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How come Gaia never punished the Garou for the War of Rage?

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  • The Cat Came Back
    replied
    Well one, because Gaia doesn't work like that. Gaia simply exists and manages her role in the universe. Gaia does not sit on a heavenly throne doling out retribution for sin and reward for virtue. Instead, it's very much a situation where the conditions and consequences of what you do are their own reward / retribution.

    And second, well... it's not like combining humans and apex predators, giving them Rage, and then delivering divine mandates that overlap here and conflict there was ever going to have a different outcome. As detailed in Shattered Dreams, the Wars of Rage were not simply "the Garou massacre innocent hapless doe-eyed fera," it was conflicts between creatures born of humans and territorial predators, fanned to insane levels by supernaturally-imbued hate and anger, where it just happened that the Garou came out on top more often than not. And so, here we are.

    Either Gaia is a blind idiot god, screaming into the void and randomly birthing things... or a changing breed battle royale was always part of the plan. (or perhaps Gaia had no hand in the changing breeds and they simply formed a cult around this great spirit, who knows. maybe the Ananasi are the only one with their crap together.)

    And y'know what? The Wars of Rage aren't even the problem. The Garou could have picked up all the slack that the other changing breeds left when they died or retreated. Like I said there's massive redundancies in the changing breeds, a clue that perhaps extinctions were planned-for (or that Gaia just farts out multiple themes on any fleeting idea, if you prefer) The problem isn't that the other breeds are gone, it's that the Garou slacked off. They took all the reward from defeating the other changing breeds - the caerns, the hunting grounds, the kinfolk, the fetishes... but then just kept kicking the responsibilities down to the next generation of garou, generation after generation.

    The problem isn't that the garou won the wars; it's that after they did so, they got fat and lazy.

    And now they have to figure out how to fix it, on the eve of the apocalypse.

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  • Matt the Bruins fan
    replied
    I'd just look at Gaia's nature. Maybe since she's a creator spirit, she only acts directly by creating, and the Garou's dwindling numbers are an indication of the withdrawal of her fertile support? Maybe like the poem, her vegetable love grows vaster than oceans and more slow, and her reaction to the War of Rage hasn't happened, or finished happening, yet?

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  • heinrich
    replied
    Originally posted by Erinys View Post
    Seeing how the world has gone right into the toilet ever since the Garou wiped out the Grondr and Apis, and most of the Gurahl and Camazotz and Eurasian Bastet, and drove the Ratkin into exile, I'd say that yes Gaia did intend them to all exist together on the same planet and that she needed all of them at least tolerating each other for the world to stay healthy.
    Maybe they had to go, so that the world would be able to host eight billion humans. Maybe Gaia needs all of them, so they can awaken at some point, save reallity.

    Heck, what do we know?
    Was the world really better a fifty, a hundred, five hundred, thousand or five thousand years ago?
    By what metric?

    It's important to acknowledge, that the world is still around. And we don't know if the world would be better or worst if the Garou had made this or that differently. "Shattered Dreams" might have insights, I don't know.

    Any on a meta-level, the garou did such a good job, the WoD came back, after being replaced by the nWoD. So, they even managed to resurrect Gaia - hmm.

    In any case, one could argue, that the end of the Impergium was what lead the world into decline. Not necessarily the Gondr's or Apis' extinction. I mean, on a meta-level, they weren't even invented yet when Werewolf 1st Edition came out.

    Originally posted by Erinys View Post
    I'm sure it wasn't only the Garou making aggressive actions - Ajaba and Bastet and Grondr were probably guilty of atrocities themselves. But I have no trouble imagining a group of Rage-prone, Frenzy-prone, racist, pack-minded people deciding to take over the world and killing everyone who won't bow down and be their bitches.
    Just look at how many modern Garou are depicted as still thinking all Fera are Wyrm servants and need to die.
    Is there reference material to that?
    Especially post-2nd-Edition (revised and W20 that is) pretty much any mention of the War of Rage is filled with guilt and regret towards the War of Rage on the garou parts, and mention of the Fera is usually not outright hostile, but distrustful. Sure, that has game design purposes (one wants to lay groundwork for the inclusion of Fera in a garou game), but also is more political correct, and with more and more garou being originally humanistic educated lost cubs that makes some sense.

