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|Authors:||Carl Bowen (Fiction), Chris Campbell (Weaver Ascendant), James Comer (Ragnarok), Harry Heckel (Storytelling), Rick Jones (Setting), James Kiley (A Tribe Falls) and Sean Riley (The Last Battleground).|
|Werewolf and the World of Darkness created by:||Mark Rein•Hagen|
|Storyteller game system designed by:||Mark Rein•Hagen|
|Editor:||Aileen E. Miles|
|Art Director:||Aileen E. Miles|
|Art:||John Bridges, Steve Ellis, Brian LeBlanc, Larry MacDougall, Steve Prescott, Jeff Rebner, Alex Sheikman, Ron Spencer, Melissa Uran|
|Cover Art:||Ron Spencer|
|Layout, Typesetting & Cover Design:||Aileen E. Miles|
|Special Thanks:||As special as they get. Thanks to all of you, the 12-year veterans and the new faces alike, who've stuck it through with us up until this point. We raise our glasses to you and hope you enjoy this final stretch of a long, wild ride.|
|Publisher:||White Wolf Publishing, Inc.|
|Imprint:||White Wolf Game Studio|
|Published:||February 2, 2004|
|Publication #:||WW 03999|
|Reference #:||ISBN 1-58846-323-0|
From the White Wolf catalog:
- The Final Battle
- There is nowhere left to run. The Enemy has broken loose and come to the final battleground. The prophecies have come true. The monsters from deep within the Earth run free in the burning cities, and the stars are falling from the sky. Human civilization is ending, and the werewolves are the only ones left to fight. The End Times are here. It is time to save Gaia, or die trying.
- The Apocalypse Is Upon Us
- The final sourcebook for Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Apocalypse is a roadmap to how the world ends — the final fate of the Garou, of Gaia, of everything. Learn the current state of the world of Werewolf just before Apocalypse explodes, then play out the end in your choice of four alternate scenarios, each offering a different method of resolving the Final Battle. Can Gaia be saved, or will the Garou ultimately lose against their foes? Find the answers within — and choose which one you'll fight for.
Legends of the Garou: Above and BeyondEdit
Introduction: Opening Salvo Edit
Chapter One: The End Times (Setting) Edit
This section of the book contains details from the overall meta-plot that indicate to the Garou Nation that the Apocalypse is at hand. These details are more canonical than the ones in chapters to follow, and are meant to suggest that these are the "truths" that will be constant throughout the various End scenarios. For example, The Perfect Metis is mentioned as existing, but the fate of the Metis is not discussed as it has radically different uses in later chapters; in The Last Battleground the Perfect Metis is a sacrifice to the Wyrm, where as in Weaver Ascendant the Perfect Metis is possessed by the Wyrm and emerges as a full grown and mighty warrior, and is something of a hero in the story, representing the voice of the true Balance Wyrm and aids the Gaian Garou against the Weaver.
This chapter is effectively the last piece of the Werewolf: The Apocalypse canon. The subsequent chapters are all possible scenarios for Storyteller's to choose from, and vary from each other in often dramatic ways. Furthermore, the different scenarios are designed to be altered based on the storyteller's preferences, and suggestions are even made on how to combine elements of various stories, or to tailor-make the scenarios to fit previously run chronicles.
Chapter Two: The Last Battleground (Scenario) Edit
The first possible Apocalypse scenario suggested by the book takes place mostly in the Umbra. The core argument of this setting is that the Wyrm would most likely attack the spiritual representation of Gaia rather than simply the physical, as this would ultimately lead to Gaia's total destruction. A metaphor is given that cutting down a tree damages its spirit, but eventually the spirit will manifest as a new tree. If the spirit (a Glade Child) is destroyed, it ceases to exist and there will not be a new tree.
