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  • Corax and Garou relations

    I am thinking of introducing a Corax NPC into one of the local septs. I want some exposure to the other Fera (and greater setting elements) in my chronicle, but keep it reasonable. However, I am not sure of how to do this in game. So I'm looking for feedback and ideas.

    First, how would a new Corax learn what Garou are in the area so they could make contact with them? I know Corax are supposed to be the scouts and information gatherers and share information with each other, but in practical terms unless another Corax already has this information and hands over their address book, how would one go about this?

    Second, assuming they did know one or more local Garou, how would they go about and make introductions? Just walk up and make blatant introductions? What would be the best way to keep them safe, make good first impressions, learn about other Garou, and establish relationship where information can be shared? Do the Corax have preferred "types" of Garou they want to associate with? Are certain tribes preferred like the Get of Fenris and Wendigo who are supposed to have a legacy with them? The Silver Fangs? Just the sept leadership, or based more on individual compatibility? Obviously packs under Raven would be a good choice, but I don't think those would be generally known (or would the spirits tell them?) or there's too few of them versus the desire of wanting to know more Garou. Tell me if you think otherwise.

    Third, once contact is made and some relationship established, how does that play out? Do the Corax actually show up to moots, or is it more private visits between them and individual Garou they trust who then relay on to the rest of the sept if important. Do they meet on a regular basis? If so, what is the likely frequency? Or is it only when the Corax (or her Garou "friends") would want to meet up?

    Lastly, what do Corax do for caerns? I lot of the Changing Breed books don't seem to address this. I only did a quick flip through, but I couldn't find any reference to caerns in their breedbook. I know they have moots (parliaments), but they don't seem to necessarily be at caerns the Corax control. I know Garou love to control caerns, and the lower number of the other breeds means the Garou likely control more than their dominant share. At the same time, caerns are important for a variety of reasons. Spirits who teach gifts to Garou prefer to be summoned at caerns to do so, and I would think this equally applies to the Fera. So I'm thinking in regards to Corax (even if not the others), then maybe they don't control any caerns of their own, but always piggy back on favored Garou septs who are friendly to them. I bring this up because it has obvious implications for the other questions above.

    I know that individual Corax and individual Garou can have a wide variety of relationships. No reason to give that as your answer. It doesn't help anyone. I want to know what you think is the "typical" situation. Once people have a comfortable norm or standard, they can then improvise off that to reflect individual peculiarities.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
    Are certain tribes preferred like the Get of Fenris and Wendigo who are supposed to have a legacy with them? The Silver Fangs?
    At least for this question, I know that the Revised Tribe book for Fianna has in it positive relations with the Corax, not sure about other tribes

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    • #3
      Fun fact about wild wolfs and ravens https://www.stemjobs.com/wolves-and-ravens/

      There friends and even hunt together.

      Comment


      • #4
        I often think that the fera should receive more attention due to the integral roles they play in maintaining Gaia but due to their rarity and conflict with the Garou I also struggle to know how to introduce them but the Corax really are a great place to start.

        To the first point, the Corax are Gaia’s tattle tales for a reason. Their flight gives them great scouting capability and they have numerous gifts to help them better pick up information either physically or plucking phone calls from mid-air. They also have a strong relationship with spirits and Crow and Magpie spirits in particular who are just as covetous as they are. This alongside their ability to communicate with corvids makes gaining a vast wealth of information very possible. Plus, unlike human investigators, the Corax knows what to look for.

        The Corax have a working knowledge of the Garou out of necessity, thus they recognize the signs of lupine activity. When hunters mysteriously go missing, when lumber yards are torn apart by “freak storms”, when corporate executives are brutally murdered in locked rooms; the corax take notice. They can get information from corpses to confirm and some wolves are even obliging enough to leave behind tell tale glyphs. This alongside the fact that the Garou will interact with the spiritual community (who the Corax keep tabs with) and that any corvid worth its feathers will note the presence of a wolf population makes the Garou relatively easy for the Corax to find, even if they’re being covert.

        This all fails to take into account the most important element: when one corax finds a garou, it’s essentially guaranteed that every other Corax in the region will soon know as well. The Ravens are insatiable gossips and they can’t help but gab to each other about the news. Considering this alongside their parliamentary gatherings which reward information with renown and the odds that the Corax probably have generational contact with any extent Garou means that learning about the local wolves for a Corax is often as easy as finding a local raven and being able to hold your tongue while they start blabbing. Often what gets in the way of corax information networks more then lack of information is an inability to hold your tongue while someone else is saying something.

