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  • Replace Fianna with something "Stag"

    They one went by many names: the hounds of the horned one, the skysingers, the midnight claws, Fianna were the irish branch of werewolves that took stag as their totem. The irish went on to have a massive diasphora and got to be everywhere in the new world, the followers of stag in mainland europe lost a lot of territory and presumably assimilated into other tribes.

    The Fianna are a racist stereotype. I mean they're entirely accurate, but there's so much of europe that's like also that: it's downright weird that the tribe with celtic roots, that drinks like no tomorrow, who worship a symbol of fighting other guys so you can fuck more women than them, is only Irish. That's european working class culture from most of europe. From ireland and even extending into bulgaria, there were once celtic people, and now there are drunken hooligans. I dont see good reason to keep the 'Fianna' as Fianna, When clearly they should still be a widespread stag following (The Black Furies, after all, survived the collapse of mycenean/minoan greeks, and Stag's children multiply far too well to really be ousted when most of the celtic language disapeared: they speak garou, after all)


    Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

  • #2
    Northern italy was Gallia Cisalpina. I totally re worked the fianna for that territory, working on the local steretoypes and traditions ( which actually have a lot in common with a lot of irish and celtic-pride places ).
    The North East of Italy is litterally Fianna. Various stereotypes: hot headed, loudy, hard-workers, love for alchol, always looking for troubles, enormous pride in their venetic-gallic culture, they also have a lot of separatis-like movements, some of them banned as terrorists ( with also some link and connection with the IRA and scottish movements), and also this kind of fianna could have the same relationship their northern borthers have with the Get, which I suppose came in northern Italy through Pannonia with Goths, Langobards, Rugi and Herules.
    Last edited by Helur; 06-14-2020, 11:51 AM.


    -'' We are the unsullied.
    We are the inheritors.
    We are the Pure ''-

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
      They one went by many names: the hounds of the horned one, the skysingers, the midnight claws, Fianna were the irish branch of werewolves that took stag as their totem.
      Um, not how things happened according to the books.

      The followers of Stag (you named a bunch of them) were a disparate group of Garou spread out over western Europe that largely remained local entities until the growth of the Roman empire started to push into Gaulish lands and father. They unified as the Fianna, as the Irish followers of Stag were the strongest as the farthest away and least touched by the armies of Rome.

      I dont see good reason to keep the 'Fianna' as Fianna, When clearly they should still be a widespread stag following (The Black Furies, after all, survived the collapse of mycenean/minoan greeks, and Stag's children multiply far too well to really be ousted when most of the celtic language disapeared: they speak garou, after all)
      Given the Fianna have a huge presence in Ireland, the UK, France, Spain, Canada, and the US? Being widespread is already the case. The places where they're not prominent are because other Tribes are more so, and unlike the Bone Gnawers, the Fianna are less likely to seek out unoccupied niches in other territories.

      While the game could stress the non-Irish Fianna better, what you're asking for is already in the game.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
        They one went by many names: the hounds of the horned one, the skysingers, the midnight claws, Fianna were the irish branch of werewolves that took stag as their totem. The irish went on to have a massive diasphora and got to be everywhere in the new world, the followers of stag in mainland europe lost a lot of territory and presumably assimilated into other tribes.

        The Fianna are a racist stereotype. I mean they're entirely accurate, but there's so much of europe that's like also that: it's downright weird that the tribe with celtic roots, that drinks like no tomorrow, who worship a symbol of fighting other guys so you can fuck more women than them, is only Irish. That's european working class culture from most of europe. From ireland and even extending into bulgaria, there were once celtic people, and now there are drunken hooligans. I dont see good reason to keep the 'Fianna' as Fianna, When clearly they should still be a widespread stag following (The Black Furies, after all, survived the collapse of mycenean/minoan greeks, and Stag's children multiply far too well to really be ousted when most of the celtic language disapeared: they speak garou, after all)
        Probably never a sentence you should type out.

        Mind you, I actually think every part of the globe has the majority of the tribes in Modern Times. Russia across Russia has Finanna, Get, Silver Fangs, Black Furies, Bone Gnawers, and the rest.


        Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

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        • #5
          The first edition of the game and its tribebooks were usually awful ethnic stereotypes, but they were cleaned up and expanded in it second iteration. I think the Werewolf tribebooks had the most instances of their revised versions saying "Uh, yeah, about those camps and certain ideas... Um, they're actually not like that?" of any game line.

          The human ethnic angle was an easy hook for writers so it's not surprising they went with it. And some good concepts came out of it. But it was very limiting, and a lot of readers were pushing out of those boundaries early on. The fact that lupus half of the tribe (which was not half of the members of the tribe in modern day, but still) could not have been Celtic was something that was overlooked repeatedly in the tribebooks. But eventually the writers figured that out.