This scenario begins with portents of the Apocalypse and interpretations of recent events that are specific to this particular scenario and are *not* canon. Events in this section include:
- The Nuwisha, experts at navigating the Umbra, are hunted down to near or total extinction by the Wyrm. A new breed of Wyrm-spirits, the Midnight Shadows, are the assassins accomplishing this task. The Wyrm needs to rid the world of the Nuwisha for two reasons: their knowledge of the Umbra is a threat to the Wyrm's impending attack, and the dead Nuwisha are turned into the Wyrm's Five Columns of Flesh, which connect the Umbral Realms of the Wyrm to the Last Battleground.
- Three "Scions" are sacrificed to the Wyrm, allowing the three parts of the "Triat Wyrm" to manifest in the Near Umbra. These factions are the Eater-of-Souls, the Defiler, and the Beast-of-War. The Triat Wyrm is not the true Wyrm, which is located in the Deep Umbra, but rather an Umbral manifestation of it. This does not make it any less of a threat.
- The destruction of the "Demon of India" (the Ravnos Antediluvian from the Week of Nightmares) via the "spirit nuke" is said to be the first sacrificial Scion that brings forth the manifestation of the Eater-of-Souls aspect of the Triat Wyrm. This manifests itself in the Umbra and eventually on Earth, as the Red Star, Anthelios
- Jonas Albrecht, King of the Silver Fangs, dies in battle with Zhyzhak, the powerful Black Spiral Dancer. Zhyzhak's death is the sacrificial Scion that brings about the Beast-of-War aspect of the Triat Wyrm.
- The Perfect Metis is kidnapped by Black Spiral Dancers, and is tortured for weeks before eventually being killed. The Perfect Metis is the sacrificial Scion that brings forth the Defiler aspect of the Triat Wyrm.
- When the Triat Wyrm is formed, the Last Battleground appears in the Penumbra. This is the same Battleground of Apocalypse that exists in the Near Umbra Battleground realm. It is said to exist simultaneously in the Penumbra and the Battleground, and is not two separate locations. As this happens, the Final Battle of the Apocalypse is near.
- Following the death of Jonas Albrecht, Yuri Koneitzko, Margrave of the Shadow Lords, becomes the leader of the Garou Nation.
Before the Final Battle begins, the Chapter takes the reader through all of the Near Realms of the Umbra and describes what changes have occurred to the various realms as the Triatic Wyrm manifests itself in the Near Umbra. This gives suggestions for stories that can involve the Player's pack traveling to various realms in attempts to make strategic strikes on the Wyrm in order to weaken it before the Final Battle.
Eventually the Final Battle must begin and the chapter concludes with various elements that the Storyteller can include in their individual chronicles. It plays up the importance of how unlikely it is that the Garou will "win" the war, but that the individual stories should still maintain small heroic victories for the player characters. It also stresses that even a Gaian victory will come at a major cost, including the likely end of the Garou and other Fera. The chapter ends with Margrave Koneitzko delivering a rallying speech to the Garou Nation, as they prepare to face their final destiny.
While The Last Battleground is very much an End Of the World scenario, it was created to be the most moderate of the four scenarios in the book. The majority of chaos takes place outside the physical world, in the Umbra. While there are certainly physical ramifications of the events that unfold, they are much less significant than those that take place in the other scenarios of the book.
Chapter Three: A Tribe Falls (Scenario) Edit
The premise of this section is that rather than an outside force such as the Wyrm's armies, the coming of the Apocalypse will come from within the Garou Nation itself as an entire tribe falls to the Wyrm (or possibly the Weaver as presented in a sidebar.)
Some setting details are provided, as well as suggested tactics for the storyteller to handle a tribe fall, with specifics on how it could effect player characters from that tribe. It also addresses the possible function of the fallen tribe's totem spirit due to the fall, whether the spirit falls to the wyrm as well, or if it is replaced by a Wyrmish spirit is ultimately up to the Storyteller. The annex section of the book mentions a fetish known as a Wolf Skin that allows the Wyrm-tainted tribe to walk amongst the Gaian Garou unnoticed.
The major portion of this chapter is dedicated to an example of a possible tribal fall scenario for each of the current 12 tribes of the Garou Nation as well as the eastern Hengeyokai, which include the Stargazer tribe. In keeping with the non-canon aspect of the book, each Tribal Fall scenario is only a suggestion and Storyteller's are encouraged to craft their own as best fits their own chronicle.