        To the second matter, the Corax don’t have formal howls of introduction or anything but they do have a history with the Garou and so they probably have customs they use with the locals to avoid tension. While Corax got off light in the wars of rage they still lost things and so they can’t always be super chummy. Regardless in most cases, they can probably make themselves known to the average Garou and expect reasonable treatment (but they should keep their distance so they can fly off if they have to).

        The Corax are noted to have particularly strong ties to the Fianna, Fenrir, Red Talons, Shadow Lords, & Younger Brother but honestly they do decently with most tribes. Its just that some tribes are less likely to give them particular honor or regard and some tribes are less familiar with the Corax and so have a lower tolerance for their tricky nature, light fingers, and proclivity for laughter and run-on-sentences.

        Third, I tend to imagine that this is treated on a case-by-case basis. No doubt the Corax would like to be able to attend moots but if the locals will chase off those who attempt it, so much for that. Some corax might have allied packs or individuals, others might attend moots, others might casually visit septs, and others might spy on the Garou from afar. It really depends on the temperament of the Ravens and wolves involved.

        I would imagine that most septs have working relationships with the local corax and at the very least allow them to gather at the periphery of the bawn to communicate with the Garou. Some traditional (pre-rage tradition) or liberal Garou might even allow Corax into the bawn; I imagine the tribes that particularly honor Raven are the most likely to allow this and probably the Coggies and Older Brother. Particularly liberal septs or septs where Raven or Helios are highly honored might allow Corax to attend moots at the caern heart but I imagine this is rare. Regardless, there are probably always a number of points of contact between a regions’s sept and local Corax.

        On the fourth matter, I tend to agree. I don’t think the Corax have the capabilities or temperament to maintain caerns and if they ever did they certainly don’t after the Wars of Rage. I imagine they maintain certain ritually regarded trees of honor which they use for parliaments and roosts for their spirit eggs but that’s the end of it. The corax are not suited to sedentary lifestyles and so I imagine that if they ever need caerns they either gain access to a friendly Garou caern or try to establish a small sacred place for their own needs, such a thing which could accommodate parliaments or nests.

        As far as spirits, the corax have the benefit of being able to go to the spirits and meet them on their own terms within the Umbra and have the capacity to speak with them so as far as rites and gifts are concerned I imagine that most spirits would be pleased to host a corax so long as the Raven was due fully respectful and came laden with gifts (chiminage) and information to offer in exchange.

        I’m a big fan of the Corax so I hope this was helpful!

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        • #5
          Lots of potentially interesting things here.

          Originally posted by Gryffon15 View Post
          The Corax have a working knowledge of the Garou out of necessity, thus they recognize the signs of lupine activity. When hunters mysteriously go missing, when lumber yards are torn apart by “freak storms”, when corporate executives are brutally murdered in locked rooms; the corax take notice. They can get information from corpses to confirm and some wolves are even obliging enough to leave behind tell tale glyphs.
          This is quite helpful for my immediate purposes. I can use something like this to have the Corax NPC directly contact the PCs as a result of their actions, rather than going to an NPC. That makes it more memorable for them and could be a good RP scene. It would be up to them how to introduce the Corax to the sept, if at all.

          Originally posted by Gryffon15 View Post
          Considering this alongside their parliamentary gatherings which reward information with renown and the odds that the Corax probably have generational contact with any extent Garou means that learning about the local wolves for a Corax is often as easy as finding a local raven and being able to hold your tongue while they start blabbing.
          The concept of generational contacts would make an interesting note for those NPCs or even PCs. This makes Corax-Garou contact and interaction very personal and individual as opposed to institutional. Something neat to distinguish individual characters.

          Originally posted by Gryffon15 View Post
          On the fourth matter, I tend to agree. I don’t think the Corax have the capabilities or temperament to maintain caerns and if they ever did they certainly don’t after the Wars of Rage. I imagine they maintain certain ritually regarded trees of honor which they use for parliaments and roosts for their spirit eggs but that’s the end of it. The corax are not suited to sedentary lifestyles and so I imagine that if they ever need caerns they either gain access to a friendly Garou caern or try to establish a small sacred place for their own needs, such a thing which could accommodate parliaments or nests.
          This has some neat implications for the setting potentially. If Corax don't hold caerns themselves, and are mostly dependent on Garou caerns as places to learn gifts and obtain other caern benefits, but likely don't have immediate or safe access at most Garou caerns, then it would make sense that Corax probably only access a handful of known "safe" caerns where they have longstanding relations and involvement going back a long time (centuries or even thousands of years). That would make an interesting distinction for those relatively small number of Garou caerns around the world that are known hotspots for Corax.