          The first step was to acknowledge not all Fianna were confined to Britain's Celtic Fringe, but placed the tribe wherever the Celtic peoples once lived. And although not specifically stated and developed, there seemed to be acknowledgement that tribes could be found almost anywhere. It was just that the main concentrations of the Fianna were among one people (and likewise for other groups) because that's where the tribe historically grew strongest, controlled many of the local caerns, and their kinfolk grew and produced even more Garou.

          (So in my own chronicles, not only are there Fianna in Bavaria and Bohemia because Celtic tribes once lived there, there are also a few tribal exclaves where other children of Stag live as well. So there can be an extended forest in Siberia, or a valley in Central Asia that is also Fianna. Much of the Garou culture is the same even though the homid culture reflects local human ethnic groups.)

          "Fianna" simply means a warrior band. That they use a term of the Irish language doesn't mean much. I assumed that all the tribe names as we know them in English are just translations into English of the Garou Tongue, and translations are often done for poetic reasons or to be linguistically pleasing as it is for accuracy. So if you wanted to use "Soldiers of Stag" or "Hounds of the Horned Ones" that is fine. Those are also translations of something like the War Band of Stag. But Fianna by itself is fine too.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
            (The Black Furies, after all, survived the collapse of mycenean/minoan greeks, and Stag's children multiply far too well to really be ousted when most of the celtic language disapeared: they speak garou, after all)
            One of the biggest ironies of the game is that the Black Furies are based on the Amazon archetype. And because the Greek myths had Amazons, the game stated the Black Furies were of Greek kinfolk.

            But the Greek myths made it clear that the Amazons were not Greeks. The were barbarians (non-Greeks). The Greeks consistently mentioned them as being elsewhere - on the Eurasian Steppes, in Anatolia, and in Africa. The writers though never seemed to figure this out.

            So this is just one of many elements I ignored and developed myself. Of course nowadays some of the Black Furies come from Greek backgrounds. Not only did some of the Amazon areas come under Greek control (and Greek myth had Greeks defeating and enslaving some of the Amazons), but we can imagine an earlier substrata of Black Fury kinfolk living in Greece before the Hellenes invaded and conquered it. But Black Furies should have a lot of kinfolk in Ukraine, Central Asia, Iran, and Libya/Maghreb as well. And since the tribe had a heritage of accepting female Garou that failed the entrance exams (rites of passage) of other tribes (or trading their male cubs for female cubs), they probably developed colonies of Garou and kinfolk in other areas. So they're probably a tribe that is well represented geographically.

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            • #7
              I'm basically going to be out here seconding what has already been said above, but maybe I can add some personal spice to it.

              Like people have already mentioned, the Fianna are simply the name of one of many bands of garou that followed Stag and migrated alongside the Celtic & Gaelic people's that came to be prominent within Western Europe. The fact that their predominant title is an Irish term makes sense as the Fianna in their modern incarnation survived in the British Isles and particularly Ireland. They were one of the strongest bands before and the ones best able to survive the march of Rome and Germanic Tribes into their Western European homelands.

              Inspired to an extent by Black Fox and other commentators on the history of Garou, I've always imagined that the Fianna were most likely the second wave of garou migration into what is now Europe. The White Howlers were likely the first group to migrate alongside the people's who would be considered the indigenous peoples of Europe. The Fianna followed with the Gaels and Celts who were then followed by the Fenrir and their Germanic kinfolk, who were then followed by the Shadow Lords and their Slavic kinfolk.

              (Also to Black Fox's point, I've always imagined the Blavk Furies entering into Greece and the Balkans after first establishing themselves in Anatolia around the Caucuses. I've also imagined that they had ties to the Scythians and other Indo-European nomadic people's although I fully admit that's my own speculation about the migratory patterns of the Garou tribes.)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                Probably never a sentence you should type out.
                A Jest, A Jape! Must thou cast myself a villain? As I later pointed out, much of europe has a drunkard problem. The Irish are lightweights I tell ya. They don't actually drink that much at all, that's just an American myth. The Troubles was really about Ireland trying to distance itself from it's drunken neighbour and all-round bad influence: Wales.


                So, I did write the OP on my phone so it's not all that well written. But I don't think the 'story' of Stag losing ground across the continent is really a good one. Garou aren't that tied to the people they live with. They're the counterculture not the mainstream, after all. And while the Irish profiically emigrated to the Americas/Australia, a lot of people emigrated to the Americas/Australia. And while it is quite fun to mock "I'm 1/16th Irish" I don't think this heavily Irish view of one of the biggest tribes in the nation is really helpful to anybody.


                Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

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                • #9
                  Again, while I think we all agree that more could be done to illustrate that the Fianna are not simply 'The Irish Tribe'. Through their ties to the Gaelic and Celtic peoples, the Tribe of Stag came to occupy much of Europe in pre-Roman history. From Britain and Gaul to the Danube River, the Tribe of Stag would have reigned through a variety of bands and family groups.

                  It would be with the march of Rome (often associated with Urrah, particularly Glass Walkers) and the influx of Germanic tribes (followed by the Fenrir), that the Tribe of Stag would begin to loose their territories and be forced further and further westerly.

                  They would be pushed out of Eastern and Central Europe into the west, predominantly settling in Gaul. They were pushed out of Italy by the Romans and their garou allies. They were pushed more and more westward as Stag Garou were forced to choose between moving underground and assimilating into the newly dominant human cultures or following their kin into the west.

                  The March of Rome similarly helped lead the White Howlers towards their extinction, although I can certainly imagine that while they like to forget this part of their history, the ancestors of the modern Fianna were of little help to the survival of the White Howlers. I would imagine a similar relationship as to the Silent Striders-Bone Gnawers if the Holwers had survived.

                  Instead the White Howlers survived and are remembered as tragic heroes and martyrs. The Fianna continued to move westward, battling Fenrir and Silver Fang invaders from the east all the way, until being pushed into Ireland as their final stronghold.

                  Just like with the real life celts, once they reached Ireland, there was nowhere else to go. They would have to survive and endure, regardless of who came to their shores.

                  This history of migrations and conflicts is why the Fianna are considered to historically be the tribe of Ireland alongside their communities in Britain, Western France, and Northern Spain alongside scattered remnants and holdouts across the European Continent; although I imagine the majority of these slowly would have assimilated into other tribes in those regions.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                    But I don't think the 'story' of Stag losing ground across the continent is really a good one.
                    I don't think it's the case that the tribe of Stag is losing ground in the sense they are simply defeated losers. Like human cultures in general, the Garou tribes expand and contract. When the Romans or Germanic peoples and others invaded and conquered Celtic lands, it is easy to see how the Fianna lost some of their caerns in those areas. They may not have lost all of them, but some of them did transfer to other tribes. But that doesn't mean the Fianna still aren't in France, southern Germany, northern Italy, Spain, and other places. The English are just as much Fianna as they are Get of Fenris. And of course, the Celts expanded in different times taking Fianna kinfolk with them. At some point in time, Celtic tribes invaded the Balkans and Anatolia. There was even a section of Anatolia, modern Turkey, that were inhabited by the Celts - though the name Galatians were used. And of course wherever Irish, Scots, Welsh, and English (and other place that may have had Fianna) migrated, Fianna kinfolk and Garou followed.

                    So the Fianna are as much conquerors as the conquered.

                    And of course, simply because certain homid kinfolk and their Garou might have replaced tribes, it doesn't mean the same thing happened to the lupus members. And much of these migrations/invasions of peoples would have happened at a time when the lupus still made up half or almost half of all Garou.

                    Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                    Garou aren't that tied to the people they live with.
                    Well they are in the sense they are tied to their human kinfolk. Kinfolk culture can change. Lupus aren't tied to human kinfolk. And there should be a distinctive tribal culture independent of any slice of historical homid culture. The game in general does need to do a better job at that. But there is certainly a link between the Garou and their kinfolk, and this is going to affect the tribe in certain ways. And in ancient times, that influence went both ways since the Garou and their kinfolk made up a much higher percentage of the human population, and the Veil was not as much of a pressing concern.

                    Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                    They're the counterculture not the mainstream, after all.
                    I don't think Garou are as much a counterculture as their own culture, a secret society among the Flock. I guess you can call it a counterculture, but to my ears that sounds too much like the Garou are supposed to be part of human counterculture, and they're not. They're really their own thing that shouldn't map well unto any one human culture, though elements of cultures can be found in common.

                    I understand where you are coming from, but I think these posts would have been much more relevant 25-30 years ago. Your comments have more or less been addressed in the source material. If your comments are really about "The name "Fianna" is too ethnic specific, I'd like something more generic", that's fine. You can call them something else in your chronicles. I just don't see the need to do so. Ultimately you can call all the tribes "Children of Totem" and be done with it. It's just a little boring that's all.

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                    • #11
                      The only tribes I'd say are an exception to the 'Children of Totem' model are probably the Pure Tribes although they thankfully have built in alternatives.

                      For example I predominantly refer to them as the tribes of Older Brother, Middle Brother, and Younger Brother.

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                      • #12
                        This is less a lore problem than a presentation problem. For a tribe of Celtic origin to be associated primarily with Ireland isn’t odd, as insular Celtic culture has survived while continental Celtic culture hasn’t, and Ireland, along with Wales, is one of the last paces where a Celtic language is actually spoken by a significant population. It’s also traditionally viewed as the final frontier in Greco-Roman thought, the edge of the world, etc.