Examples Tribal Fall possibilities:
- Black Furies - A strange Wyldish disease known as the Metamorphic Plague infects a large amount of the Furies, and in desperation they turn to ancient Balance Wyrm spirits to cleanse themselves of the Plague. While they don't immediately fall, over time they become corrupted by the insane darkness of the Wyrm. Caught between the Wyld and the Wyrm, they decide their purpose is to attack the Weaver, by destroying the structure of civilization, regardless of the millions of human lives lost in the process. They take on the new name Widows and their totem Pegasus falls to the Wyrm.
- Bone Gnawers - This scenario argues that the Bone Gnawers have been falling to the Wyrm slowly for years. Eventually the Wyrmish Gnawers outnumber the Gaian ones, until Mother Larissa is assassinated. The Wyrmish Gnawers tell the rest of their tribe they can join them or die, a third join, a third are killed, and the other third flees. The Gnawers change their name to the Plague Rats and their totem "Rat" becomes "Plague Rat." Their Apocalyptic method is to unleash a disease that kills a billion humans within 2 months.
- Children of Gaia - The Children of Gaia attempt to restore the sanity of the Wyrm via an ancient rite. However something goes horribly wrong, and the rite instead immediately revives the Eater-of-Souls. As word of the Children's mistake reaches the rest of the outraged Garou Nation, the Children turn to the Wyrm to defend themselves. The Eater-of-Souls replaces Unicorn as their tribal totem, and the Children of Gaia become known as the Reavers.
- Fianna - Former Ard Righ Brendan O'Rourke returns from an Umbral quest into Malfeas where he had been turned to the Wyrm. He brings back massive reinforcements for an assault on the British Isles. He strikes at several Fianna holdings and even convinces many of the other Garou tribes that the non-fallen Fianna are the ones who are of the Wyrm. They do not realize the deception until it is too late, by this point Garou have been fighting Garou until only a few thousand still survive. The Fianna become the Black Stags, but Stag their totem does not fall, nor does he cut off his fallen children. Some Black Stags follow Whipporwill and some follow other Wyrmish Incarnae spirits.
- Get of Fenris - After discovering a series of underground cave networks that lead to the Black Spiral Hive, the Get mount a massive assault on their enemy. But as the Get travel further into the tunnels, they go deeper and deeper into the earth as the Spirals pick off the Get less likely to fall. The Get in the tunnels begin to experience a variety of visions that slowly drive them mad, and they fall to the Wyrm. On the first full moon of the month, they lead an all out assault on the Garou of Europe, destroying or desecrating Caerns and eventually slaughter the Shadow Lords. The Get are renamed The Pure, and their totem, Great Fenris, is chained up in Malfeas, never falling.
- Glass Walkers The Walkers tribal totem, Cockroach, strikes a deal with the Corporate Spirit Incarna of Pentex, essentially offering the tribe and totem positions of safety during and after the Apocalypse. The Glass Walkers, now calling themselves the Raiders, maintain their connection with the Gaian tribes, hiding their taint with wolf-skins until they are discovered to have kidnapped the Perfect Metis, which eventually leads to the Final Battle. The Pentex Incarna is consumed by an avatar of the Wyrm, and becomes a Celestine and controls all the employees of Pentex as a massive powerful hive mind.
- Red Talons - A disease similar to Mad Cow infects the Red Talons due to the consumption of Human flesh. While the disease has little harm on the Garou, it is devastating to their wolf Kin. Within a short span of time the infection spreads killing more than 90% of wolves in the world, making wolves all but extinct with no chance of ever recovering. The Talons blame the humans for this and decide to kill them all, by communicating with ancient spirits deep in the earth to release methane gasses trapped deep in the earth into the atmosphere, dooming billions of humans. The Talons new name is the Predators. Griffin, mad with Rage, remains their totem.
