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  • City-father / City-mother Weaver Spirits?

    Reading some W20 lore and in regards to city fathers and mothers wouldnt by definition they all be Weaver spirits and if so do you think it possible for a garou pack or sept to dedicate themselves to a totem of the Weaver? I think it possible though obviously many garou would shun such a pack or sept.


    The Hecata are a sect not a clan.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Frontline989 View Post
    Reading some W20 lore and in regards to city fathers and mothers wouldnt by definition they all be Weaver spirits and if so do you think it possible for a garou pack or sept to dedicate themselves to a totem of the Weaver? I think it possible though obviously many garou would shun such a pack or sept.
    You can totally take a city father as your totem, just don't expect to be able to do much outside of the city. Also technically Cockroach is a weaver totem sooo I don't think anyone is going to shun them for a city spirit.

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    • #3
      There are two definitions of a Weaver spirit. There are spirits that serve cosmic order and those that are part of the One song. City parents are clearly Of Order but are still.. of Gaia? LIke how Grandfather Thunder haas many Wyrmish traits..

      Comment


      • #4
        There are degrees of Weaverdom. On the one end are stuff like Pattern Spiders, technological spirits, etc. Very high order stuff and increasingly alien to Gaia. On the lower end are spirits like Sodals which can represent any kind of group cohesion and identity, and have been pack totems for a long time. City Fathers are probably more like Sodals on the low end since it represents the human community and culture of a long lasting city. They are probably less Weavery than other Glass Walker totems like Digital Eye or Clashing Boom Boom.

        I don't think most Garou would find the City Fathers acceptable as pack totems, but the Glass Walkers and Bone Gnawers wouldn't have an issue with them.

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        • #5
          I'd determine that City Fater/Mother are in essence Epiphlings. They aren't so much the spirit of one thing, as a Naturae would be, but the concept of a given city. And a city is a concept, basically.

          As such, they don't need to be tied to a Triat member, or Gaia for that matter, but be neutral to these, or favour one of them without actually serving them.

          Comment


          • #6
            Heinrich, you are probably correct, or at least onto something. One issue may be that we don't actually have a term for Weaver spirits like we do for Wyrm spirits (Banes). And even Wyrm spirits are sometimes split up between corrupted Naturae (like Bat) and actual Banes (which in my game, I further subdivide as an ST tool, but not something I use presenting information in game to the PCs) plus the category of "Balance Wyrm" spirits which represent the detrivores and decomposers are more of the natural life cycle and are considered Gaian.

            So when we talk about the Weaver, it is very easy to cross over into multiple categories.

            At the low end are Naturae like the spirits of eusocial insects like Ants, Bees, and Termites that create superorganisms and vast colonies. We might even want to include other animals that modify their environment extensively like Beavers whose artificial structures have a profound environmental impact. (Do beaver dams attract Pattern Spiders to come by and solidify them in the Penumbra? If not, then why not? Does it have to be a result of human construction? At what point did Pattern Spiders begin to establish such things - when human communities reached a population of 1000, 10,000, more?)

            Then we have spirits of social construction - these are possibly epiphs as you mentioned. They'd include things like Sodals and City Fathers. Possibly more. Would this also include totems like Clashing Boom Boom (since it seems to be a general spirit of weapons) and Digital Eye? What about the Great Trash Heap (which was once a spirit of Middens) which seems to be a combination of epiphling, artificial landscape, and an ecosystem? Does it fit elsewhere, or some new category?

            Next we'd have spirits of technology and artificial items. It might include totems like Clashing Boom Boom or Digital Eye. But it definitely includes any "technological spirits" that are mentioned that teach many of the Glass Walker gifts. It probably includes the "new elementals" like Glass and Plastic. Those aren't found in nature, but created by humans. But what about Metal and Electricity? Those are found in nature, but not in forms people can use without developing science and industry. Metals are mainly trapped as ores and requires various refining before they're in a usable state. Did Metal Elementals exist before people began mining copper, tin, etc in substantial quantities? Were they "freed" from Mineral spirits (which would represent things like Native Copper or the various Copper Ores)? There were probably always Lightning spirits, but when did Electricity spirits come into being? (They likely have similar game stats, but are likely not the same thing. I'd say Electricity spirits didn't exist until people began generating electricity themselves). The game is mostly silent on it. If we assume this is its own category, I don't think we have a canonical name for it. We're definitely getting more artificial and more Weavery, but we're still not in proper servants of the Weaver. If there is a Machine Incarna (which once might have just been Tool), it is probably here, and these spirits might make up its brood.

