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Werewolf: The Forsaken Discord PBP: Wolves of the Ozarks

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  • Werewolf: The Forsaken Discord PBP: Wolves of the Ozarks

    In 2018, a prophecy was fulfilled: Out of Basra emerged the paradoxical Firstborn, Danu-Ur, Creator Wolf, alongside the first adherents of her Tribe, the Drinkers of the Well. Uniting both Urdaga and Anshega under the auspices of a single Totem, werewolf society looked expectantly, fearfully, to the paradigm shift this nascent Tribe portends.

    One year later, a charismatic preacher of Danu-Ur's ways arrives in Northwest Arkansas. As a region that has seen a number of rapid changes of its own over the past decades, alongside the stasis in which it nevertheless appears in certain regards to be trapped, Jonah Sparrowguide claims that Creator Wolf has taken an active interest in the Ozarks. Over time, the area has seen a small number of converts to the Drinkers of the Well—defectors from other Tribes who weren't getting out what they were putting in, Ghost Wolves who never quite found their place in Uratha society, the genuinely curious, and others who harbor their own shadowy reasons for switching to this novel side.

    And you, players: You are a pack of Drinkers of the Well, followers of Creator Wolf's doctrine to a one. You all have your own reasons for joining the new Tribe. Some of you may be Forsaken, others Pure, but your bond to Danu-Ur surpasses the animosities these old ideologies would otherwise entail. Regardless, you have a lot to prove. Painful histories have entrenched the werewolves of the Ozarks in their ways, and many sets of eyes will be watching you with curiosity. Best of luck.

    Oh, and try not to let Walmart catch wind of what you're up to. And I don't just mean the corporation.


    --

    I recently got a hair to run a game of Werewolf, set in Northwest Arkansas. I'm looking for around three to five players, who will all be playing members of the recently established Tribe, the Drinkers of the Well. The story itself is currently fairly open-ended, depending on what sorts of characters get created. I'll post some notes on the setting below. As mentioned in the title, I'd like to run the game over Discord, as I've recently had some positive RP experiences with that app. I live in the Central Time Zone (in Arkansas itself, incidentally).

    The Gift of Thought

    Some potential character ideas to help get your creative juices flowing:
    • The Ghost Wolf: Uratha culture never appealed to you. It all seemed so petty, so violent, so based in events that happened so long ago and shrouded in such a thick haze of hearsay and myth that they may as well never have happened at all. Then Jonah Sparrowguide showed up on your doorstep, guided by inisght and Cahalith allies. He showed you a new path to take, a new society to forge, a future where the rivalries of old might be definitively over and done with. Good thing he did when he did, too; the lack of Tribal bond was starting to make you a little weird.
    • The Newly Pure: You became a Drinker of the Well from the side of the Forsaken, but something about Urdaga ideology never fully sat right with you. Maybe it was the unfailing devotion to a mad and distant goddess, or maybe it was something a bit more personal, some traumatic interrelational history between you and another Tribe member. Regardless, Danu-Ur has provided you with an opportunity to strip yourself of your Auspice and embrace the Hunt in all its primal purity without the prepackaged stigma of being one of the Anshega (who also still come off as pretty insane to you as well). Let's see how long that lasts.
    • The Remorseful Pure: You had your Auspice stripped away in rejection of the Moon's touch. You ran with the Anshega for a time, but after a while came to regret throwing in your lot with hate-filled werewolf supremacists. The Drinkers of the Well accept anyone from any side, though, for the time being at least. This is your chance to ingratiate yourself with the Urdaga, and maybe even find a way to get your Auspice back. What price would you pay for that?
    • The Misfit: You were always at the bottom of the pecking order of your Tribe. Maybe you were a Bone Shadow that could never get the hang of talking to spirits, or an Ivory Claw that couldn't get over your modern liberal distaste for eugenics. Then came Sparrowguide and the Drinkers, a Tribe where you realized you could truly flourish, even if your old Tribemates see it as treachery or poaching.
    • The Double Agent: You're a paragon of either the Blood Talons or Fire-Touched, a fierce defender of your Tribe's ways. That some upstart spirit and her Uratha cheerleader should claim an unfounded relationship with both Destroyer and Rabid Wolf fills your heart with anger, though, admittedly, also a little curiosity. You've warily joined the Drinkers, forsaking the purity of your Tribal bond to find out what's really going on here. Your compatriots await your findings with baited breath, unless of course you've pulled the wool over their eyes as well, in which case you have no choice but to wear the badge of the traitor with aplomb.
    • The Nuzusul: Your First Change wasn't all that long ago, a month at most. Your young eyes take in the Drinkers of the Well with the exact same consideration as they do every other Uratha Tribe. With no preconceived biases, you can join Sparrowguide's cause with a clear conscience and without breaking any hearts, though without an understanding of the Ozarks' lycanthropic history, every interaction is like navigating a field of landmines waiting to explode with bad blood and old scars.
    • The Petitioner: Danu-Ur represents change, not just of Uratha society, but transformation on a spiritual level. Change is just what you need right now. You're stuck in a rut. You've got a dead-end job, a novel that refuses to be written, a wound that won't heal, a sin you can't atone for. The Drinkers are an opportunity you can't pass up, not when the shard of old god embedded in your flesh threatens you with impending death, the Lune you swallowed whole with inevitable madness.
    • The Bodhisattva Laid Low: You were a monster to fear once, a predator that stalked the hills and hollers of Northwest Arkansas in pursuit of the most dangerous of prey, adorned in complex brands of Renown, wielding jaws like perfected iron and entire ziggurauts of spirit magic in your blood and bones. Then came the day when you met your match, a monster even more horrible than you. It flayed your flesh just as it flensed your Essence, stripping you of everything: your Primal Urge, your Gifts, your Renown, your bonds, until you were no stronger than some newly Changed whelp. Then, instead of giving the mercy of a killing blow, it vanished. It should have killed you. Now you're going to kill it. You were too embarrassed to go crawling back to your old Tribe, though, weakened and begging for aid. You still have your pride, after all. The Drinkers, though, they don't know you. They're the perfect chance to start over, to build your legend once more.
    Last edited by espritdecalmar; 09-12-2020, 09:37 PM.