- Shadow Lords - The Lords' Tribal totem, Grandfather Thunder, makes a deal with Gaia that if his Tribe can accomplish a specific task within one year, she will make him a Celestine, and the Shadow Lords will take their place as the leaders of the Garou. However, they fail at their task and Gaia denies this request. Feeling scorned, Grandfather Thunder and his tribe lash out at Gaia, not falling to the Wyrm at first, until they need the support against the Gaian Garou and Spirits. The Shadow Lords are the only tribe who do not change their name when they fall. Grandfather Thunder devours Whippoorwill and the Shadow Lords replace the Black Spiral Dancers.
- Silent Striders - While searching for their Tribal Homeland in the Umbra, the Striders discover an ancient evil force known as "Grandmother" that may or may not be Set himself. The Striders, hoping to set the Wyrm and "Grandmother" against each other, willingly fall to the Wyrm, hoping to have the Black Spiral Dancers attack the new enemy. At this time, the Silver Fangs decide to attack the Spirals and the Hungry Ghosts as the Striders are now known. Concerned for their own safety, the Hungry Ghosts turn on their former allies. Owl rejects them as a totem when they fall, and the Hungry Ghosts adopt the Wyrmish form of Bat as their new one.
- Silver Fangs - Albrecht convinces the tribal totem, Falcon, to temporarily remove all derangements from the Silver Fangs so that they may see with perfect clarity. Once this has been accomplished, the Silver Fangs march on the Black Spiral Dancer's hives and slaughter them. At first this act is seen as a great victory for the Garou Nation, until the Fangs reveal that they killed the Dancers not in the name of Gaia, but rather because the Fangs have fallen to the Wyrm and did not want the Dancers to compete with them for attention in the eyes of their new master. Falcon realizes too late what has happened: By giving the Fangs absolute clarity, they were able to see how truly hopeless the Gaian cause is, and decide that they should align themselves with the Wyrm instead. They change their name to the Fiery Crowns.
- Uktena - Urge Wyrm Spirits hold a "contest" to see who can make a Garou tribe fall. Lady Aife, the Urge Wyrm of Cruelty focuses her efforts on the Uktena, effecting their Banetenders' dreams, and assaulting the Uktena homeland in the Umbra with Banes, Black Spirals attack Wendigo and Uktena camps pretending to be members of the other. With these and other attacks, the Uktena start turning to the Wyrm out of desperation, killing off non-fallen tribemates or crafting Wyrmish fetishes to corrupt them. Finally, the Uktena become the Snakes and begin attacking the other Garou, starting in North America where they're stronger. Great Uktena, their totem, is captured by the Wyrm until it goes mad and falls.
- Wendigo - A roadblock in Upstate New York leads to a confrontation between the National Guard and some armed Native Americans, resulting in the death of thirteen indigenous people. Outraged, a group of Wendigo use the Umbra to board and hijack a Nuclear Sub, and nukes Buffalo. At this point the Wendigo have not fallen to the Wyrm, but when they reveal to the other Garou tribes that they are responsible for the attacks and the hijacking of the sub, the other Garou declare them fallen, and declare war on them, attacking as they attempt to perform a sacred annual rite. The failure of this rite draws Great Wendigo into a Rage, and he is corrupted by the Eater-of-Souls, turning the Wendigo into the Wyrmish tribe, the Devourers.
- Hengeyokai - The Beast Courts have always believe in the Wheel of Ages, the theory that universe follows a cycle, and the impending "Sixth Age" is only one of Twelve, that the Cycle will eventually turn back towards the Gaian eras, each slowly getting "better." Some members of the Hengeyokai decide to push the Wheel into the Sixth Age so that it can be over with sooner. This group, known as the "Fatalists," achieve this by awakening Wyrmish Caerns through which demonic hordes pour out, creating a few centuries of Hell on earth before the Seventh Age begins and things start getting better.
"A Tribe Falls" is the scenario that can most easily be combined with one of the other three scenarios, though each of the suggested possible falls contains a stand-alone Apocalypse scenario of its own if the Storyteller chooses to use it.