            Lastly would be those spirits that are servants of the Triat Weaver - Pattern Spiders and all of their spin offs. Again, we don't have a specific name for these other than Weaver spirits which we know might include other spirits. Maybe we can call them Patternlings if needed.

            Are there more categories of "Weaver spirits"?

            I admit, I had not thought this way until Heinrich's post. But now I'm very interested in establishing these kind of categories in the game. I'd think it'd be helpful for STs.
            Last edited by Black Fox; 11-12-2020, 04:06 PM.

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            • #7
              I agree that this is one of those cases where we could really use a more nuanced vocabulary regarding the spirits that are within the spirit broods.

              We generally consider most spirits to either be Gaian, Wyld, Weaver, or Wyrm in nature with most being in the Gaian spectrum of Balance. Healthy spirits with associations Balance remain sometimes associated with the Balance Wyld, Balance Weaver, and Balance Wyrm.

              Most naturae that are considered Gaian probably have some connection with Wyld particularly but every element of the Triat would play a role. You have balanced spirits ranging from seedlings of the Wyld to maggots of the Wyrm.

              You do also have corrupted manifestations of the Triat such as purely chaotic spirits and spirits of random mutations and environmental chaos (although given the general nature of the Wyld it usually happens as a backlash to the Weaver and Wyrm or, if some Breeds are to be believed, when harm is done to Gaia. Then in the Weaver you have spirits of urban sprawl, maddened pattern spiders, legalist and bureaucratic spirits while we have the famous examples of the Wyrm (banes) with spirits or environmental decay, pollution, hatred, festering rot and the lie.

              Plus I’m always happy to see spirit discourse and to agree with what’s been said above I agree that most Garou would find City Elders too Weaver-ish for comfort but urrah such as Bone Gnawers and Glass Walkers would likely be right at home cooperating with these spirits (and working to prevent them from being drawn under the mandate of the Fallen Weaver or Fallen Wyrm).

              Comment


              • #8
                In our LARP game we use a wiki for all kind of spirits we come up with. Usually for quick reference to stats, but also as inspiration for players.

                Obviously we have one discerning criteria in the power level Gaffeling, Jaggling, Incarnae, (Celestine)

                And the Type, as the core book suggests: Ancestor, Elemental, Enigmatic, Epiphling, Naturae, Bane, Weaver, Wyld.
                For Nature, we have subgroups: Plant, mystical creature, Animal
                For weaver we have subgroups: Geomide and spider-like

                Since a lot of spirits, especially the more powerful ones, like totems, represent multiple things, the categorising isn't always undisputed.
                Falcon is an animal spirit, but also represents leadership, right to rule, and such things, therefore sharing elements of a Epiphling. But, since the type of spirit is more of a guideline, it can be hand-waived. There are really rarely rules discerning spirits by type. If there are, the most common distinction is (gaian) spirit to bane, like if a specific Gift or Fetish affects a being.

                So, we have a final descriptor: Brood.
                That tells us, where the spirits allegiance lies.We do no only recognise the tribal totems as having broods, but also the Celestine, the triantic wyrm (Defiler, Beast of war, eater of souls), Gaia, Weaver, and most importantly "unaffiliated".

                So, modern Epiphlings, like Clashing Boom Boom, the trash heap, Mighty Cryptocurrency and what not are 'unaffiliated', for the most part. We wouldn't consider them Naturae, even if they might have originated from one material-world thing or place. Meaning, that they might have started out as Naturae, but aren't today. They transcended being the spirit of a material thing or place, to become the spirit of an intangible concept associated with the material thing or place. This would hold true for City Fathers/Mothers. They represent not the physical city alone, but the people living there, the feelings associated with the city by it's residents, but also by tourists and even people living some where entirely but having feelings about this city.