  • #2
    Theme: The Precarity of Stasis

    Northwest Arkansas has changed rapidly in the past few decades, transforming from a collection of farming towns into a fastly growing metropolitan area. The past lingers on, however, in paradoxical knots: Fortune 500 businesses keep their offices next to farmlands, the “largest entertainment district in the state” comprises a couple of streets with a handful of bars and restaurants, a theater, and a row of buildings consistently empty because no one can afford the prohibitively high rents, and, despite being the most politically liberal part of the state, the Ozarks also play home to one of the seats of the KKK. Times may be changing, but not for everyone, and not always for the better.

    --

    The Trap Ensnaring All of Life

    The history of the Ozarks is influenced first by the dominant Osage nation that extended throughout modern-day Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri, followed in turn by French explorers and American subsistence farmers. The Uratha, of course, could be found among them all in one capacity or another.

    Traditional Osage religious beliefs divided the world between earth and sky into two realms: one physical, and the other spiritual, and so newly changed Uratha in the region at the time found their new understanding of things to be mainly a matter of learning new names. Interaction with French voyageurs and later settlers brought new wrinkles and ententes to the Tribes and Lodges of the aux arcs.

    In the 19th Century, the Osage, along with the Quapaw, Caddo, Tunica, Cherokee, and other tribes besides were removed forcefully from Arkansas to reservations further west, all remaining behind scattered arrowheads and, eventually, a few small pitiful signs marking the general path of the Trail of Tears.

    After the Louisiana Purchase, the Ozarks came to be inhabited by American homesteaders—especially from mountainous Appalachia—as well as immigrants from Ireland, England, and Germany. The region’s numerous crags and contours discouraged the slave-run plantation farms so popular in flatter parts of the state, such as the Delta, and fostered a gap in both wealth and culture. During the Antebellum Period, Arkansan politics were run by the Conway-Johnson Family, whose influence can still be seen in the names of towns and roads throughout the state, not to mention lingering policy decisions. In the sixties and seventies, members of America's counterculture movement became interested in the movement, seeing the region as an opportunity to put to practice simple agricultural lives of peace and love. Although much derided at the time, these "hipbillies" left a palpable impact on the culture of Northwest Arkansas, especially in Eureka Springs.

