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The White Howlers inhabited the lands of Caledonia (modern Scotland) since the Pleiocene, breeding with the native dire wolves and primitive human tribes who lived as hunters and gatherers. It is known that the Howlers participated in the Impergium, but later abandoned the practice (of their own volition, no less).
The early Howlers battled against the intrusions of the Wyrm, but had little to no contact to the other Garou. This, however, would change with the coming of the Great Winter.
The Ice AgeEdit
The Howlers had different stories why the Great Winter, as they call the Ice Age of the Pleistocene, happened. Some told of a spirit pact between the tribe and the Incarna of Winter that went awry, while others claimed that the focus of the tribe on their vagabond Kinfolk families allowed the Wyrm to creep into places beneath the Earth, festering there, and that Gaia used the ice to cleanse herself from the taint and teach her children a lesson. Whatever the case, most human Kinfolk families succumbed to the cold, forcing them southward, while the great wolves remained. The Tribe split accordingly: Some followed their human families into unfamiliar territories, while others stayed behind, hunting with their lupine Kinfolk.
In the south, the Howlers first encountered other Garou, the Fianna. At first, cultural differences as well as the plight of their Kin set Garou against Garou for several hundred years, until both sides agreed to careful breeding alliances. The Howlers, however, remained wary, for the Fianna had made alliances with the Faeries, strange spirit-like creatures whose bargains always took more than at first seemed. During this long period, the White Howlers were made a part of the Garou Nation, learning of the existence of other tribes, such as the Get of Fenris or the Silver Fangs.
When the Ice Age ended, the White Howlers returned to Caledonia, reuniting with their feral cousins, who had never left the land. Tribal legends tell of Taerlach Talespinner and how she made Helios end the Great Winter. Cultural shifts among their Kin, as well as the innovations that they had picked up during their stay in the south, like animal husbandry and farming, made tribe culture more wide.
Roman incursion and Fall Edit
When the Romans first arrived in Caledonia around 200 BCE, the Garou did not know how to react. Only when the first clan was taken as slaves did the Howlers finally react in fury. The arrival of the Romans also stirred numerous Wyrm beasts, who began to attack the tribe. When the first Roman Fomori appeared, the Tribe chose to attack. After a tribal Council, the whole tribe marched southward to rip the heart of the invaders out. They encountered mundane resistance from the Romans and when the White Howlers stormed the headquarters of the invaders, they were victorious.
In their rush for war, the Howlers had left their families defenseless. When they returned, they found their holy glades defiled by Banes, their Kinfolk harassed and violated by Fomori, their bloodlines tainted by the Wyrm. Horrified at what their pride had cost them, the Howlers began a desperate battle against the encroachment of the Wyrm in their lands, but the evil had been so entrenched that whole family lines of Kinfolk had to be killed in order to avoid them bearing additional fomori into the world. This duty bore heavy on the White Howlers, who formed ever greater packs to purge the Wyrm's influence from their land. During one of these travels, they found the Great Pit, a portal directly into the hellish Realm of Malfeas, the domain of the Wyrm itself.
The White Howlers argued on how to proceed. Eventually, the majority chose to assault the Wyrm directly, hoping to weaken it enough to secure their homeland. They sent a call for aid to each of the European Tribes of the Nation, but received no answers. The whole tribe was marshalled and marched into the Pit, hoping to gain the deciding victory in the war against the Wyrm.
It did not come to pass. Instead, the Howlers were corrupted, as they followed the broken pathways into the Black Spiral Labyrinth, where they were turned inside out and reemerged as the Black Spiral Dancers. As of 200 AD, the tribe had vanished.
The White Howlers organized themselves after the clans of their Kinfolk, as a result of the long separation between the Homid Howlers that had left Caledonia during the Great Winter, and the Lupine Howlers that had remained alongside their wolf kin. Being part of the diverse people the Romans referred to as "Picts", some of them lived alongside farmers, some lived as hunters and herders, and others focused on running with wolves. Only in the waning days of the tribe were tribal councils founded, to coordinate the war effort in the south as well as against the Wyrm.
The White Howlers had a diverse tribal culture that vanished with them.
- The Boderia: Also known as "the Silent Ones", the Boderia focused on calming the denizens of the Dark Umbra and maintaining a link to the Ancestors. Most of them sacrificed parts of their body to come closer to realms of the dead.
- The Mactire: The Mactire were focused on the lupine part of their heritage, similar to the Red Talons, although not with the same zeal.
- The Toutates: The Toutates were a loose affiliation of White Howlers that were dedicated to preserving their human Kinfolk.
The White Howlers made use of blue warpaint, tattoos and similar body art that were often used as fetishes. Some of these were shared with their Kin.
The Tribe had a long history of cooperating with Wraiths, aiding them to find rest. In their burial rites, however, the body of the fallen did not play any significant role, as the spiritual self had left it in the moment of its death.
Version Differences Edit
The above is the Howlers' presentation as of Werewolf 20th's White Howler Tribebook. Earlier accounts present their fall differently.
In the second edition Book of the Wyrm, the Howlers' fall was a combination of some Howlers becoming corrupted as a result of the tribal practice of challenging the Labyrinth, and the Howlers' Kinfolk becoming corrupted by Banes. Eventually, to maintain their homelands' freedom, the corrupted Howlers willingly called upon the forces of the Wyrm, killing those Howlers who challenged them, with the final surviving Howlers getting dragged into the Labyrinth.
In the W20 corebook, it's presented as a result of their own hubris; seeing a chance to fight the Wyrm as the very height of glory, the entire tribe ventured into the Pit, where they were corrupted.
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