          I imagine they'd be located at the caerns whose tribes best get along with the Corax that you already mentioned - Fianna, Fenrir, Red Talons, Shadow Lords, & Wendigo. Preference probably given to those caerns whose totems are most friendly to Raven. For example, that would mean the Great Caern in Vancouver, whose totem is Raven, might be THE spot in North America for Corax to travel and use. It's a level five caern and so spirits could be summoned there to learn all kinds of Gifts. There are probably other caerns in North America that Corax visit, but the Great Caern would likely have a stable population of Corax (even if the individuals making up those numbers change) and ongoing visits by many others. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the center of the largest Parliaments/moots in the Western Hemisphere. There are probably similar Garou caerns in the British Isles, Scandinavia, and elsewhere that also represent large, powerful caerns that are centers of Corax travel.

          That's something an ST can use to distinguish certain Garou caerns (and not just for Corax, but potentially other Changing Breeds who would seem to not have caerns of their own).

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          • #6
            Alrighty so, on this All Saints Day, lemme see if I’ve got some more ideas to share here.

            Aye, having the fera introduced through their reactions to the Garou is a solid method imo. Not only does it keep the focus on the wolves but it also creates an easy method to introduce the fera’s motivations and typify their current relationship with the Garou.

            Yeah, the odds that Corax culture is connected to Garou culture is virtually guaranteed and that holds all sorts of interesting and fun possibilities.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Corax
              Deep in the fear-shadowed forests of Eastern Europe, where the thundering waterfalls careen through gorges unseen by men since the Turks invaded -- there are a buttload of trees for birds to sit on. [Shadow Lords] think they're sneaky? Not so much.
              Raven's aren't that large, and they can cross into the Umbra as easily as the Garou. If they want to spy on a moot they probably can, and unless the Caern spirit is hostile or the Garou actually shoot every crow they see, Corax will get in, and see and hear whatever "secret" things. They also have Gifts for things like stealing an object and making the owner forget it existed, as well as stealing Gifts themselves.

              Nuwisha have ways to sneak into Garou Caerns which used to be Nuwisha kivas, and gain Gnosis with their own rites, without the Garou noticing. I would be surprised if Corax haven't figured out how to do the same when they're uninvited. Maybe they even have ways of doing it in midair if the Caern doesn't have good roosts.

              Edit: Corax also mentions that they're "always welcome" to Shadow Lord moots.
              Last edited by Erinys; 11-20-2020, 10:46 PM. Reason: more detail


              I am extremely literal-minded and always write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
              Exalted and cWoD book list. Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors.

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              • #8
                Is that quote from the Corax breedbook or somewhere else?

                I didn't know it was possible for the Nuwisha to gain Gnosis from caerns they don't possess, but if they do it then you could decide the Corax can do the same. At the same time, that's a weird thing to do at a caern. The Garou don't take Gnosis from caerns, they GIVE Gnosis to caerns. It's just during a Revel that Garou summon Englings and perform a sacred hunt to gain Gnosis. That's different from taking Gnosis from the caern. So unless that Nuwisha Rite is similar in how Gnosis is fained, it seems to me that Nuwisha are stealing Gnosis from the caern totem which is a big error (either on the part of that rite's creator, or the Nuwisha).

                The advantages a Caern gives to the Garou would be a place with a lowered gauntlet, the favor of a powerful spirit (caern totem), moon bridges, advantages from certain caern rites, and a favorable place to summon spirits and learn gifts. It's not to drain it for Gnosis. I would assume that's why other Changing Breeds would want access as well (though some have alternatives that provide at least some of that like Den Realms).

                = = = =
                I certainly think it's an option for Corax to spy on a moot if they wanted. I do think that would not be without some risk. A little in many cases, but possibly a lot in others. The caern totem is supposed to know what's going on in the entire caern bawn. I don't take that to mean it is omniscient in the bawn. But it should sense some things. And caern totems generally have very good relations with its sept since they revere it and provide it with Gnosis. I think it would be more difficult for Corax to spy in the umbra than in the Realm. Another bird showing up in the trees can be easily ignored in the Realm (assuming the caern has trees - some places won't. Without a convenient place to hide and watch, I think a raven could be sensed should it come to close). But the spirit population in the Penumbra is a lot less and new arrivals more noticeable. And furthermore the spirits at a caern would be affiliated in some way with the caern totem and kept happy by the Sept, and those spirits would be much more likely to sense an intruder and pass word to the Garou of the sept. Another potential danger is in the few predators that attack ravens - which happen to include owls and falcons (eagles/hawks). And those are not inconsiderable spirits for the Garou since they are tribal and pack totems. Those spirits would be much more likely to look for such intruders.