    Today Northwest Arkansas is a diverse and growing place, home to a broad student population, the world’s largest immigrant Marshallese community, aging hippies, corporate executives, artists both established and aspiring, drug addicts, poultry farmers struggling to meet the demands of Tyson’s exacting and punitive contracts, underpaid adjunct professors, impoverished dispossessed living out of secluded motels, out-of-towner professionals who keep to their pre-fab enclaves, activists, hate groups, Instagram influencers, megachurches, day hikers, football enthusiasts, and one of the wealthiest families in the world.

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    • #3
      Oh, that sounds like an awesome premise for a game! Are you running at specific times or doing asynchronous PbP-style where people post when they have the time?


      Black Lives Matter

      He/His Pronouns | CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon | Deviant (WIP) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf

      Comment


      • #4
        Prey

        Werewolves

        Like Creator Wolf herself, Jonah Sparrowguide seemingly emerged from nowhere with his doctrine of inspiratory renewal. His spiritual power and force of personality soon found him with a circle of Uratha interested enough in conversion to this strange new Tribe that promises a new direction for Forsaken, Pure, and Ghost Wolves alike. But who exactly are these sparrows that he’s apparently guiding?

        The Drinkers of the Well still remain the smallest Tribe worldover, banding together in scattered pockets here and there, but membership grows steadily. The fluctuating nature of the Ozarks seems to have drawn the attention of their Totem, and Simnah Hestunadar shamans prophecize an abundance of Sacred Prey in the region, all those who dream of changing things heedlessly or coil around the desire to return to an unreachable past. Jonah Sparrowguide’s assembled a pack of his own here, the Augurs, including the ex-Bone Shadow Cahalith Ralston Franklin and the former Fire-Touched Anika Greene, among other wolves. A small handful of other Drinker packs have come together recently as well. Furthermore, the Lodge of Harbingers has decided to provisionally allow the Simnah Hestunadar to join their ranks, and the Ozarks at large now play home to the Cahalith Tribe member Luckas Mountain-Jumper. In fact, Sparrowguide seems to have a keen interest in recruiting Gibbous Moons to his cause, and in the process has developed a nebulous relationship with the Lodge of the Screaming Moon.

        The Pure Tribes of Northwest Arkansas are much like their counterparts the world over. They flay Luna’s Auspices from their flesh, howl injurious invectives at the goddess they despise, and dream of the day when all is ruled once more by the laws of the Hunt. Outside of this, however, there is a tension: The eldest Anshega still remember the glory days of the Wolf-Queen of Texas and the oaths they swore to her before her inglorious defeat at the hands of the Forsaken bastards. Their Totems remember, too.

        Fire-Touched congregate in Eureka Springs, drawing their members from the town’s cast off and dispossessed, those desperate for a higher purpose, searching for something and in all other avenues finding nothing. On holy days, Rabid Wolf’s fevered shamans hold Shadow-warping ceremonies in the spiritual reflection of Thorncrown Chapel, leading to mortal urban legends about hauntings in the surrounding woods and Lake Leatherwood Park. Some of the Izidakh have also dedicated themselves to the care of the Displaced, providing succor to spirits that have nowhere else to go, in the process giving themselves a leg up in the Hisil’s political scene. Never underestimate the power of charity. In Tontitown, the Thunder Maenads pack have been sniffing around the Locus centered in the ruins of the old St. Joseph Church, but its public location and Iminir protector have kept them so far from claiming it.

        The Ivory Claws’ mightiest family, the Upshaws, hold court in Rogers, though they prefer to conduct their strange rituals of purification at night in the more secluded Prairie Creek, on the shores of Beaver Lake, lending credence to tales of eerie screams echoing across Ventris Hollow when the moon is high and full. The patriarch Palmer Upshaw has designs on one of the numerous enclaves recently constructed in the surrounding countryside to house wealthy transplants to the area. One of the family’s Wolf-Blooded, Linda Upshaw-Franklin, is on the staff of the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, while the nuzusul Lloyd Upshaw, something of a black sheep of the family, can often be found on the upper floor of Club Frisco, crushing tall boys and talking in a low voice to a spirit patron few know much about. A lesser family, the Aubouchons, lair in Devil’s Den State Park, a permanent fixture in the camping grounds, their fortunes laid low in the aftermath of the Wolf-Queen’s defeat two centuries ago.

