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Rite (WTA)

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GlyphRite

Garou glyph for rite.

A rite is a ceremony or ritual that spirits give to a Garou which allows them to exert their own will onto the world to do something beyond their normal abilities. It is because of the fact that Garou are part spirit that allows the rites to function.

These rites may be as simple as the Get of Fenris gathering for departed, in which they perform a special funeral where the body is burned along with the deceased's possessions; during the rite, the Get ask the Valkyries to speed them to the afterlife. More complicated are rites such as the Rite of Caern Building in which an army of Garou attempt to create a sacred wellspring of Gnosis while the Wyrm's agents send wave after wave of enemies against them.

List of RitesEdit

There are several different types of rites. These are the general rites, not specific to any individual tribe. A religious/magical connotation and connection exists here, serving ends of social and mystical purposes. Rites are capable of being performed in the Realm (physical world) or the Umbra (spirit world.) There are, differing levels of rites, ranging from one (1) through five (5), each level reflecting the complexity of the rite, thus increasing the skill of the ritesmaster needed to perform it. There are several categories, listed below.

AccordEdit

Rites of Accord are designed to bring harmony and/or balance to a Garou to Gaia. Purification and renewal by bringing the target of the ritual through a symbolic rebirth from Gaia's womb. [1]

  • Rite of Cleansing (Level 1): This is to purify a person, place or object and cleanse it from Wyrm-taint to make it safe for use by any and all. A circle is drawn by the ritesmaster in the dirt, walking counter clockwise around the infectious object with a lit torch/smouldering branch, then a branch of either willow or birch dipped in either pure water or snow to sprinkle on the afflicted object. [2]
  • Rite of Contrition (Level 1): Most commonly used to prevent animosity between Garou, spirits, or anyone else of the shifter nation; this is a formal apology that is very handy for any Theurge to know in the event they manage to offend a spirit by accident. It is highly recommended (though not required) that other auspices learn this one as well to apologize to whomever they've offended. The enactor drops to their belly and slides forward, the neck exposed with offers of a small gift may be better received than one without. [3]
  • Rite of Renunciation (Level 2): Rare, but it happens. Garou reject their auspice and choose a new one, performed under the face of Luna that they wish to embrace. Many who do this are viewed with a new suspicion, and members of certain tribes (such as Shadow Lords or Silver Fangs) tend to distrust the Garou who has undergone this as doing so is a grave insult to Luna. There are reasons other than just an auspice shift that can trigger such a ritual, resulting in loss of tribe and name; rejecting your tribe in this fashion is a severe insult to your tribal totem. [4]

CaernEdit

Caern Rites are designed to provide defense, renewal, and opening of Gaia's sacred places. If these didn't exist, her Great Warriors (Garou) would lose their ferocity in battle and tire of war.

  • Moot Rite (Level 1): It is said that moots cannot be opened until after the caern has been granted Gnosis, and all present must form a circle and replenish the Caern's Heart. This ritual must be performed at least once a month for maximum effectiveness. [5]
  • Rite of the Opened Caern (Level 1): Caerns are places that have a beneficial power associated with them. They could be of Rage, Enigmas, Strength, etc. If one is knowledgeable enough to tap into the power of the caern and use it themselves, then that is what "opens" the caern; though bear in mind doing so is no easy feat, as most will not release their secrets easily. If a ritesmaster fails to pass the Heart's challenge, or otherwise fails to prove they are competent enough to handle such power properly, it can and will do serious damage to the Garou nation as a whole. [6]
  • Rite of the Badger's Burrow (Level 4): This rite is to connect the guardians of a caern with their bawn, to make their connection so strong they can sense everything going on within its boundaries. Drugs have been known to enhance this effect by the Glass Walkers and Wendigo, but most tribes discourage this practice. [7]
  • Rite of the Opened Bridge (Level 4): "Hey, I wonder where this leads..." Well, okay. You probably don't want to find out, but usually it is a method of getting from one caern to another. It basically opens a moon bridge between two caerns, making travel somewhat easier. Most of these require a moon gem or path stone in order to function, and establishes a spiritual connection through the caern spirits so that the two septs may visit one another freely. This connection must be renewed every 13 months or so for maximum effectiveness. [8]
  • Rite of the Shrouded Glen (Level 4): This causes a segment of Umbra to become invisible to any other portion of the spirit realm. The most common practice for such a ritual is to hide the caern heart, in efforts to prevent it from becoming tainted or a hive. [9]
  • Rite of Caern Building (Level 5): This is perhaps the most powerful rite concerning caerns, because it's function creates a permanent caern by thinning the Gauntlet in order to bring the Realm and Umbra closer together, however it has been known to draw the attention of the Wyrm and prove to be a fatal undertaking. [10]

