OverviewEditAccording to their lore, the Gurahl are Gaia's original protectors, created to ward off the destructive power of the "Pattern Breaker", but when it grew too powerful for them they petitioned Gaia for help, and she created the Garou.
Slower to anger, healers and protectors rather than warriors, the Gurahl are rare since the War of Rage. They were targeted for refusing to teach the Garou the secret of bringing the dead back to life.
Gurahl are blessed by Gaia with strong wills, and many of the traits of their bear cousins. Their sense of smell is far superior to that of humans, though when in non-human forms their eyesight is poorer. They have a level of conscious control over their biorhythms, allowing them to alter the speed of their metabolisms, but are prey to the seasonal urges of bears, becoming sluggish and lazy in Winter.
The Gurahl have only two breeds: Homid (born of humans) and Ursine (born of bears). There are no Metis Gurahl - their mates are chosen through a special ritual, and even should two Gurahl mate, no child is ever born of their union.
Gurahl have five auspices which, like those of the Garou, correspond to phases of the moon. Gurahl auspices are not fixed, however; each Gurahl progresses through all five in the order below during their lifetime, though individuals may spend more or less time in certain auspices.
The Gurahl auspices, with their Garou equivalents, are:
- Arcas - the New Moon (Ragabash)
- Uzmati - the Full Moon (Ahroun)
- Kojubat - the Gibbous Moon (Galliard)
- Kieh - the Crescent Moon (Theurge)
- Rishi - the Half Moon (Philodox)
Gurahl forms are analogous to those of the Garou:
- Homid - human form.
- Arthren - near-man form. Considerably stronger and tougher than the glabro form of werewolves, Gurahl in Arthren form are thought to have inspired legends of the Sasquatch and similar creatures.
- Crinos - the war form. Extraordinarily strong and tough, not to mention huge: anywhere between 10 and 16 feet in height, and weighing up to 1200 kg.
- Bjornen - near-bear form. Resembling an ancient cave bear, with longer claws and fangs, the Bjornen form is almost as large and powerful as Crinos, with even more vicious bite and claw damage.
- Ursus - bear form. Homid Gurahl take the form of bears matching their Tribe.
There are four major Gurahl tribes, each representing a particular species of bear and geographical region (though exceptions to both do occur within each tribe):
- Forest Walkers - black bears from eastern North America, whose kinfolk are mostly Native Americans
- Ice Stalkers - polar bears from the Arctic regions, mostly Ursine with few Homids
- Mountain Guardians - mostly grizzly bears, based in western North America and who also claim Native American kinfolk
- River Keepers - brown bears whose population was decimated during the War of Rage; they are now mostly found in northern North America and Russia.
- Okuma - this fifth tribe was destroyed during the War of Shame; they were bears native to Asia, including moon bears, sun bears and even giant pandas
Code of UrsaEdit
- Cherish the Cubs
- Protect the Land
- Heal the Sick
- Nurture the Needy
- Teach the Supplicant
- Breed Wisely
- Cleanse the Tainted
- Guard the Secrets
- Rights of the Elder
- Remember Your History
- Punish the Guilty
- Avenge Wrongful Slaying
Gifts and RitualsEdit
Gurahl gifts and rites are primarily concerned with healing and the purification of the land, and include few outright martial powers. All Gurahl can learn the healing gift called Healing Tongue (equivalent to the Children of Gaia gift Grandmother's Touch), and most do.
As noted above, the Gurahl's most extraordinary and well-guarded secret is returning the spirits of dead people to their bodies. This can only be achieved soon after death, and at great personal and spiritual cost, using the gift Gaia's Breath. In cases of dire need, Gurahl may perform the Rite of Fighting the Death Bear, in which they must challenge Mangi, the aspect of Bear attuned to death. This rite is only ever used to revive fallen Shapeshifters, and even then, almost never on non-Gurahl.
Gurahl recognise three types of renown: Honor, for devotion and respect; Succor, for acts of healing, purification or giving aide to others; and Wisdom, for restoring, preserving or uncovering knowledge or gaining a deeper understanding of oneself.
Relationships with othersEdit
Gurahl live solitary lives often in remote wilderness areas, and so seldom encounter other Fera. They have limited familiarity with the Ananasi or Rokea, and almost none at all with the Ajaba, Nagah or Kitsune.
While they are happy for the Ratkin to remain in their cities, they maintain friendly relations with the Bastet, Corax, Mokolé and Nuwisha, particularly missing the company of the latter. While they still feel great anger from the War of Rage, they are willing to look past it and work with the Garou, who they once knew as their little brothers, to stave off the Apocalypse.
- Ursula Berensen
- Kirima Skye
- Snarl Tooth Tangle Fur
- Orphea Lightwalker
- Bill the Bear
- Hezekiah Blake
- Turgiv Bruzov
- Sarah Childslayer
- Leaping Bear
- Tessa Speaks-the-Truth
- Oleyah Voice-of-Mourning
- Most Ancient of Bears
Gurahl in Crinos form have a perception value modifier of +1 instead of -1; health level adjustments are Arthren and Ursus +1, Crinos and Bjornen +2; damage adjustment is +1 in Arthren, +2 in Crinos and Ursus, and +3 in Bjornen. A Gurahl with 3 points in Bio-rhythm can absorb one more point of damage than normal, rising to 2 extra points of damage with 5 points of Bio-rhythm, and every 2 Bio-rhythm points improve resistance to toxins of all kinds by lowering a Gurahl's resistance target number by 1.
As long as a Gurahl fights with Brawl, she uses Strength instead of Dexterity as the characteristic for checking if a hit is made.