        Predator Kings stalk the hills and hollers of the Northwest Arkansan wilds, taking their kin from the inhabitants of rural towns and farmlands still relatively disconnected from the region’s greater infrastructure. This is all par for the course for the Tribe, but few outsiders know of the Ninna Farrakh’s greater goal for the Ozarks: Nestled in a secluded holler far from prying mortal eyes, jutting from the ground like a sword from another world, lies one of Father Wolf’s teeth, a jagged relic from a lost world that still emanates great power. The Predator Kings believe this holy place ideal for the resurrection of Pangaea. The Cult of Bones is very interested to see how this plays out.

        The Forsaken had achieved a balance in the region. Prey was hunted to the satisfaction of Harmony, and things may have continued as they had into perpetuity or at least climate collapse, until Sparrowguide turned up. Now, the Urdaga have to contend with a new Tribe poaching their nuzusul and—horror upon horrors!—bridging the gap with the Pure. This potential paradigm shift threatens more than old grudges, but perhaps even the very way of life the People of the Ozarks have built for themselves thus far.

        The leader of the Blood Talons of Northwest Arkansas is undoubtedly Phoebe Singh, though to look at her Hishu form one might be surprised to learn that this slight, demure woman is one of the most fearsome kinslayers in all of the Ozarks. That’s just the way the Irraka likes it, of course; the prey is easier to approach when they don’t realize you’re a threat. Other members of her Tribe follow her guidance with respect, albeit tinted with a bit of wariness, and her pack, the Hunting Party, war with Anshega over influence over businesses throughout Bentonville. Phoebe is very curious about the Drinkers of the Well, especially the part about Danu-Ur’s connection to Destroyer Wolf. Evan Totem-Breaker, Singh’s crescent-moon second-in-command, is somewhat more wary.

        The Bone Shadows find themselves in an interesting situation. Perhaps the most diverse Tribe of the Ozarks, they are at the forefront of dealing with the shifting spiritual landscape of the region and the fallout on both sides of the Gauntlet this engenders. The Marshallese twins Michelle and Niko Phillips both changed under the same crescent moon, and guide many of the Hirfathra Hissu’s greater hunts The Rahu Zachary Kills-By-Nolight was renowned for his slaying of a bevy of void spirits who made it past the Warden Moon’s outer line of defense, but has recently gone incommunicado, even to his own pack. Meanwhile, the Lodge of the Crucible has been working overtime in the region, hunting down the numerous magath that have been popping up as of late; it’s possible that the traditional schism between Forsaken and Pure in the Lodge might be mended, or at least transformed, by the rise of the Drinkers of the Well.

        The Hunters in Darkness have done as they always have done, keeping the god-shards of long-defeated enemies of the Great Predator in check, paying little regard to any upheaval that may be happening around them. The Lodge of Seasons has long held power here, although urban sprawl and tourism has driven an increase of adherents to the Lodge of Wrath. The Web Breakers in Fayetteville are doing their best to deal with the growing Azlu problem in the city. Jelisa Williams single-handedly brought down a mighty Beshilu monstrosity in Fort Smith half a decade ago, and today garners a healthy degree of respect among the Meninna, although not all, considering the rumors surrounding what exactly she did to accomplish the feat. Out in the Ozark National Forest, the Rangers hunt the always-lingering Termite Hosts, among other strange monstrosities lurking among the trees. There also appears to be some internal agitation over a controversial Rite that was discovered not long ago by the Hunters, its symbols scored into the ephemeral bark of pine-spirits across the Ozarks’ Hisil, intelligible only to those bonded with Black Wolf.

        The Iron Masters of Northwest Arkansas are historically a disparate bunch, only gaining traction in the past two decades as the greater metropolitan region continues its steady development. Still, the Tribe has found a niche for itself among the bustle of humanity. Doctor Alma Ramirez not only serves as a key member of the local Farsil Luhal and adherent of the Lodge of Scrolls, but also works as an assistant professor in the Latin American & Latino Studies department at the University of Arkansas. She has been integral in rooting out problematic elements at the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in the past. Meanwhile, Jack Holloway has a theory he’s been working on: The Walmart Corporation knows about the Uratha, and sees them as a threat. It’s why they changed their logo to the sunburst in 2008, in order to curry favor with Helios.

