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BSD Incarna - when the Wyrm allow Garou to become gods

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  • BSD Incarna - when the Wyrm allow Garou to become gods

    I am wondering about the number of times that Black Spiral Dancers (including other tribes, particularly Shadow Lords, who serve the Wyrm as well) have become Incarna. This is interesting for multiple reasons.

    There is Hakaken the Hidden Fear, of course. He is a BSD totem which explicitly states was a Shadow Lord Ahroun.

    Then there is the BSD known as "Number Two" who rules the Central Duchy Malfeas. It is stated that he was raised to Incarna status.

    So that is at least two times that Garou have been elevated to the same status as the Tribal Totems because of the Wyrm. There may be more.

    It's never said what exactly Kirijama the Invisible Foe is, but I always assumed it was a BSD or corrupted Shadow Lord ragabash. Then there is the Nightmaster, the insane Shadow Lord who "rules" the Abyss and has clearly been corrupted. He isn't yet a god, but I suspect he is on his way to becoming one. The BSD Ahroun Zhyzhak is the "chosen" of the Green Dragon which to me points to a potential apotheosis later. Are there any other mentions of things like this?

    I can't think of any other tribe whose members become Incarna or similar. They just stay as Ancestor spirits which is an entirely different thing.

    This has several important impacts. One is that it implies that serving the Wyrm is a way for Garou to become gods. (In some descriptions of Hakaken, it says there are cults of Shadow Lords who worship him in secret which implies he may be trying to become a tribal totem for a new corrupted tribe.) This gives a much easier reason why some Garou are corrupted to the Wyrm. Too often the BSDs seem so insane that it doesn't make any sense why a sane Garou would ever become corrupted by them. This at least is an understandable motivation why some would begin that path of worshiping the Wyrm.

    Another is that there is a serious, serious problem among the Shadow Lords. You have multiple tribal heroes succumbing to corruption, and hidden cults of Wyrm worshippers because of it. Egads. Combined with other issues within the tribe, it is surprising that more has not been made out of this in canon.

  • Eldagusto
    replied
    In order to graduate to the new rank a Spiral needs to climb the Spiral one level deeper.

    But you don't have to be a Garou to dance the Spiral.

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
    Dancing the Black Spiral brings progressively more power and Rank. So you don't need to Dance 9 layers to become a god, so it's likely somewhere between 7-9. I'm going to guess 7 makes you a powerful spirit and 8 makes you full incarna.
    I like this. It fits into what we know quite elegantly. I know dancing the spiral is the rite of passage for BSDs, but where does it state that the further you progress you become more powerful?

    There still has to be other means though. Nightmaster made a pact with the Abyss; he didn't dance the spiral. But that is an aside, not an objection.

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  • idpersona
    replied
    Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
    Dancing the Black Spiral brings progressively more power and Rank. So you don't need to Dance 9 layers to become a god, so it's likely somewhere between 7-9. I'm going to guess 7 makes you a powerful spirit and 8 makes you full incarna.

    Kitsune have a similar situation with their tails but only the white faced one reached 9 tails and Inari is likely 8 or 7 tails and is a God.
    That's an interesting way to look at it. Makes sense. The Kitsune are my go to counterpart example (of ascending) to the BSDs.

    I think looking at it that way, I'd put Nightmaster at 6-7? He's clearly supposed to be higher than "normal" Garou. Not sure if it's quite beyond Legend though. I need to get a hold of Shattered Dreams and see what's in there about him.

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  • Eldagusto
    replied
    Dancing the Black Spiral brings progressively more power and Rank. So you don't need to Dance 9 layers to become a god, so it's likely somewhere between 7-9. I'm going to guess 7 makes you a powerful spirit and 8 makes you full incarna.


    Kitsune have a similar situation with their tails but only the white faced one reached 9 tails and Inari is likely 8 or 7 tails and is a God.

    Changing breeds don't have the job of accumulating power to become a God, their duty is to serve the world so most don't become gods and instead actually do things. But rank 6 brings a taste of Godhood as gifts of that level can include immortality and reincarnation.

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post
    The existence of a camp like the Judges suggests that corruption is a clear and present problem.
    There is a lot of ideas written in the books, especially the early editions, that imply very consequential things, but they are never mentioned again or built on. Probably because the later developers/writers never wanted to discuss those and they concentrated on other things. Nevertheless, it's right there staring you in the face. (That would be worth its own post - figuring out what the setting was "really like" based on 1st edition only material).

    The Shadow Lords are supposed to be about ambition and the will-to-power, so it is not surprising that such people are prone to corruption because of it.

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  • The Laughing Stranger
    replied
    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
    ...there is a serious, serious problem among the Shadow Lords. You have multiple tribal heroes succumbing to corruption, and hidden cults of Wyrm worshippers because of it. Egads. Combined with other issues within the tribe, it is surprising that more has not been made out of this in canon.
    The Judges of Doom exist for a reason- to purge the weak and heretical from the sight of Grandfather Thunder. The existence of a camp like the Judges suggests that corruption is a clear and present problem. I would hazard a guess that the Shadow Lords' dubious record is less concrete fact and more sinister hearsay among the other tribes due to their fallen being taken care of 'in house.'
    Last edited by The Laughing Stranger; 02-09-2017, 09:26 PM.

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    There seems to be lots of examples of how certain tribe members fall to the Wyrm. It's just that we are usually not given specific examples like we have for some cases in the Shadow Lords. Take the Silver Fangs, we know there is the "Silver Spiral" and that the threat of Wyrm taint is enough that an entire royal house is on the run for it. And we have various camps in many tribes which seem to be the desginated Wyrm tainted camp (Man Eaters, Eaters of the Dead, Swords of Heimdall, Bringers of Eternal Peace, etc.). We just seem to have less named individuals involved.

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  • Aya Tari
    replied
    More of an interpretation from what I have read in the books than anything else. Look at the Lords of the Summit camp or the secret societies that infested the Shadow Lords. Of course, the vast majority of Shadow Lords are not corrupted and the Tribe will probably never be corrupted like the White Howlers, but an uncomfortably large number of the Wyrm's best generals that are Garou were originally Shadow Lords.

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  • idpersona
    replied
    Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
    The Shadow Lords tend to confuse ambition and corruption though, so more of them escape to walk the Spiral than in other Tribes.
    I don't know that this statement is supported by the books. Citation? I'd be curious to see where this outlook came from.

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  • Aya Tari
    replied
    The Uktenu traditionally have a problem with corruption as well, but they tend to catch their corrupted members before they can walk the Spiral. Erebus exist for a reason and that reason is to purify corrupted Garou. The Shadow Lords tend to confuse ambition and corruption though, so more of them escape to walk the Spiral than in other Tribes.

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  • idpersona
    replied
    Close enough to bring up: Prince Inari is a Hengeyokai totem that was (theoretically) the second Kitsune. If so, at least that's 1 non Wyrm example.

    And yes, the Shadow Lords have a huge corruption problem. I never really liked that though, that all of the examples draw from just one Tribe.

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