    Point is, even some hundred years ago, human life wasn't considered that high a value. Child mortality was high, a lot of sicknesses and inquires lead to death. Thousands of years ago, morality was possibly very different.
    Also, on the 'taking over the world'-part. One could argue that the Silver Fangs have and had the mandate to rule the world (as of Silver Fangs revised), and that it is their duty to police the world, including the other Fera. So, conflict with the Fera might always stem from single garou packs coming into conflict with single Fera that had performed transgressions.



    Here is my head-canon:
    • Gaia was exhausted and at some point didn't play an all to active part any more. It was Helios and Luna who created the Fera, as they saw fit (except for the Ananasi). All Fera are part-human and therefore have free-will (as Gaia intended).
    • I ignore a pre-civilisation of Dinosaur-Kings.
    • All Fera are flawed. Garou are territorial and fanatic. Bastet are curious. Corax are chatty. Mokolé are detached from the present. And what not.
    • Most Fera were more solitary, living alone or among kinfolk (if the Curse permitted). Those Fera are in loose contact, by messages or infrequent visits. Garou have packs and septs though.
    • The legend of Wolf saving Gaia from the Darkness is true and happened before the creation of Man. This event is, as the Silver Fangs assume, in deed the reason Luna chose them as defenders of Gaia (basically police).
    • The Silver Fangs also sought and gained patronage from Helios, making them mad, but indeed rulers over all other living things in theory. Since there wasn't a big telepathic announcement not everyone knows.
    • Tensions between the Fera were always present. Obviously, kin of all fera among the humans were culled in the Impergium. Also the rise of the Gauntlet lead to the first Caerns and cut several Fera off from the Umbra. Caerns slowly became a valued commodity in one's territory. Also, breeding rights were an issue, if a Bastet managed to get their human family into chieftain positions, the Silver Fangs suddenly took dibs on the sex - what the hell?
    • Individual local Garou would kill individual local fera when they felt the need. The garou were, in general, honourable in what they did - the occasional frenzy not withstanding. Falling into a frenzy is a renown loss, a kind of punishment another fera might not see as adequate for a slain brethren, but what do they know?
    • Stories of Garou killing Frea and Fera feeling irrational about that slowly become embedded in Fera and Garou culture.
    • The events from Breedbook Nagah happen, where a Silver Fang crown prince and hero is murdered by a man named 'Bubasti'. The Silver Fangs bring the slain body to a Gurahl (or place several Gurahl meet) to be resurrected, in accordance with the legend of the first wolf such would be within their right to request for a hero. But the crown princes' second in command frenzies when the murderer is spotted among the Gurahl. In the fight many die and in the end the crown prince stays dead. The Gurahl deny the request, out of grief or simply because there isn't anyone to perform the resurrection any more at the gathering. This is the ultimate first story that spreads involving personalties of great renown involved in killings. Hostilities rise from there in forwards.
    • There are direct campaigns of Garou only against the Nagah (who are of the Wyrm, obviously). There is a second campaign by the garou against the Wyrm, which turns out to be a trick, instigated by the Ananasi so the Garou would free Queen Anansa. A fools errant that cost the garou dearly and cements their believe that the other Fera are manipulating them. All other fighting is only regional and about territory or revenge and so on. Campaign meaning garou from different septs forming war bands and actively going on the hunt outside their usual territories. Breedbook Nagah mentions the garou drove them out of europe to India.
    • The Children of Gaia prolong the conflict by regularly brokering truces and meetings only to see the falling apart by different agendas or Rage. Finally the realise that they don't live in an Age where unity in the way they want it is possible and abandon their efforts. As per TB GoG rev.
    • The Silver Fangs at some point come to the conclusion that the War of Rage is dividing the spirit world and they issue and order to cease hostilities. They even make some concessions regarding territory, but ultimately several fera are driven of to regions no Garou are interested in. As per TB SF rev.
    • The Age know as War of Rage ebbs off. The world has moved on and due to the rise of humanity since the end of the Impergium and climate change the meetings between Garou and other Fera become even more infrequent and therefore the direct conflict ends.
    Obviously several thousand years later the situation has changed. The Ahadi shows that the time for a fera coalition might be now. Then again, the Silent Striders (and apparently Bone Gnawers (was that canon before 'Shatterd Dreams')) were part of the Horus Alliance before, as far back as Mummy 2nd edition. And even the Apocalypse book has them bringing the Fera into the final battle on the plain of the Apocalypse, not the Children of Gaia.