        The Storm Lord Elodoth Ellis Bandini is the head of a one-wolf pack watching over Tontitown, as well as the only known member of the Lodge of the Roman Ritual in the Ozarks. When he was younger, Ellis had wanted to enter the seminary himself, but the First Change put a stop in that dream. He now serves his hometown’s congregation as a wolf among the flock, keeping an eye out for rogue spirits feeding off their desperation and faith. His pack includes the mortal priest of St. Joseph, Father Christopher Sbanatto.

        The Kappa Sigma Fraternity president Keith Rawls transformed under the light of the half moon several months ago. He’s shown no interest in joining greater Uratha society, and rumors on University campus are starting to spread about how the other brothers have been acting strangely, more insular, as of late. Unbeknownst to him, the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority president and Storm Lord Irraka Juliette Dupont has been keeping a wary eye on the Ghost Wolf.

        The Thousand Steel Teeth are traditionally unwelcome in Northwest Arkansas. They come anyway, following their oracles of chrome and tar, hiding among the throngs of bikers who flock to Fayetteville during the Bikes, Blues, and Barbecue Festival in September (a week when locals grit their teeth and avoid downtown as much as they can), trading stories of the open road with those willing to listen, and tending to the region’s relatively young highway and interstate spirits, guiding their growth and exalting in their future glory. Off on the backroads deep in the woods of the Ozarks, the Gear Dogs also hold sacred drag races for those in the know, their true purpose understood by those werewolves initiated into the Lodge’s deepest mysteries. A few of the cult’s adherents have taken up positions at J.B. Hunt, planning shipping routes that draw out mystical sigils across the state, slipping in a few pieces of their own cargo among the freight, or just reveling in the opportunity to drive really big trucks.

        Spirits

        Creek Serpents rise from the various smaller bodies of water running through the region, long and languid in aspect, though most dotted with apparent bits of artificiality, such as a few concrete scales or fangs wrought from rusted iron, reflecting humanity’s shaping of the Ozarks’ riparian zones. Of dire note is the Spring Serpent in Springdale, who has grown corrupted on runoff from Tyson’s chicken processing plants, and now languishes as a befouled thing.

        Hedge Apples are eager to form twisting, thorny barricades, and often provide Uratha who please them with Facets of the Gift of Warding when they aren’t busy blocking off vital pathways through the Shadow. The choir lost a great amount of conceptual power with the advent of barbed wire, and so look favorably upon those who put their physical counterparts to traditional use. For some reason, many of these spirits also seem to think their Essence possesses the power to cure cancer. It doesn’t—yet.

        The Displaced aren’t a natural choir of spirits, but rather a confederation of beings who, in the development of Northwest Arkansas, have found themselves pushed out of their normal turf, disrupted by the tide of human progress. Spirits of trees, meadows, deer, and more besides would have been swallowed up by encroaching predators made of asphalt and aluminum had they not banded together into a minor, yet always growing, coalition that’s carved a niche for itself in the weird politics of the Shadow. Increasingly, artificial spirits have also begun to join the Displaced: Every time the Waltons buy out an old factory or warehouse to convert into another modern art gallery or short-lived upscale restaurant, dormant machine- and industry-spirits find themselves shaken out of their old haunts, threatened by new spirits of commerce and glamour, and so have found common cause with oak, stream, and opossum.

        Razorbacks dash furiously back and forth across the local Hisil, congregating on the University of Arkansas campus to brood, especially on game days, when the roar of the crowd produces an outpouring of competitive Essence. More than one pack has taken one of these team-spirits as a Totem, but lately, the whole of them seem a little listless, like they’re just going through the motions.

        Haint-Shames linger over a past that others would rather forget. The Waltons want potential tourists to the region to see Northwest Arkansas as a historyless land of pure natural beauty and bland corporate liberalism. The University of Arkansas just wants an influx of students from around the world, and so presents itself merely as a bastion of research, career development, and football. The more people try to tamp down on the uglier parts of Arkansas’s history—the removals and lynchings and sundown towns—the stronger the Haint-Shames grow, the louder they gibber into the ears of restless sleepers.