                As a side note. I never finished reading through my Garth Ennis' Collectors Editions of Hellblazer, but I remember John Constantine communing with London there. In the animated movie "City of Demons" Constantine has an encounter with the spirit of Los Angeles.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                  Heinrich, you are probably correct, or at least onto something. One issue may be that we don't actually have a term for Weaver spirits like we do for Wyrm spirits (Banes). And even Wyrm spirits are sometimes split up between corrupted Naturae (like Bat) and actual Banes (which in my game, I further subdivide as an ST tool, but not something I use presenting information in game to the PCs) plus the category of "Balance Wyrm" spirits which represent the detrivores and decomposers are more of the natural life cycle and are considered Gaian.

                  So when we talk about the Weaver, it is very easy to cross over into multiple categories.

                  At the low end are Naturae like the spirits of eusocial insects like Ants, Bees, and Termites that create superorganisms and vast colonies. We might even want to include other animals that modify their environment extensively like Beavers whose artificial structures have a profound environmental impact. (Do beaver dams attract Pattern Spiders to come by and solidify them in the Penumbra? If not, then why not? Does it have to be a result of human construction? At what point did Pattern Spiders begin to establish such things - when human communities reached a population of 1000, 10,000, more?)
                  Some of them might have at some point, but the Weaver probably pays more attention to grander and more elaborate results. Tool use alone is probably only a weak correlate, but it's up in the air, as at the time Werewolf was originally written, the prevailing paradigm, or at least as far as common bias understood it, was to eschew ascribing any sort of tool use, social awareness, etc. to anything that wasn't human. So, the setting glides by the issue of chimps making spears to skewer monkeys, or birds tossing burning branches into brush to drive out prey.

                  Then we have spirits of social construction - these are possibly epiphs as you mentioned. They'd include things like Sodals and City Fathers. Possibly more. Would this also include totems like Clashing Boom Boom (since it seems to be a general spirit of weapons) and Digital Eye? What about the Great Trash Heap (which was once a spirit of Middens) which seems to be a combination of epiphling, artificial landscape, and an ecosystem? Does it fit elsewhere, or some new category?

                  Next we'd have spirits of technology and artificial items. It might include totems like Clashing Boom Boom or Digital Eye. But it definitely includes any "technological spirits" that are mentioned that teach many of the Glass Walker gifts. It probably includes the "new elementals" like Glass and Plastic. Those aren't found in nature, but created by humans. But what about Metal and Electricity? Those are found in nature, but not in forms people can use without developing science and industry. Metals are mainly trapped as ores and requires various refining before they're in a usable state. Did Metal Elementals exist before people began mining copper, tin, etc in substantial quantities? Were they "freed" from Mineral spirits (which would represent things like Native Copper or the various Copper Ores)? There were probably always Lightning spirits, but when did Electricity spirits come into being? (They likely have similar game stats, but are likely not the same thing. I'd say Electricity spirits didn't exist until people began generating electricity themselves). The game is mostly silent on it. If we assume this is its own category, I don't think we have a canonical name for it. We're definitely getting more artificial and more Weavery, but we're still not in proper servants of the Weaver. If there is a Machine Incarna (which once might have just been Tool), it is probably here, and these spirits might make up its brood.

                  Lastly would be those spirits that are servants of the Triat Weaver - Pattern Spiders and all of their spin offs. Again, we don't have a specific name for these other than Weaver spirits which we know might include other spirits. Maybe we can call them Patternlings if needed.

                  Are there more categories of "Weaver spirits"?

                  I admit, I had not thought this way until Heinrich's post. But now I'm very interested in establishing these kind of categories in the game. I'd think it'd be helpful for STs.
                  Weaver-spirits are the way they are because of the Weaver's pathological need to understand the cosmos at large. Everything within the bounds of what the Weaver is now is bent around toward control, in a sense that cuts from social and environmental control and onward toward the concept of control from an experiment. Variables will be isolated, degrees of freedom will tick down, and the Spinner will get what it desires. If nothing is left afterward, that's nothing that the Spinner cares to contemplate; it will have that understanding of what was and will ever be.

                  Also, given the way that W:tA works with cosmology, the metal elementals and electricity spirits absolutely would have been there before human discovery, but smaller in number and/or shorter-lived. The ore is still down there in the earth, and some animals make use of electrical impulses to subdue prey or defend themselves. Electricity spirits might also come into being in the wake of a lightning strike, or around stars and other natural sources of plasma.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I’ll try to add some answers of my own to Black Fox’s questions and join the discourse with Saurs Op and hopefully we’ll get some interesting material out of it.

