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tribal moots

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  • #46
    Down to the last tribe, the Wendigo.

    The corebook description of their tribal moots is that they drive from Native American tradition. They include fire dancing (which I take to mean the stereotypical Indians dancing around the campfire), pipe smoking, and peyote ingestion. The Wendigo often undergo vision quests at their moots, and therefore the moots involve a lot of umbra travel and ritual combat. Wendigo theurges capture and bind powerful spirits for the tribe to hunt at these moots. I imagine this last bit are like Englings rather than Banes.

    Peyote ingestion part is interesting because peyote is a desert dwelling cactus. These would be found more in Uktena lands than the Wendigo's more northerly climes. However, peyote ingestion would become an important ritual for some of the Plains Indians in the late 19th century in the syncretic Christian/traditional Indian religion of the Native American Church. I am not aware of peyote ingestion by Plains Indians (or any other Indians north of the Chihuahuan Desert) prior to this, but that may simply be a result of my own ignorance. In any case, once you know the history, this becomes a strange thing to include for the Wendigo except as a "we're throwing all sorts of generic Indian things in their moots" way.

    And that's about it for the Wendigo moots as we're not given any explicit information in the tribe books. We are given some information about Peace Chiefs and War Chiefs, and that there is a Lodge of the Manitous where Wendigo theurges commune with the Animal Elders, and then determine why spirits may be angry with them so they can appease them. We're also told that great warriors among the Wendigo declares a quest to perform some great deed and invites other Wendigo to follow them. Once declared they can spend days or weeks in preparation. This seems to be a way higher ranked Wendigo can aid or support younger Wendigo to gain the renown they need and pass on knowledge. So some of this can be incorporated into the Wendigo tribal moots, there is nothing distinctly moot like about them.

    In the first edition Storyteller's Handbook's section on seasonal rites, we've given a rank 1 ritual of the Alaskan Wendigo that occurs when the first flowers bloom (in late June/early July). However, rather than being a local tradition, it includes a tale about the Wendigo ancestor Tucaholka who climbed the highest mountain the world (which I assume they mean Mt McKinley) to see Gaia weeping for the loss of the Croatoan. He comforted her, so her tears became flowers of love which is what the ceremony commemorates. Since this is very specific to a certain geography, I think it indicates that many Wendigo rites are probably local. That would also explain the peyote ingestion. That is interesting flavor, but it puts more burden on the ST to determine what this local group or groups of Wendigo includes in their tribal moots.

    But we can see that the Wendigo, like the Uktena, are a very decentralized tribe and put a strong emphasis on maintaining proper spirit relations.


    • #47
      After reviewing all the tribal moots, we're left with a very mixed bag. Some tribes were given a lot of detail while others had almost nothing except the short description in the corebook.

      Another thing that stands out is the importance of stereotypical human culture as part of the tribal moots. It would have been better if more attention had been paid to the tribal totem and thinking about what would be best for that. Not only would that provide something that Lupus could be involved in, it would also eliminate the issue that human cultures change over time and that the general tribal homelands in fact do not conform to any one human culture, but often a variety of ones.

      But we at least do have enough information to provide some direction to PCs who want scenes at tribal moots, and supporting evidence that a quarterly cycle of tribal moots more or less fits canon even if the original intent was that there'd be monthly tribal moots.