        Although not even a century old yet, Beaver Lake basks in its resplendent glory as the primary provider of fresh water to the residents of Northwest Arkansas. It knows well its own importance, and quickly adapted to its new situation when the White River was dammed in the sixties. What White River itself thinks of its upstart progeny is a matter of debate among shamans; lately the great spirit has become reclusive and prone to bouts of agitation.

        Which spirit do you think is the most powerful in Northwest Arkansas? Is it the Springfield Plateau? The Ozark Forest? Some river or mountain long worshipped by mankind? Bzzt, wrongo. It’s Walmart, adipose creature whose tendrils have come to encircle distant lands the world over. Without Walmart, none of you would be here. Without Walmart, this place would consist of a few scattered villages and hardscrabble farms ruled over by hillbillies and Klansmen. Without Walmart, the University of Arkansas would still be some rinky-dink agricultural college. Without Walmart, there’s no Crystal Bridges, no Razorback Greenway, no Tyson Foods, no J.B. Hunt, no Onyx Coffee Labs, no pristine Buffalo River, no tourists, no money. Without Walmart there is nothing. You ungrateful swine. You feral hogs. From a scar in the world, Walmart was born, and into this scar is funneled more Essence than most spirits see in their short, pathetic lives. Everything and everyone owes fealty to Walmart, even if they don’t know it yet.

        Hosts

        Within the Ozark National Forest lie scattered mounds of Termite Hosts. Generally dealt with by a pack of Hunters in Darkness, the Zurdilu are dispersed enough only to take the rare day-hiker or vagrant. However, their interstitial handiwork still runs through the forest, forming strange tunnels of occult geometry for the power-hungry.

        In the Boston Mountains, locals pass around tall tales of an old witch named Bessie-Lou and her brood of rat familiars. Go to her begging for a favor, if you must, but be sure to watch your manners, and bring a little something for the rats.

        Something in the past drew the Azlu in numbers to the area around Lake Sequoyah, and the Gauntlet there is still thick with the Spider Hosts’ webs. Certain Bone Shadow prophets say that this is for the best. Recently, more and more Azlu shards have been popping up in Fayetteville, especially along the Razorback Greenway. They sometimes crawl into the ears of the homeless sleeping in the woods just off the path, and other times, build webs from the lampposts that illuminate the Greenway and observe.

        On the outskirts of Eureka Springs sits a narrow tower made of wood and stone, erected in the seventies by a local architect after a series of insistent, harrowing dreams. For tourists, it’s one artistic curiosity among the town’s many, though the locals have always found the structure off-putting for reasons no one can quite put their finger on. They’d tear it down, but these days it seems to be infested with wasps.

        Humans

        The Walmart Corporation has developed a surefire strategy for dealing with any obstacles: They simply buy them, and then they aren’t obstacles anymore. Everybody wins. For a company whose driving ethos is offering the lowest prices possible for products, the cost of anything in the region that could prove a problem is usually pocket change. The philanthropic projects of the Walton Family have led to the construction of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, the funding of the Creative Writing MFA program at the University of Arkansas, and the development of numerous mountain bike trails from Winslow to Bella Vista, among other ventures. The corporation’s immense wealth has also attracted other international businesses to Northwest Arkansas, and the yearly Shareholders’ Meeting draws thousands of people from around the world to the Ozarks for half a week of celebrating the glittering jewel in the diadem of capitalism. It is not an exaggeration to say that modern Northwest Arkansas owes its very existence to Walmart, which is just the way the Waltons like it.

        Tyson Foods holds its world headquarters in Springdale, and is also the city’s largest employer, especially of the local Marshallese community. Infamous for their skyrocketing greenhouse emissions, mistreatment of undocumented employees, and insistence on productivity at any cost, the corporation’s processing plants are breeding grounds for spirits of misery and disease. Curiously, in the Hisil corresponding to the location of one of Tyson’s factory farms, an egg has appeared, growing gradually but steadily in size with every chicken raised and slaughtered.

