the Wyrm; invariably a location of great corruption.
Wyrm Tunnel – Agents of the Wyrm have carved dark passages through the Umbra and the Gauntlet. Wyrm tunnels abound with Banes, and the Black Spiral Dancers use them to move secretly through the spirit world.