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  • Saur Ops Specialist
    replied
    Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post

    I would imagine the Mokole are the most Blaise over temperature change, well them and the Rokea, since they have experienced multiple cataclysmic changes in temperature over the last few epochs, you know after life was decimated by the Apocalypse of the Wonder Work.
    They would still probably try to drop hints, given their status as having been on this ride many times before. Functionally, it also serves as a distraction for Mokole establishing or taking over wallows from places that saw the Garou flee for want of living space. They can share their partially-submerged holdings with Rokea and/or Bastet - a mixed sept of bull sharks, gators, and escaped captive tiger cub Khan, anyone?

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  • Eldagusto
    replied
    Originally posted by Erinys View Post
    The Mokole hope that global warming is Gaia saying "Yeah, mammal dominance was a failure. Let's bring back giant lizards and crocodiles everywhere."
    I would imagine the Mokole are the most Blaise over temperature change, well them and the Rokea, since they have experienced multiple cataclysmic changes in temperature over the last few epochs, you know after life was decimated by the Apocalypse of the Wonder Work.

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  • Erinys
    replied
    The Mokole hope that global warming is Gaia saying "Yeah, mammal dominance was a failure. Let's bring back giant lizards and crocodiles everywhere."

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    She's a Celestine (or maybe above the Celestines depending if you buy Garou propaganda) so she's not really the kind of person who interacts with the Garou personally anyway.

    An Incarnae would be a a lesser version of herself and Incarnae need avatars to interact with the Garou. We're talking, "Gaia is really the god of the gods and it's the gods who send their messengers to deal with the fuzzy people even if the fuzzy people worship Gaia directly."

    Presumably, it's the Incarnae's Totems and avatars are the people who convey the Garou dun fucked up for her.

    Even then, they tend to think on a rather cosmic scale. Global Warming for example may be Gaia going, "Yeah, humanity is a failure. Let's try the Lemure people next."
    Last edited by CTPhipps; 05-16-2020, 10:42 PM.

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  • Erinys
    replied
    Gaia is gallivanting off in the Wyld, leaving Luna at home....


    But no seriously, I think Gaia is either in a coma, or of the "collective punishment for the whole species" persuasion, or really ain't all-powerful and can't stop her kids from doing whatever they want. I subscribe to the cosmology in which the Triat created Gaia, not the other way around. She can't make them behave because they're a lot bigger than her....

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  • CTPhipps
    replied
    Gaia don't care.

    Gaia too busy banging Luna and Helios.

    Oh wait, that's Exalted.

    Leave a comment:


  • Erinys
    replied
    Seeing how the world has gone right into the toilet ever since the Garou wiped out the Grondr and Apis, and most of the Gurahl and Camazotz and Eurasian Bastet, and drove the Ratkin into exile, I'd say that yes Gaia did intend them to all exist together on the same planet and that she needed all of them at least tolerating each other for the world to stay healthy.

    I'm sure it wasn't only the Garou making aggressive actions - Ajaba and Bastet and Grondr were probably guilty of atrocities themselves. But I have no trouble imagining a group of Rage-prone, Frenzy-prone, racist, pack-minded people deciding to take over the world and killing everyone who won't bow down and be their bitches. Just look at how many modern Garou are depicted as still thinking all Fera are Wyrm servants and need to die. That they fought each other while doing it isn't that different from the way the Europeans fought each other in their race to conquer the Americas, South and Southeast Asia, and Africa. We still managed to collectively commit a massive number of genocides, with those Europeans who objected not able to make much difference. Why? Because land is money. Or land is caerns. And if you're a social creature and your society uses aggressive dominance challenges to establish hierarchy...


