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  • Kinslaying in my Game

    Hey all, I recently had a situation where my pack (a Bonegnawer, a Get, a Silent Strider, a Shadow Lord, and an Ironrider) teamed up with some Red Talons to wipe out a wagon train of interloping German settlers. The humans smelled like the Wyrm, and that was enough for the Red Talons. My players wanted to help the Talons protect their caern, so they dove in too- in the aftermath the wagons were in ruins, the animals slain, and about thirty humans were dead or dying. The Silent Strider Philodox went sniffing around and discovered a couple of the wagons had been contaminated with a Wyrm-faux like substance, and that seven or eight of the humans were actual kinfolk hired to act as porters and work hands... they hail from a neighboring sept belonging to militant Bonegnawers of the Swarm.

    One of my players, the Bone Gnawer, is understandably upset about this turn of events, and wants to make it right... but I am not sure what form the punishment should take if he falls into the claws of the Swarm. Previously, he had been a member of this group of zealous servants of Rat, but now that is jeopardized. I doubt they will be merciful.

    The Bone Gnawers will likely not care that their kin happened to stink of the enemy- they will claim it was a setup, either by some unknown Wyrm minions or maybe even the biased Talons themselves. One of the slain was a close relative of a high-ranking Gnawer, and Uncle is gonna be pissed.

    The Talons are not too bothered about killing Wyrm-scented humans, and they view this incursion as something akin to an invasion on the part of the Bone Gnawers.

    My pack is pretty sure that if this gets out it will spark a brushwar between the already acrimonious Garou septs... and I am thinking that is a likely outcome also. Any thoughts about this situation? A way to patch things up, or exacerbate matters? If the Bone Gnawer goes back to the Aunts and Uncles of the Swarm as penance, is he gonna get strung up in a gibbet so the Rat God's minions can eat him slowly, or are they going to tar and feather him, or just give him a solid beat down?
    Last edited by The Laughing Stranger; 03-16-2017, 05:04 PM.

  • #2
    I think presenting the evidence of the wyrm tainted substance and taking a oath to get to the bottom of things will probably be a good place to start. Clearly there is a third party that seeks to increase tensions between the two septs

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    • #3
      Originally posted by BurritoMage View Post
      I think presenting the evidence of the wyrm tainted substance and taking a oath to get to the bottom of things will probably be a good place to start. Clearly there is a third party that seeks to increase tensions between the two septs
      And of course Renown loss.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BurritoMage View Post
        I think presenting the evidence of the wyrm tainted substance and taking a oath to get to the bottom of things will probably be a good place to start. Clearly there is a third party that seeks to increase tensions between the two septs
        This is great, and I totally agree this is the best choice- but my players went and disposed of the tainted stuff almost instantly; they actually went to the Red Talons for help getting rid of all traces of it... I think because they were going back to the Talon sept and didn't want to be the nasty homids with clinging traces of Wyrm taint(?) but that is just a guess. I am not really sure what their motivation was there. They have nothing to show the Bone Gnawers...

        And yeah, a renown hit does sound quite appropriate.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post
          They have nothing to show the Bone Gnawers...

          And yeah, a renown hit does sound quite appropriate.
          The renown hit is a given. And they might need to track down the source of whatever it was that the kinfolk were transporting. If they can find the source and take care of the issue and present that as evidence, they should have a shot of avoiding the worst of the possible outcomes. And just maybe accrue more renown than the loss and end up with a net positive despite some bad choices made.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post
            They have nothing to show the Bone Gnawers...
            Well at that point then it's on their word if they decide to go before the elders but any philodox should be able to tell if they are speaking the truth. I would say a renown hit is good and maybe getting stuck with the "title" of kin slayer (how helpful do you think a spirit will be with that over their heads) till they get to the bottom of things.

            That being put in a gibbet and devoured by rats would be a good punishment if one of them happened to eat a kin folk imo.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by BurritoMage View Post
              Well at that point then it's on their word if they decide to go before the elders but any philodox should be able to tell if they are speaking the truth. I would say a renown hit is good and maybe getting stuck with the "title" of kin slayer (how helpful do you think a spirit will be with that over their heads) till they get to the bottom of things.
              Mmmm... titles like that are good. The pack follows Coyote, so a heap of blame would work well with the totem's reputation.