DeathEdit

Death may be a source of fear for many; however, true warriors of Gaia need not fear knowing that they die protecting the Great Mother in the endless struggle against the Wyrm. The circle of life continues: You're born, you fulfil your duty to Gaia, you die, you are reborn once more. [11]

  • Gathering for the Departed (Level 1): Enacted in honor of the newly dead, packmates of the slain werewolf will in some way share tales of renown for their fallen comrade. A long howl usually accompanies this, and the exact form of this rite has no particular form—so long as the companion's departure is acknowledged, it doesn't matter what tribe you're from. [12]
  • Rite of the Winter Wolf (Level 3): "I need your help, Luke. She needs your help. I'm getting to old for this sort of thing." --- Obi Wan Kenobi Ever wondered why Kenobi kills himself in A New Hope? He knows he's going to die once he's fulfilled his purpose, and becomes one with the Force. The same sort of idea holds true for Garou—A tenet of the Litany is Suffer Not Thy People to Tend Your Sickness, which (loosely translated) means "I've become too old and am too wounded to help you now, so I'm gonna go ask you all to watch me kill myself." There must be at least 3 Garou present to witness this event, and it must always be done at night. Immediately after the suicide, the sept performs the Gathering for the Departed (see above.) Whatever weapon is used to kill the Garou has to be silver, but doesn't have to be a klaive. [13]

MysticEdit

Mystic Rites put a Garou into direct contact with Umbral or spiritual beings. These can be performed solo. [14]

  • Rite of Growth (Level 1): A rite of the City Farmers camp of Glass Walkers.
  • Baptism of Fire (Level 1): Many tribes (not all, but most) use this to track down all children born to the tribe's Kinfolk within one month of their birth to see if they, too, are Garou. The search has been known to involve the gift Scent of the True Form. Garou found in this manner are "baptized" under their aspect of Luna beside a ritual fire. In the presence of a Kin-Fetch, the babe is then held up to baske in Luna's glow while the Garou performing the baptism howls Gaia's greeting to the newborn, then in which time the Kin-Fetch kisses the infant; creating a spiritual brand that is recognized by Garou and Black Spiral Dancers alike. [15]
  • Rite of the Questing Stone (Level 1): A Garou can find a person or object, but in order to find it he must know the name of the individual or object he's looking for. A small stone or needle must be dangled from a thread while concentrating on the item or person sought. [16]
  • Rite of Talisman Dedication (Level 1): Allows for the binding of objects to the body, such as clothing, backpacks, and other common mundane items so that when you shift or go into the Umbra with these things, you don't lose them. Fetishes and talens don't use this rite, as they shift or go Umbral with you automatically. [17]
  • Rite of Binding (Level 1): Binding a spirit to a Garou is a difficult process if the spirit you want is a really powerful one. Garou only bind spirits to them when needed, and having a spirit for a servant only works for a short amount of time. Most spirits don't want to be bound, and most Garou don't want to bind spirits. [18]
  • Rite of Becoming (Level 2): This must be performed at an Anchorhead Domain. Upon completion, it enables them travel into the Deep Umbra. Commonly, this rite requires the Garou make a braid from 3 of their hairs, 3 pieces of fine copper wire and 3 tendrils of a vine or Ivy. Once constructed, the Garou ties it around their wrist and howls 3 words of power. [19]
  • Rite of Spirit Awakening (Level 2): This is used to bring inactive (or sleeping) spirits to wakefulness. A rhythm is played by a Garou on some form of instrument while other Garou participating pace around the ritesmaster with howls and growls in counterpoint to the beat. Mundane items are enlivened, causing it to awaken and appear in the Umbra. [20]
  • Rite of Summoning (Level 2): While most Theurges can call spirits, the process involves complexities in the rituals, endless meditation and tribal mantra chanting. Typically done in the Umbra to make it easier. Minor spirits are usually too weak to resist a powerful summoning, while the more powerful ones will pay a visit out of curiosity. [21]
  • Rite of the Fetish (Level 3): Allows Garou to create a Fetish. Doing so requires the potential item to be cleansed by suspending it under sufficiently drinkable tap water (running tap water), burying it in the pure earth, exposing it to constant breezes or suspending it above flame for 3 consecutive nights; then must force or persuade a spirit to enter the prepared object. [22]
  • Rite of the Totem (Level 3): You have a similar interest. A singular common goal. So what if there's only 3 of you? You're a pack now, or you will be once this rite is complete. Spirit quest, typically led by the ritesmaster, or quite possibly even separate quests for each member of the pack who wishes to petition, as the totem has to decide if the Garou petitioning are worthy enough to become his fosterlings. [23]

