Metis is a rare breed of Garou. They are the offspring of two Garou who broke the Litany for love or lust. They are born in the Crinos form and that is their natural form - however, they are deformed and sterile.
Except for the legendary Perfect Metis, all other metis are born with an innate flaw. This disability may be a physical deformity (such as a withered limb), a mental disability (such as severe mental illness), an intellectual impairment or even a spiritual disability (such as always reflecting their Crinos form in mirrors).
Despite their deformities, metis do enjoy some advantages. Their natural form is crinos, so they are naturally better at combat than their brethern. They also have more Gnosis than Homid cubs, giving them a spiritual advantage. Lupus have more Gnosis, but are often baffled by the human world. The idea of walking upright and having use of hands can confuse and frighten Lupus cubs. Metis cubs can walk on two feet or four feet, so are used to perceiving the world from multiple perspectives.
Metis are also raised in Garou society, so frequently have a better grasp of rituals, the spirit world, and other aspect of Garou society that Homid and Lupus cubs don't learn about until after First Change. But because metis are born in the Crinos form they return to this form when they die, causing a significant problem for the Garou Nation to uphold the Litany - as a deceased Homid and Lupus Garou would leave behind only human or wolf corpses, respectively, regardless of what form the Garou was in at the time of death.
Not all metis are raised in Garou society, however. Because they are trapped in Crinos until First Change, they must be kept out of sight of humans. In an urban or suburban sept, this means they spend the majority of their childhood locked away from people and not even allowed outside. At small septs, they may well be the only metis, so will have no one to interact or play with, stunting their emotional growth. They may have extreme difficulty coping with groups of people once they undergo first change, and lack basic social skills for dealing with both humans and wolves.
Metis are generally looked down upon by most Garou as they are a result of two Garou breaking one of the tenets of the Litany: "Garou Shall Not Mate With Garou". Some tribes kill their metis outright or treat them so cruelly they might wish for death. Other tribes require the parents to raise the cub as punishment for their sins, but do not officially punish the child itself. Unofficially, metis still have to work much harder than Homid or Lupus to gain respect.
Metis at larger septs are generally a bit 'luckier' since there may well be other metis cubs of similar age in residence that they can interact with. Larger septs are also more likely to have someone experienced with raising metis cubs, who may arrange for a visit to another sept with a metis pup to get a lone metis some much needed social interaction.
Tribe views on MetisEdit
The Fianna are known to be particularly unforgiving of metis, considering any physical deformity a sign of spiritual weakness and inferiority. They treat even homids and lupus with minor physical flaws as lesser creatures. The Red Talons frequently kill metis because they are unable to keep up with the pack, but bear them little personal malice if they are strong enough to survive.
The Children of Gaia, Bone Gnawers, and Glass Walkers tend to have the highest numbers of metis. The Children of Gaia and Bone Gnawers will accept metis cubs from other tribes and raise them as their own. So their reputation for producing an unusually high number of metis is not entirely deserved, since many are adopted. Accepting unwanted metis from other tribes has also helped bolster their ranks, so they are two of the largest tribes.
The Glass Walkers have occasionally been accused of advocating the production of metis so as to ensure a constant number of Garou, but this is likely a rumor. They have a higher than normal number because they keep virtually all of their metis, even ones that are so sickly they could never fight. These metis are sometimes augmented with technofetishes to make their life easier, but most merely find a place in the tribe dealing with humans or computers, activites that do not require sound bodies.
The other Fera treat their metis slightly better than the Garou, overall. Due to their lower numbers they need every cub they can get. Some Fera can not produce metis at all.
- Ajaba metis are all hermaphrodites rather than being deformed, and serve as the intermediary between the male mystics and female warriors.
- Ananasi parings produce offspring, but these Athasaia are kept in the Umbra after birth, and they are stuck in their Pithus form. Kumo, however, produce metis that devour their way out of the womb.
- Bastet produce deformed metis, as Garou do, but they do not suffer from the same social stigma.
- Kitsune metis, known as Shinju, are not deformed - However only 10% of all Kitsune to Kitsune offspring are Shinju rather than normal human or fox kinfolk. Additionally, one of the parents is likely to die if a Shinju is born.
- Mokolé metis die before they are born as their developing mind is incapable of Dreaming up an Archid form. These Innocents wander the middle-Umbra, seeking out Mokolé to attack for their misfortune.
- Nagah parings under very specific conditions produce a single undeformed Metis known as an Ahi. A mother may give birth to only one Ahi in their lifetime. Their skin blisters when exposed to harsh pollution.
- Ratkin metis are not only deformed, but have less endurance (this means they have lower stamina, but also higher strength from surviving their upbringing).
- Corax, Gurahl, Nuwisha, and Rokea do not produce Metis at all. Among the Lost Breeds, the Apis and the Camazotz also did not have metis offspring.
- Grondr metis were sterile, but not deformed. They were the warriors and scouts of the Grondr.
- Werewolf: The Apocalypse 20th Anniversary Edition, p. 44, 69, 74-76