        The Shepherds are a coalition of farmers, hunters, and other rural blue-collar-types found throughout the Ozarks who know that their livelihoods are sometimes threatened by more than just bad weather, urban sprawl, and coercive contracts. Over the generations, they’ve gathered enough collective lore from local rumors, first-hand accounts, and old murder ballads to have a bit of a clue about some of the things that go bump in the night, and their stockhouses always have a case of silver bullets stashed away.

        Drive south from Lincoln a bit, heading toward the Oklahoma border, and you might come across a side road with a dead end sign. Press on for another mile or so and you’ll find a rusty old gate with a TRESPASSERS WILL BE SHOT sign. Keep going because you’re brave or crazy or most likely both and you’ll see something you were never supposed to. Satellite maps will show you nothing, but with enough research you might find cryptic references to something called RD-13, along with some wild stories about what happened to the last fools who didn’t turn back when they were warned.

        As Fayetteville’s cost of living continues to rise, so does its itinerant homeless population. Preyed on by overbearing police, well-off NIMBY suburbanites, and drunk frat boys, many take to living in the woods, especially on the south side of town. Northwest Arkansas’s generally pleasant weather year-round makes living outdoors a feasible option if you’re smart about it and can manage to get a few supplies. Unfortunately, their easy victimization at the hands of mortals extends to the supernatural as well, and more than one morning has come with the vanishing of an encampment member, a few blood-streaked shreds of tent all that remains. Some have talked about banding together into some sort of watch to better protect themselves.

        The Reformed Congregation of Life Eternal in Mountainburg could at first glance be written off as another rural Southern offshoot of the Protestant faith. But look behind the tapestries on the church’s corrugated metal walls and the face of an unrecorded angel reveals itself painted in ochre and scarlet. The Congregation’s leader, Reverend Ian McCullough, used to live a hard life of crime in the backwoods, until after a drug deal gone wrong, the Lord gave him a new one. Now he preaches to his flock with the passion of a convert and the charisma of an ever-burning polychromatic flame.

        In the shadows of back-alleys, crumbling farmhouses, and sycamore groves lurk occultists hungry for the strange powers the Shadow can provide. You’ll find no callow scholars or wild-eyed priests among their ranks, however; these humans are more akin to addicts, needing just another hit of spirit magic to achieve their dreams and slake their thirsts. Now, if only someone could track down their dealer.

        Territory

        The Razorback Greenway snakes hither and yon across the hills and prairies of Northwest Arkansas, providing a car-free passage to bikers and the peripatetic. Its recent, and continued, construction has contributed to the growing number of Displaced spirits, disturbed and chased away by earth-movers, asphalt, and an influx of mortals. The trails also provide shelter and a means of travel for the homeless population in the region, although further development threatens to push them out of their regular sleeping grounds.

        For humans, the various artificial lakes constructed in the 20th century that dot Northwest Arkansas provide sources of recreation, relaxation, and semi-natural beauty. The Uratha have reason to suspect ulterior motives behind the damming and redirecting of the region’s rivers, and it’s rumored that the depths of each of these azure jewels is home to a locus of uncertain origin, providing freshwater-resonant sources of occult power to the wise and daring.

        In Newton County lie the ruins of Dogpatch USA, a Lil’ Abner-themed amusement park whose star faded with the sweeping changes in American culture in the seventies. Although projected earnings were initially optimistic, as the licensed comic lost its popularity, attendance fell at an equal rate. Dogpatch’s sister park, the ski resort Marble Falls, also met with bankruptcy after investors discovered that it does not snow in Northwest Arkansas nearly as much as they had been led to believe. The land has been parceled, resold, litigated, and foreclosed on multiple times now, as each new entertainment venture proves, for one reason or another, to be a bust. Surely this has nothing to do with the cave that was unearthed during the park’s initial development.

        The city of Harrison would look like any other wholesome mid-American town, if it weren’t for the various billboards around spouting slogans like “MULTICULTURALISM = WHITE GENOCIDE.” Race riots in the 1900s drove away the city’s black residents, and ever since Harrison has been a hotbed for white supremecist groups, earning it the epithet “the most racist town in America.” The nearby small mining town of Zinc is home to headquarters of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Things are slowly improving, though; in 2014 the town held its first peace march celebrating the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. This was followed the same year by the dedication of a monument to Confederate soldiers. So, very slowly. The Uratha of Boone County have their work cut out for them, as the Shadow here is dotted with countless small Wounds exuding resonances of hatred and repression.

