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  • MyWifeIsScary
    started a topic Replace Fianna with something "Stag"

    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)

  • Lian
    replied
    I've been having similar thoughts recently, well more like how the Hakken and Shadowlords are connected. There's base Shadowlord tribe and an Ethnic camp built around a real world culture. I was thinking about how to invert the Fianna and Fenrir like that. The Tribe of Stag is universal... but there's also Fianna on this wierd little island on the far side of Eurasia. I'm honestly more lost what do with the Fenrir.

    I'd also like to add more ethnic camps to the universal ones... like the Wise Guys could be an ethnic camp tied to the tendency to push minorities into criminal roles.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gryffon15
    replied
    Anyway though, I just recalled the name of this thread and so I figured I'd popcorn some suggestions for alternative tribe names aside from 'Fianna'.

    The 'Band of Stag', 'Children of Stag, and 'Warriors of Stag' are all somewhat obvious but valid monikers so I bring them up now but I'm going to trend away from that style for the rest of these suggestions.

    •The Cunning Ones
    This name would reflect the fianna's high opinion of themselves as cultural leaders of the Garou Nation and their admiration for the trickster hero, as well as a reference to their relationship with The Fair Folk, as in gaelic and gaelic diaspora regions, individuals attuned to various mystical elements were sometimes called 'Cunning Folk'

    •The Children of Danu
    Also might be called 'Danu's Band' or 'Danu's Warriors', this is a reference to the Celtic mother goddess Danu who is already mentioned as the Fianna's analogue to Gaia as Earth Mother and so feeling that they are Danu's warrior guard within gaelic society makes a great deal of sense to me

    •The Horned Ones
    Somewhat a reference to certain schools of Wiccan theology as well as gaelic neo-paganism and gaulic reconstructionism. Also, admittedly, a reference to their totem of Stag. However inspired by the Wiccan 'Horned God' and the Gaulic 'Cernunnos', this name refers to the role of the Fianna as mystical guardians of the gaelic people as well as fertility and the natural world. The rites of the tribe to ensure healthy harvest and fruitful hunts made them naturally an extremely important aspect of the celtic stone/iron ages.

    •The (Wild) Hunt
    An obvious reference but one that has to me made. Whether you call them 'The Hunt', 'The Wild Hunt', or some other variation on the formula; this man's represents the primal nature of the tribe as well as tying in with their connections to The Fair Folk and, I think anyway, just being a good name.

    •The Brilliant Singers
    Brilliant here is in reference to the bright red and black pelts that fianna are known for, rather then a reference to their intelligence, although I will say that I do think many Fianna would glibly claim that second meaning of the tribal name. This name based upon the naming convention we see with other tribes, particularly illustrating the tribe's cultural emphasis on music and the pride they hold in their galliards and their performances and epic histories.

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  • Ana Mizuki
    replied
    Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post

    Can we all just take a moment to enjoy how many redundancies that description has
    In my defence, they legit did run the gamut of all three. Something that would bleed into people playing Fenrir in the future and how people expected you to play them.

    Leave a comment:


  • MyWifeIsScary
    replied
    Originally posted by Ana Mizuki View Post
    racist neonazi white nationalists.
    .
    Can we all just take a moment to enjoy how many redundancies that description has

    Leave a comment:


  • Ana Mizuki
    replied
    A huge, and I do mean HUGE, issue with pre-revised content was always that it was written from an American perspective. So Fianna were the stereotypical Irish immigrants (not Irish, immigrants from Ireland) and others followed a similar mentality. For example, as a nordic person, the first Get of Fenris tribebook is painful to read. Even though they try to soften it, the idea behind the Fenrir seemed to be
    racist neonazi white nationalists.
    There was even a mixed heritage flaw in there.

    The revised tribebook cleaned things up, for which I am glad. But it is important to remember that the starting point, because it goes into the same issue the Fianna had. This narrow cultural view from a white American lens. It is no longer like that, but it did take 25-ish years to clean things up.

    Leave a comment:


  • MyWifeIsScary
    replied
    To me, the symbolism of the stag is pretty in line with what the Fianna are.

    They're boastful
    They have big heads
    They're a Manly tribe
    They fight a lot among themselves, and they mostly fight so they can prove to women that they'd be good mates. (hence there are a lot more fianna than most other tribes, even though they've probably got one of the highest mortality rates)
    Their dislike of deformities (rampant metis hate) kinda fits in with the need to have nice antlers

    The only problem with the football idea is that I imagine Fianna to be somewhat more eloquent.

    You don't use actual football hooligans, you take the people who would be football hooligans. You give them crazy stories that might've half happened, something else to love (Nature, legendary axes their grandfathers used, and they can nerd about teams of warriors rather than players) You give them something to hate (The other football team is the Wyrm)

    I think auspices confer literal blessings, if luna didn't pick children with latent tallent, and Garou are thus better people than average by default. Football hooligans... well, I wouldn't say that's a subculture of above average people, but wouldn't it be kinda interesting to see such the same mindset applied to above average people? Warrior cultures tend to be rather loutish. Fianna have always been considered more loutish than the other tribes. When they grow up and mature maybe they can grow out of it.

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  • Black Fox
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gryffon15
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • MyWifeIsScary
    replied
    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.

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  • Black Flag
    replied
    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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  • Gryffon15
    replied
    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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  • Black Fox
    replied
    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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  • Gryffon15
    replied
    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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  • MyWifeIsScary
    replied
    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.

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