PunishmentEdit

Punishment Rites have been known to levy the sanction of the tribe or Sept against a werewolf who has transgressed. The Garou are strengthened by establishing clear limits on acceptable behavior, and the more participation in these punishments by other Garou, the stronger the commitment to the pack over the individual. [24]

  • Rite of Ostracism (Level 2): Common for lesser crimes, but devastating effects can be had during wartime. The punished Garou is estranged from their tribe, sept, or pack, being treated as a non-entity. Ignored and left on their own as much as possible, although no hostile actions are taken against this Garou at the onset (in theory.) Typically lasts from one phase of Luna to the next, however it can last as long as the sept or tribe leaders desire. [25]
  • Stone of Scorn (Level 2): A rock imbued with a malicious spirit that contains personifications of shame, sorrow, etc. Some septs have a permanent stone of scorn to which offenders are dragged. The stone is passed to each Garou present, the scorned one is forced by their sept mates to sit and watch. Each Garou who receives the stone carves or paints a symbol of derision or shame onto it while telling some mocking or otherwise degrading tale about the offending behavior or about flaws in the Garou's character. [26]
  • Voice of the Jackal (Level 2): The behavior of a Garou has shamed not just themselves, but their entire sept and/or tribe, this may be a viable punishment. The Ritesmaster blows a handful of dust or ashes onto the offender and speaks "Because thy (cowardice/gluttony/selfishness/etc) has proved thee tobe of jackal blood, let thy voice proclaim thy true breed!" As the dust or ash lands onits target, their voice changes—causing them to speak in an annoyingly shrill and piercing nasal whine until the ritesmaster repeals the punishment. [27]
  • The Hunt (Level 3): This is called against those who have committed unwarranted murder or other capital crimes while still retain a vestige of honor. All those participating in a Hunt streak their bodies with ancient symbols in paint or clay, marking them as part of a Hunting Pack and other Garou will clear a path for those so marked. No quarter is given, and many who have perished in this way have gained post-humonous renown. [28]
  • Satire Rite (Level 3): The Stone of Scorn has a big brother. In this case, a special drama crafted by the Philodox and Moon Dancers for the sole purpose of ridicule and always performed during a moot with the offender in full view of the sept. Most of the time, Garou who witness one that aren't the offender will spread it freely to any other Garou they encounter. The offender suffers much renown loss for being so "honored". [29]
  • Rending the Veil (Level 4): Typically used to punish a human who has greatly offended the Garou. The offense is either against Garou, Gaia or Her children. The human becomes the victim of an all night hunt, and may (or may not) result in the death of the human. Those who live are rendered insane, though some overcome this and heal. This is not considered a breach of the Litany. [30]
  • Gaia's Vengeful Teeth (Level 5): Commonly reserved for traitors, consorts of the Wyrm or pure cowards whose lack of action caused death of other Garou. At least 5 Garou drag the traitor to a spot of hard, cracked earth and stone before the Ritesmaster stabs a sharpened twig or stone into their hand as they recite the traitor's sins against Gaia. Smearing their blood over the traitor's eyes, ears, and forehead, the ritesmaster cries out in grief and rage. As blood and tears drip to the ground, the rite takes effect. From that moment, whatever of Gaia touches the traitor transforms into razor sharp silver so long as it maintains contact with the flesh. Hunters in Crinos then chase the traitor like a dog before the ground consumes him. Offender's name is struck from all histories, spoken only as a curse from that moment forward. [31]