                    Starting at the lower level I think it’s important to start with an understanding that some level of the Triat is present in all living things and in most Balance/Gaian spirits but that they might have particularly high concentrations of Essence that could draw them towards the Triat-tainted and eventually full Triatic spirits who are totally embodied of triatic essence.

                    I agree that animals that actively create systems of patterns and creations should have a greater degree of Weaver essence, particularly if they impact the greater world. All animals have some level of Weaver presence but animals which form tight knit colonies like eusocial instincts probably do have more. The bird with its nest or rat with its burrow probably also has some Weaver presence but not as much as the beaver which dams a river. Even then I wouldn’t necessarily say that the spirits of these animals are Weaver tainted, but they are certainly closely associated with the Weaver.

                    (I also do like the idea of Pattern Spirits naturally manifesting around Beaver dams and Bee hives, plus as far as humans go, I feel that once you’ve graduated to a degree of social complexity where hierarchy organization is required the Weaver is loosely present and by the time you can support a trade economy or a population where everyone doesn’t know one another personally, the Weaver is likely quite present)

                    I would probably include those spirits like Clashing Boom Boom, O’Mighty Dollah, & Digital Eye as their own category of conceptual spirits who are associated the Weaver because their high reliance upon patterns, reason, understanding, knowledge, and control. I don’t want to say that they are ‘higher’ then naturae spirits because I feel like that has the wrong implication but I would say that these spirits probably do exist in a more airy, conceptual sort of way, thus being reliant upon humanity to continue supporting them. I’d say that City Elders are probably ‘dual-citizens’ of this level and a more material category as they are associated with something more specifically material then general currency or mechanized weaponry.

                    (I’m now imagining a more animist perspective of the New Gods from American Gods)

                    I think that technological spirits are probably related to conceptual spirits in a similar way with a more direct material stretch and they probably do form to reflect the expansion and use of technological devices. I imagine that The Wheel is so powerful as to practically be a Celestine in its own right at this point while the Buggy is struggling to maintain itself and digital spirits are celebrating their golden age all the while as more experienced technological spirits watch warily to see what members of this fledgeling brood will actually endure the test of time.

                    I would also say that I definitely think that Elementals such as Metals and Electricity definitely existed prior to their ‘domestication’ but in a very different and less Weaver-bound fashion. Metal elementals carried on just as Mountain spirits, Earth elementals, and geological broods did; slow and stubborn but eventually seeing some of them be forged by Weaver rites into tools. Similarly you have wild and ecstatic Lightning Elementals who rage across the skies and sneer at their domesticated kin who were bound into copper fetishes by humanity (although even harnessed lightning will manifest its rambunctious nature if handled improperly).

                    Plus then you do have purely Weaver spirits which we’ve got with Spiders, Patterns, and Geometric spirits as well as those other categories of spirit that have become so weaver-tainted as to entirely join the Weaver’s brood, such as certain metallic elementals being shaped into machine spirits under the Machine’s brood.

                    As far as other categories, I’m also trying to brainstorm myself. Between Naturae, Elementals, Technological, Conceptuals, and Weavers I imagine we have a great deal of the possible spirits accounted for.

                    Perhaps theirs room for ‘Patron’ spirits in these categories, akin to Conceptual spirits, who oversee ethnic groups or careers. I’m also imagining academic spirits within the Conceptual Brood debating as to their own natures and manifesting Debate and Discourse spirits. Perhaps ‘Passions’ could form another category with spirits such as Memory, Determination, Stubbornness manifesting as Weaver-associated passions.

                    This is fascinating stuff to talk about and I’m always glad to get a chance to dig around in these fun layers of Worldbuilding that the WoD provides.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've been giving a lot of recent thought to a good name for the type of spirits that fall into technological, man-made, or artificial items. It's been hard to come up with something that sounds good in English. I've been using the thesaurus a lot - looking at words like artificial, fabricated, machine, produced, crafted, etc. But no variation rolled off my tongue well. But I've finally come up with one that sounds good to my ear - Technae. Like Naturae are spirits of nature. Technae are spirits of techne (Greek for craft or art, and obviously the root word for technology). Technae spirits comprise any spirit concerned with simple tools to high technology, and whatever items they produce.