    In 2nd Edition, Bastet mentions that Luna sent Swara messengers to urge the Simba and other Bastet to end their part in the War of Rage. So Luna, at least, tried to persuade them to stop adding stupidity-fuel to the fire. Also, there's that entire Silver Fang House who vanished off the face of Gaia during the War of Rage... it isn't hard to guess what offense they committed.

    So I have a headcanon story. Kind of a fairy tale itself, but I think it's plausible. Gaia and the spirits also attempted to dissuade Garou from the War of Rage. This is what happened:
    • Gaia and Luna sent spirits to negotiate peace. The Garou did not want peace, save a few individuals. The Fera had seen far too many false parleys become ambushes and massacres. The War continued unabated.
    • So Gaia destroyed the Silver Fang house who started the War, down to the last cub. Their Kinfolk no longer carried the Changing spirit.
    • Gaia and Luna sent spirit messengers commanding the Garou to stop, and warning them of the consequences of the war, for Gaia and for the Silver Fangs. Some reconsidered. But most Garou wanted to rule all lands without sharing, and declared the messengers corrupted by the Wyrm and co-opted by the Fera.
    • The Silver Fangs turned away from Luna. The War continued. So Luna cursed all the Silver Fangs with lunacy.
    • Wolf sent his avatars to speak to the tribes, telling them they must end the genocidal slaughter at once. A few tribes and packs listened and backed down, but most refused. They accused Wolf’s avatars of being imposters, or fallen to the Wyrm. Some even slew the spirit messengers.
    • So Wolf, acting alone or on Gaia and Luna’s orders, abandoned all Garou tribes. They lost access to their Breed Homeland. Most Garou assumed that the Wolf totem had been attacked by the Wyrm, and/or spirits of the Fera. The Red Talons made up their self-congratulatory myth that Wolf rejected all other tribes in favor of them alone, and then “had” to leave them to avoid obvious favoritism.
    • Still the majority of Garou would not stop the slaughter, and those who did stop did not regain Wolf’s favor. Instead, the tribes sought caern totems willing to become tribal totems and build Umbral tribal homelands. This only reinforced their foolish separation from each other and raised their racist arrogance to new heights. Most of the incarnae willing to sponsor whole werewolf tribes supported the Wars of Rage. A few did not. But two tribes gained the patronage of [Cave] Lion and Turtle, in exchange for promising to spare their new totems’ children, shoring up those spirits as their true children perished. The White Howlers moved far north and stopped killing Bastet, but often still slew the other Fera when they could. The Croatan stopped killing Mokolé and eventually abandoned the War of Rage as a whole.
    • Most of the new tribal totems and their broods of spirits continue to help murdererous Wolves, attending their Rites and empowering their Gifts, no matter how many Fera they massacre.

    This is also my answer to why Garou, alone, do not follow the patronage of their animal totem/creator spirit, and why many of the tribal totems they do have don't seem interested in dissuading new generations from continuing the genocide.

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  • Eldagusto
    replied
    Yeah it was joke about the Gurahl thing, I know the Silver Fangs weren't a fan.

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  • heinrich
    replied
    Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
    Nobody's hands are clean here, well except the Gurahl they sure are swell.
    Not from the Garou's POV. They could have resurrected the garou who was murdered back then by the Nagah claiming to be Bubasti, or something like that.

    Besides that: How can it be just to punish the Garou as a people for deeds of individuals?
    If the CoG TB rev is correct, than it is just the way it was and it was supposed to happen - because back then the world wasn't designed or destined for the fera to work together or live peacefully. The world has since changed though. With the rise of humanity, homid born fera increased. With the Age of Enlightenment the worth of a single (sentient) Life, Tolerance and stuff like that became a thing, which since then has been introduced to the fera by their homid breeds. So, now there is the possibility, that co-existence or even alliances last.

    Of course, this idea as exceptions, when it comes to the Beast Courts, or Silent Strider / Bastet / Mummy / Mokole alliances in ancient Egypt.

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  • Lian
    replied
    OF course gaia punished them. That's why they have to live with the Garou nation.