                        The problem with the Fianna is the presentation of them as a bunch of happy-go-lucky alcoholic brawlers. Basically every dumb Irish stereotype. That can go.

                        But as pointed out above, the important thing is that, regardless of ancient origins, the tribes are global nowadays. Ethnic stereotypes are a problem in themselves, but they also work against this simple fact that in the present day every tribe includes people from all over. If they didn’t, then they’d be even closer to extinction than they already are.
                        Last edited by Black Flag; 06-16-2020, 10:52 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Black Flag View Post
                          Depressed alcoholic brawlers. Basically every dumb Irish stereotype. That can go.
                          Here's my issue:


                          Kinda poor but with a great deal of reverence for expensive status symbols
                          Colourful retellings of imagined pasts.
                          Alcoholism
                          Promiscuity
                          Belligerent
                          Nationalist


                          They're lads and ladettes, they're football hooligans (the international kind). If they weren't rural they'd be the demonized working class a world over. Why ireland? You have these people everywhere. Britain, france, italy, hungary... No, like, I just checked a list. If it's in Europe or south America, it has these people. In the US you don't really have the sport, but you've still got the same kinds of people.

                          Clans and Tribes are meant to be caricatures of types of people. That's when they work best. The Ventrue is ubiquoutous across all societies because all societies have people like the ventrue. The Fianna would work a whole lot more if they applied to a vast class of people rather than, y'know, the Irish. You've got a world-wide archtype and are misappropriating it to people from a tiny country at the end of the old world.
                          Last edited by MyWifeIsScary; 06-16-2020, 11:57 AM.


                          Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

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                          • #14
                            I suppose this comes down to a matter of personal taste and how one prefers to set the dial between making factions Archetypes or In-Universe Faction Lore/Characterization.

                            Each of the tribes has an archetype (often unfortunately tied to, inspired by, and/or conflated with an ethnic stereotype) that serves as a short-hand representation of the tribe. The same can be said of basically every faction in the WoD. These archetypes are meant to represent broader and more fleshed out cultures in the broader WoD.

                            However unless one is limiting themselves to the core books and other cursory examinations, that isn't the full picture offered. Choosing not to delve into the in-setting lore isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it does ignore one of the great draws of the setting.

                            This is going to be a matter of taste I know but I personally feel that if one prefers archetypes then Chronicles of Darkness is far more helpful then WoD. WoD's archetypes were built as touchstones for lore to be built upon and relayed back to and I think said lore is one of WoD's great strengths as a setting.

                            All of that said, like so many things discussion is somewhat academic as the ultimate answer is to do whatever is most pleasing to you and your table.

                            I personally feel that emphasizing the Fianna as a culture of lower-class hooliganism does them a disservice as compared to their presentation as an ancient celtic culture whose contemporary members sometimes adopt the tendencies of surrounding lower-class hooligan cultures due to a variety of social and historical factors leading to the modern day.

                            Ultimately though, different strokes for different folks.

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                            • #15
                              If I were to compile a list of archetypical points to define the Fianna in my games, I would not select the ones MyWifeIsScary did, or define them overall as a kind of soccer hooligan. Their inspiration is the bronze age warrior bands of Ireland and the legends around them. That is what should be generalized to appeal to all cultures.

                              The relevant points I'd tell a Player would be:
                              • Fianna have a heritage of being the culture bearers of the Garou - they were one of the first tribes, perhaps the first. They claim to have invented the Garou tongue, were instrumental in creation of the Litany, invented klaives, and are laborious in remembering their heritage. They are a proud people.
                              • Fianna are the children of Stag, Prince of the Forest, who shares its bounty with the wolves and Garou so they may live. Stag represent the bounty of nature. So they're both very thankful to Stag and prey animals that feed them, and celebrate that as well. This creates a "work hard, play hard" culture in the tribe.
                              • Fianna follow a totem of Respect so while they have an attitude of "work hard, play hard" they try to remember a certain amount of decorum. So while they may party in the meadhall to excess at times, they do not act like drunken thugs.
                              • Since Gaia sent Stag to watch over the lands of the Fae at the dawn of the world, the tribe has unique connections to the realm and inhabitants of Faerie.
                              • The Fianna see themselves as a warband. but as an educated war band. Their warriors are supposed to meet ideals of physical excellence, martial skill, poetic arts, and being self-sufficient. They want to cultivate overall greatness.
                              It's not that being a soccer hooligan couldn't be a fun template to play, and the basis for a starting Fianna. It can work, but I'd be disappointed if a PC stayed like that. But I wouldn't define the tribe as it.

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