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tribal moots

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  • tribal moots

    How often do you think tribal moots occur? And what is the scale of them? We know sept moots occur at a monthly basis. W20 clarified that tribal moots are a kind of grand moot which implies tribal Garou from multiple caerns would gather, but I also suspect that they could be much smaller gatherings of a few tribal members at a single sept.

    Do they occur at a somewhat regular basis, or only when there are important matters for the tribe to discuss? What kind of things do you think go on the agenda?

    Obviously there is some variety as Bone Gnawer tribal moots are probably infrequent and informal while Silver Fangs and Fianna are probably more regular and ritualistic. But there has to be some similarities in purpose and agenda.

  • #2
    [Edit: superfluous post. That's what I get answering stuff that late in the night.]
    Last edited by Maris Streck; 11-27-2018, 04:08 AM.


    • #3
      Originally posted by Maris Streck View Post
      W20 manual says that every Sept holds a regular monthly moot every full moon, so yes there's some regularity.
      I am not talking about sept moots, but tribal moots. They are separate things even if they are both kinds of moots.


      • #4
        I don't know if there's an official answer but my rule of thumb is between 1 to 4 times a year. Bone Gnawers being on the low end with maybe their Superbowl celebration (Bone Gnawers tribe book: revised edition) and Glass Walkers on the high end with quarterly meetings.

        What goes on the agenda I think equally depends on the tribe. Silver Fangs probably discuss leadership and battle plans as well as oaths of loyalty to king's and queens, Fianna trade lore they've discovered along with new stories picked up on the front line, Black Furies about the loss of Wyld places and how to defend them, Bone Gnawers probably just to strengthen community bonds, ect.


        • #5
          Consider the high holidays as times when the tribal moots might happen. The Super Bowl or Thanksgiving would be good times for Bone Gnawers. Seasonal holidays, like Beltane (May Day), could work for Fianna. Red Talons, if they don't consider annual tribal moots too ape-ish, would probably also use a seasonal turning point. Stargazers might schedule their tribal moots according to celestial cycles rather than seasonal cycles. I wonder if the Silent Striders would even want to have a large enough gathering in one place at one time for it to qualify as a tribal moot.


          • #6
            The mention of seasonal tribal moots brings up the issue of the Seasonal Rites. The corebook implies that this is done by septs, but there is no reason why it couldn't be done by different institutions since it is not a caern specfic rite. Seasonal holidays are generally a festive time, and they'd make good a good excuse for a tribe to get together and do something on their own. Of course, not all the tribal moot descriptions fit into festive atmospheres.

            W20 has a much less detailed description of tribal moots than earlier editions. The 1st edition corebook gives more specifics, but it is also obvious at that time, there was not much distinction between "tribal moots" and the normal, monthly moots held at a caern, which is probably why those details have been left out. But if we use that to grab some flavor text, then we know some tribal moots don't occur at seasonal times (Get of Fenris do theirs under the full moon, Glass Walkers hold theirs on the 23rd of the month, and Shadow Lords may hold theirs when they know the sky will be overcast with likely thunder).

            If seasonal rites are held separately from the tribal moots, then we need to be more careful when they are held, as we're beginning to crowd out obvious times to meet and need to assign other times.

            But in general, I like the idea that they're held between 1-4 times a year. Not too much to disrupt things for PCs, but enough to add some flavor. They might provide a good excuse to invent some "Garou holidays" for each tribe where a particular event is celebrated.


            • #7
              Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
              But in general, I like the idea that they're held between 1-4 times a year. Not too much to disrupt things for PCs, but enough to add some flavor. They might provide a good excuse to invent some "Garou holidays" for each tribe where a particular event is celebrated.
              Speaking of inventing holidays, have you heard of Wolfenoot?


              • #8
                Originally posted by Black Fox View Post

                But in general, I like the idea that they're held between 1-4 times a year. Not too much to disrupt things for PCs, but enough to add some flavor. They might provide a good excuse to invent some "Garou holidays" for each tribe where a particular event is celebrated.
                Like 'Promethean Daze,' for example, sure.

                Garou culture is old, and the tribes should have their own special events to celebrate: glorious deaths of heroes or the recollection of a particular wrong avenged. I have featured a tribal moot of the Get of Fenris that involved stories and councils and bloody sparring challenges. It finally culminated in the hunting a Greater Engling, a powerful prey beast (like a boar) that is capable of fighting back when it is cornered and only willingly gives up its gnosis after a terrible fight.


                • #9
                  I'm thinking the next step for this thread is to identify the most likely times and events for the tribal moots of each tribe, one by one. Of course, these are just the traditional times of tribal moots and don't count the extraordinary events that cause tribal elders to hold an "emergency" tribal moot. Naturally, the original corebooks and the tribebooks are the best place to pull information that may be relevant. First up, the Black Furies.