              I think even if the Swarm realized they were telling the truth, they would be pissed as heck for trusting the Talons and blindly attacking without asking any questions.

              idpersona, they know where the taint came from. Earlier (months ago) the pack was in Austin and they discovered a whole lot of tainted foodstuffs, bullets and other material. It had all been cursed by a Wyrm cult, infused with tortured and dead spirit matter, with the items slated to be used by the Texas militia. The pack found a storehouse full of the vile stuff, but they had just killed a senator and were being hounded by enemies on both sides of the Gauntlet. Since they couldn't come up with an expedient way of purifying or disposing of the junk, they basically told their Red Talon frenemies 'hey, there is a building full of Wyrm shit in Austin. Take care of it, we got other problems' and split. The Talons, being Red Talons, were a bit confused, since as far as they could tell, most of the city bore the stink of corruption. The Talons weren't really able to differentiate too well, and after scouting around, they killed some of the worst Wyrmish offenders they could find over the following nights and then they returned to their own protectorate.


              Anyway, all those tainted goods were eventually dealt with (the militia that was armed with them died out on the frontier under grisly and mysterious circumstances) but it seems like some surplus tainted food found its way into a dry goods store outside of San Marcos...


              You know, when I type all this out it makes my pack seem like dunderheads. :P
              Last edited by The Laughing Stranger; 03-17-2017, 01:33 AM.

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              • #8
                Wergild.

                Figure out some kind of material compensation to the Bonegnawers involved, and he has to pay it. This does not need to be human money. It could be fetishes or talens. It could even be his kinfolk he gives over to the members of the other sept. Or any number of things.

                As long as he owes up to it, apologizes for the mistake, and pays some appropriate compensation (which for eight people should be a lot, but hey they weren't Garou at least), the other sept should be pacified. Of course, this doesn't mean some sept members may still want revenge, or that overall the sept acts unfriendly to the kinslayer for the rest of his life. But it should at least prevent official revenge killing.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                  Wergild.

                  Figure out some kind of material compensation to the Bonegnawers involved, and he has to pay it. This does not need to be human money. It could be fetishes or talens. It could even be his kinfolk he gives over to the members of the other sept. Or any number of things.

                  As long as he owes up to it, apologizes for the mistake, and pays some appropriate compensation (which for eight people should be a lot, but hey they weren't Garou at least), the other sept should be pacified. Of course, this doesn't mean some sept members may still want revenge, or that overall the sept acts unfriendly to the kinslayer for the rest of his life. But it should at least prevent official revenge killing.
                  I like the idea, just not for the Gnawers. Many among the Swarm are actually the descendants of slaves, and one of the ranking members, Raises-All-Hell, is an escapee. The slain kinfolk were brothers, sons and lovers, not commodities. If anything, blood needs to be repaid in kind... which is why I think things are gonna get messy between the two septs.

                  I do like the idea of bloodmoney for Shadow Lords, Get of Fenris, and maybe Silver Fangs.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post
                    I think even if the Swarm realized they were telling the truth, they would be pissed as heck for trusting the Talons and blindly attacking without asking any questions.
                    Oh I imagine the elders would be pissed, but even tempered enough to know that killing the pack would not resolve the situation. If I was to run the scene I would keep the tension thick and probably have at least one elder walk out before they can frenzy.

                    Then have the wyrm foe politely tell them in a lazy Texas drawl that they have dug themselves quite the hole and that not only will they be known as kin slayers but they have till the (30day lunar cycle) to get to the bottom of things lest the swarm come looking for them.

                    I would then leave subtle reminders that they are being watched, maybe some rat droppings near the campfire in the morning, food gets gnawed on...ect...ect...