                That's not insurmountable for a Corax, or apply to every caern, but I wanted to mention some obstacles that may need to be overcome.

                = = = =
                I could see the Shadow Lords welcoming some Corax. Corvids seem to be sacred to Grandfather Thunder and "rogue" Raven gafflings are part of his brood. But the Shadow Lords are also secretive and conspiratorially bent. Does it make sense they would welcome all Corax? That sounds more like propaganda. I would think it more likely they would want to recruit for loyal allies among the Corax, and only allow those to show up to moots (and perhaps not any moot, but only certain ones). I don't think that ever gets developed in writings among the Corax, but it's certainly something screaming for development - a camp of Corax who are devotees of Thunder.

                I do think you're right to call them out and include them as a possible ally.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The quote is from Corax, the breedbook. So is the statement that Corax are "always welcome" and Shadow Lord moots. They're allies, but they also spy on the stuff Shadow Lords think is secret, steal files, etc.

                  I am probably mistaken about what it is Garou, Nuwisha, etc. get out of Caerns. I am not a ST and have never found anyone to play the game with, so some of the mechanics are quite blurry for me. Whatever it is, Nuwisha can use the "back door" in many North American caerns and have approval from the caern spirits to do so.


                  I am extremely literal-minded and always write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
                  Exalted and cWoD book list. Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors.

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                  • #10
                    More from Guardians of the Caerns: Corax and Nuwisha can indeed sneak into a caern and use it under the Garou's noses. But "most Corax prefer to recharge their Gnosis in the Umbra directly,".


                    I am extremely literal-minded and always write very literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to joke.
                    Exalted and cWoD book list. Exalted name-generators, Infernal and 1E-2.5E homebrew from many authors.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hmm, still not sure what they mean by Recharge their Gnosis. The standard Moot described in the books don't recharge the Garou's Gnosis. It recharges the Caern by the Garou giving it Gnosis. In the Gnosis section of the corebook, it always mentions that a Sacred Hunt of Englings can recharge a Garou's Gnosis, and that this happens during moots, during the actual moot description in the Players Guides they don't actually mention a Sacred Hunt. I think most players just assume this happens during the Revel. So maybe this is the caern totem handing out an Engling for the Corax, similar to an old lady leaving out a bowl of milk for the neighborhood's cats. There are also caerns of Gnosis that provide Gnosis points when the Rite of the Opened Caern is performed, but that only happens at that specific caern type, and that rite must be performed. Maybe the text implies the Corax know the location of most of those caerns and when needed, fly in surreptitiously and use it. Or that they ask the sept for Chiminage for their news and receive it in donated Gnosis, and this doesn't have anything to do with the caern heart itself.

                      The truth is probably the author didn't think too closely and wrote something without giving much thought about it.

                      If I remember right, the Nuwisha only access caerns that were once controlled by them before the Wyrmbringers arrived (which implies the Three Brothers left a significant number of caerns to their cousins, the Nuwisha) and abandoned them without a fight when the bigger, more numerous Old World Garou arrived. As such, they still have relationships with their old caern totems, and have abbreviated rite to open the caern. They don't do this with other caerns whose totems they don't have these old relationships with. We can also assume that these original Nuwisha caerns were caern types very sympathetic to the Nuwisha and Trickster which is why they held them in the first place, and why the Three Brothers allowed them to have them. So there's an important caveat here.

                      Since we're talking about Corax specifically and mentioned the Nuwisha for comparison, we may want to say the Corax could have a similar situation with caern totems that are Raven or similar corvid, or perhaps related to their patron Helios, or a caern type receptive to messengers, rumors, etc. Outside of the totem spirit connection, it's probably best limited to those very old caerns that date back to before the War of Rage when Corax were welcomed everywhere in the Old World, and in North America that might be before the Wyrmbringers arrived. That's not in the rules, but I wouldn't find it out of place and could be something for STs to use.

                      = = = =
                      As for the Breedbooks, I think they are mostly written in character, so we should take things written with a grain of salt - especially anyone saying things like "always" or "never". They're written from a generic perspective of one or more individuals. And we know there is often a lot of contradictory quotes and information. So it's a great point that the Shadow Lords try to be friendly and use Corax, but "always" is probably more loose hyperbole than objective fact.


                      Thanks for sharing this. It's been a good learning and discussion.

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