RenownEdit

Rites of Renown celebrate accomplishments of individuals and achievement of new stations within the pack or sept, a longing to receive such rites much as they fear those of punishment.

  • Rite of Accomplishment (Level 2): Honoring a werewolf and recognizing the trials they've had to endure to attain their current rank. An elder will call the honored one forward, as they advance their deeds will be listed to gain the acclaim. The Rite then takes place, and anyone who wishes to speak on behalf of the Garou being honored is welcome to. The elder follows up with something along the lines of "She is made greater in tribe, and sept, and amongst the people everywhere. Let this be known." [32]
  • Rite of Passage (Level 2): No cub is even accorded adulthood or respect until they pass this rite, not even considered true Garou, nor considered a member of any tribe until this is complete. The cubs must complete a dangerous test to prove they have the guts, honor, wisdom, and courage befitting a werewolf, and it is very seldom undergone alone. The ritesmaster sends the would-be pack off into the world with a specific intent, forbidding the cubs from returning until they have tried to accomplish this goal. If successful, they are marked with a pictogram that brands them as full-fledged Garou. If unsuccessful, they are considered second-class citizens until granted another opportunity to prove themselves. [33]
  • Rite of Wounding (Level 1): Celebrates a Garou's first battle wound. All honor this as a sign of courage. [34]

Seasonal RitesEdit

Seasonal rituals are celebrated differently from tribe to tribe and from place to place. Some celebrate the solstices and equinoxes, others perform at least once per moon and renew Gaia's connection to the Garou.

  • Rite of the Winter Winds (Level 2): Salute to Helios and encouragement for him to lengthen the days once more. No two septs celebrate it the same way, save for performing it at the winter equinox. Encourage Gaia's labor in giving birth to Helios and frighten off any minions of the Wyrm that may still be lurking. [35]
  • Rite of Reawakening (Level 2): Vernal equinox, led by the Ritesmaster at sundown leading the Gathered Garou into an Umbral quest. Always do these quests contain 7 trials, and it is usually around this time that mating is once again encouraged. [36]
  • The Great Hunt (Level 2): Also known as Midsummer. Exactly at midnight, the Ritesmaster calls upon Gaia to bring the attention of the sept to a creature worthy of the Great Hunt. In preparation, the Garou chant, howl and tell stories, also engage in a ritual blood letting. At dawn, Gaia sends the waiting sept a sign proclaiming the target of the hunt. They only have until midnight to complete the Great Hunt, the danger of the Great Hunt determines the amount of Glory gained. [37]
  • Rite of Thanksgiving (Level 2): A seasonal rite performed by the Uktena, based on the Green Corn Dance of the Cherokee.

Minor RitesEdit

Minor rites are half the cost of the normal rites: a Garou character can learn 2 for the price of 1. Werewolves who practice these regularly gain a small benefit for 24 hours, or find it easier to achieve certain goals.

  • Bone Rhythms
  • Breath of Gaia
  • Greet the Moon
  • Greet the Sun
  • Hunting Prayer
  • Prayer for the Prey

Anyone can learn the rite if they find a teacher; though usually auspice determines the ones they are expected to learn.

ReferencesEdit

External LinksEdit

Complete list of rites

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