                  First and second edition corebooks state the Black Furies hold their moots in distant glades far from sight of man. Hunting is involved (any game animal and humans found can expect to be slain), and most verbal element is chanted choruses and responses. So it seems very theatrical. I would guess these are heavily scripted events - like Greek plays when they were originally religious festivals.

                  The first tribebook mentions circle dances as occasions when Furies invited certain human women to teach them about the Goddess (and that this is one origin of the medieval belief of witches sabbats), but that their moots for Furies alone are Grand Howls. These last for days as Furies debate and perform rites and challenges. A component of this is the hunt when they take a man they find guilty of a crime against "Woman" or "Mother". They abduct him without a trace, bring him to the moot, release him at start of the hunt, and then ritually hunt him down and murder him.

                  After a cursory glance, I didn't find anything about tribal moots in the second edition tribebook, but I could have just missed it.

                  In the Werewolf Storyteller's Handbook there is a list of tribal seasonal rites. Black Furies have a level 3 rite of "The Mysteries" which is held the first new moon after the Winter Solstice. The Furies go to a tor (a rocky outcrop on a hill) which either has a cave or a tree on top. There are ceremonial dances and the ritemaster tells a story of a woman who descends into darkness to bring back spiritual insight, and ends with Furies drinking a poisonous brew of "blood-wine" to aid in spiritual visions.

                  The Mysteries don't sound much different than the typical Furies Grand Howls because they involve sacred dances and storytelling. So I think the rite is held at an otherwise normal Grand Howl except that the purpose here isn't to slay a man in a ritual hunt, but to perform the rite.

                  Descriptions of Fury tribal moots don't give a time when they are held. Therefore, I think they are held when the The Mysteries rite needs to be performed once a year, and whenever they are able to secretly abduct without a trace a man who has committed some great crime against "Woman" or "Mother." So however many Fury tribal moots are held could depend a lot.


                  • #10
                    Next are the Bone Gnawers

                    First edition corebook says a bunch of Bone Gnawers come together whenever they feel like it and scrounge up whatever they can to eat and get drunk. "They might even mention Gaia's name - in a creative profanity." (I simply love how Bone Gnawers were portrayed early in the game before people made a concerted effort to make them more traditionally heroic.) Second edition corebook adds that formal moots are rare, but that the Gnawers sometimes call moots to trap or kill particularly dangerous urban spirits, and that these special moots are called "Orkins."

                    The first tribebook mention several Gnawer celebrations. One is Old Dawg Ball, Le Grande Dance. All Gnawers get together and throw a party. They create costumes, build a still to create moonshine, and then on the full moon don their costumes and pretend they are "important" Garou. Some Garou from other tribes attend for the fun. Another section mentions a Rite of the Grand Dance for a Gnawer only costumed ball, and this must be the same thing. (It also mentions something specific to NYC that is less than a moot, and an spring time Hide and Go Seek that is actually for ahrouns of all the tribes, so it can't be the basis for a tribal moot.) The second tribebook describes pretty much the same thing, but calls it The Feast of Fools.

                    Werewolf Storyteller's Handbook has a section on tribal seasonal rites, and it is here that Superbowl Sunday rite (level 2) is mentioned.

                    So I think we can definitively describe two regular Bone Gnawer tribal moots - Superbowl Sunday in January (at least for American Gnawers, I can't imagine Gnawers in other countries care even though this American event has grown to be an international event. No doubt the heavily homid Gnawers find some other popular common people celebration in these other lands and adapt it as their own seasonal rite), and a Feast of Fools on some random full moon that the ST can hold anytime they want.


                    • #11
                      Children of Gaia's tribal moots do not have set formalities. Early corebooks describe then as never knowing what to expect - they could be orgies or eight hours of motionless staring at the moon. The first edition tribebook goes into more details. It says the tribe keeps them unpredictable in order to prevent people from falling into unthinking patterns. Therefore the format of tribal moots depends on what the tribal elders see as what they "need" at the time, which seems to be whatever is the opposite of what the times are. Therefore during times of strife and war, they stage long hours and days of silent contemplation of Gaia. During times when the tribe runs wild, their moots become disciplinarian. In times of hardship, they stage celebrations.

                      The Werewolf Storyteller's Handbook lists their seasonal rite as the Rite of Joining. It is currently on Earth Day, but previously was just sometime in Spring. It is basically a hippie love in with everyone invited including Garou of other tribes, kinfolk, and even normal humans. It ends in planting "peace trees" that represent the World Tree.

                      So the Children of Gaia seasonal rite is different from its normal tribal moots. So that is probably the main tribal holiday, and the other tribal moots are called whenever the elders decide it is "needed" to correct what they see as potential spiritual imbalances.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                        First and second edition corebooks state the Black Furies hold their moots in distant glades far from sight of man. Hunting is involved (any game animal and humans found can expect to be slain), (...)
                        Wouldn't Black Furies leave humans who are women unharmed ?