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post
                      idpersona, they know where the taint came from. Earlier (months ago) the pack was in Austin and they discovered a whole lot of tainted foodstuffs, bullets and other material. It had all been cursed by a Wyrm cult, infused with tortured and dead spirit matter, with the items slated to be used by the Texas militia. The pack found a storehouse full of the vile stuff, but they had just killed a senator and were being hounded by enemies on both sides of the Gauntlet. Since they couldn't come up with an expedient way of purifying or disposing of the junk, they basically told their Red Talon frenemies 'hey, there is a building full of Wyrm shit in Austin. Take care of it, we got other problems' and split. The Talons, being Red Talons, were a bit confused, since as far as they could tell, most of the city bore the stink of corruption. The Talons weren't really able to differentiate too well, and after scouting around, they killed some of the worst Wyrmish offenders they could find over the following nights and then they returned to their own protectorate.


                      Anyway, all those tainted goods were eventually dealt with (the militia that was armed with them died out on the frontier under grisly and mysterious circumstances) but it seems like some surplus tainted food found its way into a dry goods store outside of San Marcos...


                      You know, when I type all this out it makes my pack seem like dunderheads. :P
                      Well they are kind of screwed for more traditional ways out of this situation. Little conciliation, but truthfulness in the face of adversity is a small renown reward.

                      Head on over to the Sept with Rite of Contrition prepared. If the roll succeeds (and the pack is honestly contrite), they almost have to come up with terms that aren't outright death. So there is that. Get your best talker to spin the story as best he can while remaining completely truthful (the truth part is really important).

                      If you're lucky you might get away with a punishment rite, some renown loss and a bad reputation around there.


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                      • #12
                        I do not think that they would get off that easily because they killed Kinfolk without a legitimate reason (smelling Wyrm taint on a group of humans should be a reason for an investigation, not a slaughter, because the Wyrm loves setting up Garou). A Rite of Contrition and a loss of Renown would be appropriate injuring innocent Kinfolk, the killing of innocent Kinfolk is much, much worse. The Bone Gnawers could legitimately call for the pack to be subjected to one punishment Rite per Kinfolk killed each because the protection of Kinfolk is part of the Litany. They could even demand the performance of the Rite of The Hunt against the entire Pack.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Aya Tari View Post
                          A Rite of Contrition and a loss of Renown would be appropriate injuring innocent Kinfolk, the killing of innocent Kinfolk is much, much worse.
                          Originally posted by W20, page 204 (directly from the Rite of Contrition entry)
                          This rite is a form of apology. The offending party uses it to prevent the enmity of spirits or Garou whom an individual has offended, or to prevent war between septs or tribes.
                          Emphasis mine. This seems exactly the sort of time to use this Rite. That's the whole point.

                          Now, I'm not saying this is all you have to do, but it is the first step. The Rite might (probably) have to be performed for each offended/wronged Garou, but that's a ST call. I would add that the apology must be sincere and the gift(s) must be well thought out. And the Bone Gnawers still might not accept it, but then that's on them.

                          The pack messed up. They seemingly acknowledge that and are trying to figure out a path forward. This is the first step (not the only one) on that path. Punishment Rites may very well (pretty likely) come along with that. I'm not saying that just performing the Rite of Contrition fixes everything. It doesn't.

                          A Rite of Contrition though, and a Renown loss could cover a wide range of apologies for wrongs committed (killing a kinfolk is 100% within reason for performing this Rite). In this case, it's the act of throwing yourself at their (the Gnawers) mercy and begging forgiveness for having fucked up. If performed well (which might be quite hard since the dif is based on the target's Rage and number of successes matters) that puts the onus of accepting the apology on the Sept instead of on the players. And again, if the pack shows up with a decent gift in conjunction with the Rite (as expected) that will go further for smoothing things over.


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                          • #14
                            I don't think the pack is affiliated with either Sept though. While the rite would cover the packs deeds if the Talons wanted to prevent an all out war it would be their Sept alpha who would have to go before the bonegnawers and perform the rite.

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                            • #15
                              Oh, I just meant that if it works on that level it'll be (possibly) enough of a start for the pack themselves.

                              There is zero chance of a Talon Alpha debasing themselves to perform the Rite to apologize to a Gnawer Caern.


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