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  • Eldagusto
    replied
    Gaia hasn't been shown to take an active hand and act directly. The closest to this is the creation of a new Changing Breed, and even this usually uses go betweens in the form of Celestines working with Incarna.

    But basically they are what they are, they are creatures of Rage. The Wars of Rage was a sin but well they made angry supersoldiers and released them into the world as a last ditch attempt to stop Cosmic Cancer.

    But perhaps Gaia did take a step to punish them, I mean the Kitsune still are waiting to discover their purpose.

    And remember the Wars of Rage were not purely on the Garou. The Naga's whole society changed to make up for the fact that one of their old Heroes became their greatest Sin and literally sold out the world to the Wyrm and framed some Garou-Gurahl conflict. And Simba and Ajaba have been warring and just recently over the last lifetime the Simba nearly genocided the Ajaba who were before the rightful rulers of their territory.

    The Rokea Genocide Homid members of their species, if they aren't Same-Bito. And the War of Shame had the entire Beast Court acting foolish.

    Nobody's hands are clean here, well except the Gurahl they sure are swell.

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  • heinrich
    replied
    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
    The question assumes that "Gaia" is a personal force that actively directs and takes action. There is little evidence that is so despite some mythological tales that treat her like a person taking actions. Garou can barely communicate with the Incarna much less the Celestines and Gaia. Gaia certainly exists, but what exactly that means is up for a lot of debate.
    True.

    Besides that, while I haven't read 'Shattered Dreams' and other post-W20 War of Rage stuff, I always had my problems with the War of Rage. As a constructed history that serves to set-up a setting it is understandable, but like many aspects of the 1st Edition it wasn't that worked out in the beginning. If one reads about the War of Rage from the perspective of the garou today, the garou of old are seemingly all ignorant, stupid, prejudice and so on... Yet, the garou still honour their ancestors.

    However, there is the one tale about the start of the War. A mane named "Bubasti" killed an Silverfang garou heir on a diplomatic mission. The body is brought to the Gurahl, which is also the place where the murder hides. Once spotted, the Silverfang second-in-command falls into a frenzy and the mayhem starts. Sure, the story is later expended upon in Nagah Breedbook (and according to that story the whole War might be something the Nagah should be punished for) but it all doesn't really fit together with the extinction of the Apis and Gondr, the supposed giant crusade the Ananasi trick the garou into making to free their queen, and garou crusades against the Nagah all the way to India. Was there even an India back then ? I mean, had the sub-continent already reconnected with the Asian landmass ?

    Whatever?
    The globally ridiculed CoG TB revised mentioned that the CoG blamed themselves for the war of Rage, always trying to negotiate between the more traditional garou and the changing breed, every meeting, every truce, every carefully groomed relationship eventually being destroyed by a frenzy of one side or the other - not realising that possibly a big happy changing breed family wasn't the natural order and shouldn't happen in that era.
    I find that idea quite good.

    For me, the War of Rage makes sense as an era, in which the garou policed their territories and killed whoever they deemed killing was justified (no big change there, since then). And therefore tales of them killing members of other breeds started to circulate and surely there was disagreement about this killings, with innocents getting in the way and collateral damage. All that created an atmosphere of distrust, lasting for centuries and possibly even remaining today.

    That certain breeds got extinct in that era is true, but I'd consider that more an side-effect of the situation then the actual goal of the conflict. I also find coordinated crusades of garou of multiple tribes over vast distances to be unbeleivable. Garou back then should life in their respective territories and protect them and cull the herd and what not. That packs leave and travel beyond the territory of their sept and maybe even their tribe surely happened but long lasting war efforts - I think not. Also, the garou tribes are supposed to be fighting amongst themselves, too.

    So, in a climate of distrust and amongst people who can fall into frenzies in basically any situation that is a little stressful I can see a "War of Rage" era, leading to the current status quo - while still concede that the majority of participants were reasonable and honourable people.


    Also, being ticked or misguided are already the themes of the War of Tears and War of Shame. Repeating the same theme within the fictional history of the garou seems dull to me, although it underlines that those who don't know their past are doomed to repeat it...

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