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
                          Wouldn't Black Furies leave humans who are women unharmed ?
                          Not according to the corebooks' descriptions of their tribal moots. 1st edition uses the term "homid" which was commonly used then to describe humans, not just homid breed Garou. 2nd edition says humans (particularly human males). So they don't make exceptions for human women when they have their Furies only tribal moots although they are likely more uncompromising to human males they find. We could imagine they might give some women a chance to escape.
                          Last edited by Black Fox; 05-24-2019, 01:02 AM. Reason: fixed typo


                          • #14
                            As I read on the Fianna moots, I'm reminded how little distinction between the various moot types there were when the early books were written. Almost all moots are considered to be sept moots, and this tribal moots are simply the moot septs of monotribal septs. Of course, this description was not supported in the various regional Rage Across books which rarely showed septs to be monotribal, and if they had individual sept descriptions they rarely mirrored what was written for the tribes, but much more peculiar to its geography, sept history, and caern totem. So my comments here aren't so much "this is the way they are" but "this is what I am constructing from the available data."

                            Corebooks says the Fianna have two kinds of tribal moots. Formal, solemn occasions on the Celtic seasonal calendar (Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, Lughnadsa) and wild parties. At the formal moots the Fianna recite the Litany and great epic songs of the Garou. At the wild parties, other Garou (especially Galliards) hope to be invited so they can share their own compositions and partake of the fun.

                            Revised Corebook also states in the Litany section that the Fianna gather four times a year the Fianna "gather in their tribal homelands" to recite the Litany in full (the many hours long song version, not the pithy short laws we generally know them by). That has to be occurring during these seasonal times.

                            The Storyteller's Handbook actually gives a seasonal rite of Imbolc for the Fianna. So we could assume that each formal Celtic seasonal moot has its own rite for the occasion. These celtic holidays are not aligned with the actual solstice and equinox rites in the ritebook, but they mark important events for people. They are important to pastoral peoples on when to move their livestock, and for agricultualists to plant and harvest. For Imbolc, we are told the Fianna gather around large bonfires, play traditional music, tell great songs of ancient Fianna warriors, brew a strange drink from seeds gathered in Arcadia gateway, and then enter the Penumbra to meet fae who have arrived. (I guess that the rite itself somehow invites the fae to them). The fae then leads them deeper into the umbra where they begin a hunt and encounter various omens on Gaia's will and what may happen in the coming year.

                            The Fianna tribebook covers similar ground. We learn that the "Councils of Song" establish the dates of the great moots for the coming yea, these occur on the solstice and equinox. Even though they say the solstice and equinox, they seem to actually mean the Celtic seasonal holidays. They mention there are special solstice and equinox rites, but of course, we ALREADY have Garou seasonal rites for the solstice and equinox in the corebook. They have to mean the Celtic holidays which occur NEAR the actual solstice and equinox, but not actually on them. And that the Fianna "solstice" and "equinox" rites are actually those for Samhain, Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnadsa. We are also specifically told that Imbolc is the most important.

                            It also says the Council of Song issue more festive moots whenever they feel the tribe needs spiritual or physical renewal. These line up with the "wild parties" mentioned in the corebook.

                            So there is some very good information here. The Fianna are a very centralized tribe (for Garou). Their tribal leadership establishes the tribal moots for the entire tribe. The Fianna always gather for their four formal tribal seasonal rites, and they also gather if the Council of Songs establish a special tribal moot if they deem it needed. So we might be looking at anywhere from 4-10 tribal moots a year that pretty much all Fianna must attend. It might even be that there are only a few common special locations where the entire tribe gathers for their four seasonal moots since they happen "in their tribal homelands." So while it may not mean the entire tribe gathers at the great Rank 5 caern of the Sept of the Tri-Spiral, there are probably only a select number of Fianna controlled caerns where these moots are held which would require a lot of Fianna to travel by moonbridge to these places. In contrast, the wild parties moots probably occur locally whenever the local Council of Song at a local Fianna controlled sept decides, but they could also happen at dates when Fianna EVERYWHERE are throwing the same party because the major tribal Council of Song at the Sept of the Tri-Spiral sends notices to everyone.

                            So the Fianna experience gives a lot of opportunities for the ST to do things, but it also imposes a lot of burden because a Fianna PC has to incorporate a lot of this into their actions or downtimes with ST guidance or plot.
                            Last edited by Black Fox; 12-09-2018, 03:25 PM.


                            • #15
                              One thing that I notice with all these seasonal rites (the corebook common ones, and the tribal ones in Storyteller's Handbook) is how much work it places on the ST if they want to have that experience for their PCs. Not only is there the moot, but there is the special quests the garou in the rite must undertake. This can be overwhelming for many STs, and I imagine a lot of STs just ignore that portion. The game could really have benefited from a gamebook which took all these things and provided lots of examples for them to assist the STs (such a book would also have lots of ideas for various Rank challenges, chiminage ideas for favors and fetishes, and so on). These are the kinds of things that really eat up an ST's time, and concern them as they think about game balance. Such a book would be extremely beneficial since it would act as a brainstorming session.