Chapter Four: Weaver Ascendant (Scenario) Edit
The third possible scenario of the Apocalypse suggests that the Weaver is ultimately the biggest threat to Gaia and the Garou, not the Wyrm. In this scenario, the Weaver begins a massive global effort to wipe out the Garou, and also create such stagnant order that the physical and spiritual realms are divided by a nearly impenetrable Gauntlet. The Perfect Metis is possessed by the Wyrm and emerges as a full grown and mighty warrior, and is something of a hero in the story, representing the voice of the true Balance Wyrm and aids the Gaian Garou against the Weaver.
Chapter Five: Ragnarok (Scenario) Edit
The last of the Apocalypse scenarios is Ragnarok and it is the one that pulls no punches. In this scenario, there is no possible ending that does not involve the End of Life As We Know It, even the "happy" ending in which the Garou are triumphant and the Wyld emerges as the strongest of the Triat.
Ragnarok is the least organized of the four Apocalypse scenarios. Rather than provide a single linear storyline with specific events happening in specific ways, the Ragnarok chapter is much more open to Storyteller interpretation. The chapter reads less like a story and more like a series of interchangeable puzzle pieces that the Storyteller can craft together into their own chronicle design.
Some of the more important events include:
- An asteroid/comet headed towards earth. This is known as Rorg's Claw or simply "The Claw." Rorg is a Celestine representing an asteroid field that is the remains of dead planet within the Aetherial Realm. Seeing how much pain Gaia is in, he decides to strike her with an asteroid to induce the end times and allow Gaia to heal from them. While there is presented an option for the Storyteller to send a pack of Garou through the Umbra to the Claw and stopping it a la the film Armageddon, it is also suggested that such an action would render the story no longer one of the Apocalypse.
- Luna, in attempt to save Gaia, moves in front of the Claw, thus sacrificing herself. In the physical world, this creates mass hysteria as Earth's moon actually leaves its own orbit and is destroyed by the Claw. When the moon is destroyed, pieces of both the Moon and the Claw still crash down to earth, and though the impact is not as destructive as a direct hit would be, it is still cataclysmic. In the wake of this event most life on the planet dies. Human civilization crumbles.
- Once the moon is destroyed, the Garou are unable to regain Rage from it.
- After the pieces fall to the earth, a massive dust cloud blocks out the sun. This becomes known as the Great Black and allows Vampires to rise during the day. Mokole and Corax, both of whom have ties to Helios, are no longer able to regain Gnosis from the sun.
- Massive earthquakes occur all over the earth, through which the Wyrm's Hordes pour out as a conquering force.
- At some point during these events, the Mokole appear to a pack of Garou and broker a peace. The pack of Garou enter a realm of the Umbra created by the Mokole's Mnesis ability and are taught gifts and rites and meet the spirits of all the Fera, including those tribes lost during the War of Rage. These fallen groups are said to still exist via the Mnesis realm, and thus the "body of Gaia" is still complete for important rituals to come. This event is also considered by the Mokole to be the true ending to the War of Rage.
Once the chapter goes through all of the possible events that build up to the Final Battle, it then breaks down for Storyteller's possible options for what each of the Garou Tribes, followed by the Fera are doing during the events of Ragnarok. The chapter also gives details on what various "Battlegrounds" around the globe could look like, for the Storyteller to apply as best fits by their chronicle. Finally, a lot of description is given towards the efforts to protect the Last Caern, and finally the focus shifts to details of the Final Battle. Much like in The Last Battleground, the most likely outcome is not going to be an easy or happy ending for the Garou. Heroic Tragedy is the strongest possible outcome.
Four possible endings are presented, though again it is stressed that the ending is really up to the Storyteller. Three of the endings indicate that one of the Triat (the Wyld, the Weaver, or the Wyrm) emerge triumphant. The fourth suggests a world similar to Exalted.
Chapter Six: The Last Tales (Storytelling) Edit
Appendix: Rules and Dramatis Personae Edit
Epilogue: Legacy Edit
This was the final book in the original run of Werewolf: The Apocalypse, and the last World of Darkness book to include official metaplot (the Setting chapter). It's also the sole Time of Judgment book for Werewolf.
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