        (Storyteller's Note: Unless a player is really interested in exploring this, I don't plan on introducing the Klan into this story. I bring them, and the situation in Harrison, up here only because they are a key part of understanding the history and culture of Northwest Arkansas.)

        Although headquartered in Bentonville these days, Sam Walton’s very first store was actually in the nearby town of Rogers. What was once a sundown town now serves as something of a bedroom community for many corporate workers in the city’s wealthier counterpart to the north. The downtown is paved with a charming brick pattern, and is home to the Daisy Airgun Museum and Onyx Coffee Labs HQ. Farther afield, one can find the Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion and Lake Atalanta Park. Three giant white crosses loom over the city’s business district, thanks to Cross Church Pinnacle Hills. They have no reflection in the Shadow.
        Last edited by espritdecalmar; 09-11-2020, 06:05 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Second Chances View Post
          Oh, that sounds like an awesome premise for a game! Are you running at specific times or doing asynchronous PbP-style where people post when they have the time?
          I'm glad you think so. My current plan is for the latter, since my own schedule is a little batty these days.

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          • #6
            If that's the case, I'd love to jump in if there's space. Don't get enough Werewolf these days (or enough chance to be the player and not the ST).


            Black Lives Matter

            He/His Pronouns | CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon | Deviant (WIP) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Second Chances View Post
              If that's the case, I'd love to jump in if there's space. Don't get enough Werewolf these days (or enough chance to be the player and not the ST).
              I'd be elated to have you on board. Feel free to post any character ideas or questions you have.

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              • #8
                Okay, so quick question on character creation: Are you saying that joining the Drinkers automatically strips away Auspice like what happens with the Pure? I kinda got that sense from some of the writeup, but I'd always interpreted it as Forsaken can join and keep their Auspice; if a Pure joins, they get this Hunter's Aspect. Doesn't matter either way, just wanna make sure we're on the same page.

                Also, I know there are lots of people looking for a Werewolf game in some of the Discords I'm in. Do you mind if I share the link around?


                Black Lives Matter

                He/His Pronouns | CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon | Deviant (WIP) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Second Chances View Post
                  Okay, so quick question on character creation: Are you saying that joining the Drinkers automatically strips away Auspice like what happens with the Pure? I kinda got that sense from some of the writeup, but I'd always interpreted it as Forsaken can join and keep their Auspice; if a Pure joins, they get this Hunter's Aspect. Doesn't matter either way, just wanna make sure we're on the same page.

                  Also, I know there are lots of people looking for a Werewolf game in some of the Discords I'm in. Do you mind if I share the link around?
                  Ah, no, Forsaken who join the Drinkers keep their Auspice. The "Newly Pure" character idea is just suggesting a particular Forsaken who, after joining, decided to turn Anshega.

                  I don't mind if you share it around, though as this is my first time actually running a game of Werewolf, I'd like to keep the final play group relatively contained (three to five players I think would be ideal).

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                  • #10
                    Okay, so I'm thinking a Cunning and Wisdom focused Irraka, possibly might want to join the Thousand Steel Teeth if he can prove himself worthy. Definitely not someone you would have expected to become Irraka (or a Werewolf), so he is probably recently changed or a Ghost Wolf.


                    Black Lives Matter

                    He/His Pronouns | CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon | Deviant (WIP) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf

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                    • #11
                      I am very interested in joining up! I'll have to spend more time with these notes to get a feel for things, but I'm already picturing a frustrated artist finally finding their footing in the new Tribe.


                      LFP: American Carnage (Werewolf: the Forsaken)

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                      • #12
                        Ooh, I have interest in this. I'm thinking of a Rahu former Blood Talon.

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                        • #13
                          I need time to sift through the notes, but I'd be interested in joining as well. Always wanted to give WtF a shot.

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                          • #14
                            I wanna join too!

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                            • #15
                              Okay, awesome. Post any ideas you have, and let me know if you have any questions.

                              Also, just to clarify, consider the setting info more of a cross-section of what NWA through a Werewolf lens looks like, rather than an exhaustive list of everything going on. I've left plenty of intentional blank spots in my personal, more detailed notes to account for PCs as well as what direction player interest ends up shifting.

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