                      Technae aren't conceptual spirits. They represent material things, not ideas. And they are not Weaver spirits like Pattern Spiders or Information Geomids. When a Garou uses the Rite of Spirit Awakening on his car so he can drive it in the umbra, he's awakened a Technae. Glass Walkers, of course, are the main Garou that study them and have come up with most of the unique terms concerning them. I'd personally class the Glass, Metal, Plastic, etc. elementals here as well, but understand if others want to keep them in a true Elemental category if that is more useful to them.

                      Just sharing it in case it case anyone else finds the term useful. If you have an alternative name, I'd love to hear it. I may just use it myself!

                      = = = = =
                      On another note, I see in the Book of the Weaver they have another category of spirits called Automata which has things like Amalgam spirits, Genius Loci, Paradox spirits, Weapon spirits (which includes Clashing Boom Boom), Data spirits, and more. This seems more like a catch all category the Garou use for a variety of unrelated spirits, but they do seem tied to the Weaver somehow.

                      In my own new scheme, I'd like remove the Weapon spirits (called Hunter-Killers in the book) and place them in the Technae. But I think the category can be useful for most of these other spirits, and would probably be a good place to place software spirits, data, and other things that don't truly exist as material products, but come from human invention.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I like the term Technae, that works pretty well for me.

                        So then we’ve got Naturae, Elementals, Technae, Conceptuals, and Weavers alongside other possible spin-off categories.

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                        • #13
                          I've been giving thought to spirits that are spirits of community and such. While they might be Epiphlings, they may also be something different. They're abstract spirits, but they also reflect actual human bonds through community and society. That sounds different to me than true abstract concepts like "War", "Death", "Pain", etc.

                          So I looked at totems based on this on Su-tehp's list. There's a surprising number of them out there.
                          • Sodals (spirits of unity behind small teams pledged to one another)
                          • City Father/Mother (spirits of great urban communities)
                          • The American Dream (a kind of nation spirit of the US representing its hope and confidence in full)
                          • The People (the oppressed people)
                          • Caern Rattler (a kind of super ancestor spirit based around proper funeral rites/treatment of the dead)
                          • New World Trinity (a spirit of the ideals behind the American Revolution)
                          • Tammany Hall (a spirit of political power and clout)
                          I left out anything that actually seemed like an actual concepts like Invisible Hand (the market) or Themis (justice) which fit better among the Epiphlings. But I admit my selections are probably more based on personal taste than objective criteria.

                          I would say ultimately these spirits are all about some kind of bond between individuals forming an actual community of some kind. That distinguishes them from Epiphlings who I see are much more narrow concepts that are far more universal. But maybe you disagree. To bad I can't create Polls here. I wonder how that would break out. If I'm given good reasons, I could change my mind.

                          And in either case (whether they are Epiphlings or some other spirit type), how related are they to the Weaver? I'd say not very Weavery - more than eusocial insects, but less than spirits of technology and definitely less than full blown Pattern Spiders and the like. They're still centered around human communities - nothing that represents animals or wolves specifically.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I’m uncertain what I’d call these spirits. Maybe ‘Sodal’ as a blanket term or something like “Communals” or “Networks”.

                            I’d say that considering them distinct from Conceptuals or Epiphlings is valid, given that Conceptuals are something that exists because of human perception but doesn’t actively require human participants or agents like a Communal. Currency might need people, but people don’t identify themselves in groups based on currency. So the community or social aspect is different.

                            I’d say that they are probably slightly Weaver leaning at inception just because human constructs always are but there usual status quo is Balance. However they can become weaver-tainted and probably part of the Fallen Weaver’s end goal is to make them totally Weaver spirits.

                            I also think these spirits could become tainted by other members of the Triat as well though so I would consider their starting position to be that of Weaver associated Balance.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              They definitely can become tainted. Some of the Sodals are said to have been corrupted by the Wyrm to became the Serpent Father spirits listed in Freak Legion. Caern Rattler went missing after the White Howlers fell. And Tammany Hall should be more vulnerable than most spirits at being corrupted.

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