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Banes of the Bane Tenders

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  • Banes of the Bane Tenders

    The Uktena tribe has a camp called the Bane Tenders who use a level 5 rite (Rite of Bane Binding) that creates a bane-prison that must afterwards be tended (guarded and observed). It is only used for those banes that are so powerful that they cannot be destroyed or banished. This is one of the reasons why the Pure Lands were (and to a degree still are) "Pure".

    (As an aside, I'm not sure what destroys means in this context - I thought spirits, including banes, couldn't be destroyed - they'd just be sent back to slumber once defeated. Presumably, "destroyed" actually means that, but if someone has a different idea please let me know.)

    This prompts the question of what did all the other tribes do with banes of similar caliber? If these banes couldn't be destroyed or banished, and these tribes couldn't perform something like the Rite of Bane Binding, then what did they do? Do we just assume that certain Bane spirits didn't "exist" in the Pure Lands, but they were found in the Old World? Was there some alternate method to defeat them that was something unknown to the Three Brothers? Something else?

    And if we're to assume that such Banes were bound in the Pure Lands, but were free to roam in the Old World, what kind of Banes were they?

    One possibility is that there are unique kinds of Banes that fill some kind of Great Old Ones role, and that many of the ones were binded in the New World, but weren't in the Old World. But I don't actually see actual examples of that in the game. However, we do have evidence in the books of other game lines about various Infernalist covens, Nephandic cults, and similar based on popular Old World mythologies. Vampire has the Sabbat Infernalists, Baali, and Followers of Set, and Mage has the Books of Madness. So perhaps that could be the basis of this. But we just don't have that kind of evidence in the Werewolf material itself.

    Another possibility is to look at the differences between the real New World and Old World peoples before Colombus, and think what kind of bad things were absent from the New World until contact. And then try to work back to things we could attribute to Banes. The big one, of course, would be disease. Smallpox, Measles, and other communicable diseases resulted in mass deaths. Another thing would be the general absence of alcohol (although I know the Mesoamericans had pulque - a kind of early tequila, and perhaps there were other similar drinks out there) and associated alcoholism. These kinds of ills could be linked to Banes.

    Lastly, do we have examples of the kinds of Banes, in terms of power and description, that the Rite is intended for? I know the Storm Eater in Wild West was an example of something so powerful that the Rite of Bane Binding could not be used, and instead the Garou needed a plot device rite to do so. I think that the original Bane which contacted Jeremy Lassiter (considered to be the founder of PENTEX) was such a bane, but I don't think that bane was ever described.

  • #2
    The Zmei were bound by the Garou/Mage alliamces in a similar fashion as they were ( mostly) too powerful to destroy outright......perhaps Older Brother was the only tribe to know the rite and that is why it was not used elsewhere?


    • #3
      Good call that the Silver Fangs bound the Zmei into magical slumber. Rage Across Russia calls this the Rite of Draconic Binding. So it is a very specific rite in comparison to the Rite of Bane Binding. It is also likely that the Zmei are not considered Banes that would be affected by the Uktena Rite since the Zmei are more like ultra-powerful Bygones. So the rite that bound the Zmei is more like a plot-device rite than a real mechanic. So we know the Old World Garou could fashion similar rites, but they were very targeted. They weren't like the general rite the Uktena had which is a tribal secret.

      And it still leaves open on what kind of Banes could have been ravishing the Old World, but which were not present in the New World.

      Incidentally, while reading up on some things before I responded, I just saw in the original Silver Fang tribebook, that the great Silver Fang heroes Yuri and Sophia Tvarivich (were they ever given real Garou names?) not only enlisted a multi-tribal pack, but also had the help of the vampire Durga Syn in killing Sharkala the Cruel. The fact that such renowned Silver Fang heroes had the aid of a vampire is probably something some Garou use to excuse certain (temporary?) alliances and pacts with vampires. I'll have to remember this the next time there's a post about Garou and vampires working together.


      • #4
        I just had some more ideas on this.

        Besides the binding of the Zmei, the Old World Garou also binded Kupala. I'm not sure where this information is contained, but I'm pretty sure it's written somewhere that it was the Garou who bound Kupala. We're not given any rite, but I'm assuming it was another specific rite similar to the rite of draconic binding.

        Sometimes, it is said that Kupala is one of the Talons of the Wyrms, and if so, this would be far beyond the capability of the Rite of Bane Binding. But if Kupala is not, then perhaps he is around the level of the kind of powerful Bane the Rite of Bane Binding sealed in the Americas.

        However, we know that whatever rite the Garou used to bind Kupala, that it was insufficient. While Kupal was bound, it seems he was far more active in captivity than any bane bound in North America. We know it had active spirit servants, and was manipulating the Tzimisce clan of vampires. So if this was the result of the Old World Garou doing something like the Uktena Bane of Binding, then not only was it less useful (in terms of the number of spirits it could affect), it was also far less powerful. So score one point for the Uktena.

        Another possible inspiration is the demon Metathiax which is now imprisoned in Mount Royal in Montreal. We know the demon came to the world in the host body of a mortal, and that the native Huron were able to imprison it. Since this is an example of a demon arriving in the New World as opposed to one already present, we can perhaps surmise that similar demons were not present in the New World... because the Uktena Bane Tenders had already imprisoned them. And since Metathiax is associated with disease, perhaps this is a good explanation why in the WoD such diseases were not present in the New World until contact with the Europeans.

        Like Kupala, the binding of Methathiax seems a lot to be desired of. Metathiax seems to have fairly active and able to influence vampires. But these bindgins were done by mortals (either sorcerers or a true Mage), not Garou. And even if we assume the reference to Huron were actually a native group of Garou, these would have likely been Wendigo, not Uktena.

        So if we assume Kupala and Metathiax is an example of a Bane that the Rite of Bane Binding was used for, then we can use that as inspiration for designing similar Banes in North America that may be in the process of release because of the lack of Bane Tenders (directly relevant if we assume a similar Bane to these is what approached the founder of PENTEX). As well as what was happening in the Old World as a result of Garou not having similar rites over there. The only bad thing is that once again, it's the examples from another game line, and not something in Werewolf.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
          (As an aside, I'm not sure what destroys means in this context - I thought spirits, including banes, couldn't be destroyed - they'd just be sent back to slumber once defeated. Presumably, "destroyed" actually means that, but if someone has a different idea please let me know.)
          Well, obviously the Grondr could pull it off, and there are probably ways to deal with smaller spirits like Gift of the Malleable Spirit. These spirits were obviously never at risk of being eaten by a Grondr, and the Garou have always had to go to nigh suicidal lengths to do the other Fera's jobs at even an amateur level. Still, I suspect there are other ways of dealing with spirits that still qualify as Jagglings. Didn't the African Fera develop a Gift for eating spirits?


          • #6
            Or what the Bane Tenders was dealing with wasn't actually Wrym Banes at all. But instead was Ancient Non Gaian alien Prehistoric Epherema like Niobrara Sea and Mother Bog. Entities that are so ancient they seem to predate almost anything else except for the Trait itself. Niobrara Sea might have been one of those "Banes" that the Uktena Rite of Bane Binding was designing for and the Tribe kept bound. I have been meaning to make a post about those ancient spirits, in hopes that someone else might know where to find more info regarding them.
            Last edited by Mahjemm01; 08-03-2020, 10:39 AM.