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Forsaken February - Heralds of the Firstborn

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  • #76
    Too bad there's no F- "White Wolf".

    Therefore, I vote D -Red Wolf.

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    • #77
      Ok, folks, closing the vote now. Will count it in a bit and then start work on the winner!


      - Chris Allen, Freelance Writer: Forsaken & Awakening 2nd Edition / The Pack / Dark Eras 1 & 2 / The Contagion Chronicle / Idigam Anthology / Night Horrors: Nameless & Accursed and Shunned by the Moon / Trinity Aeon / Aeon Aexpansion / And more besides...

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      • #78
        Ok, counting the votes and the totals I've hit mean it's... another tie?

        I've got:
        ​Destroyer-Wolf: 1
        Death Wolf: 10
        Black Wolf: 2
        ​Red Wolf: 4
        Winter Wolf: 10

        ​Now, a couple of people indicated they'd want to switch their votes if Death Wolf/Winter Wolf were in danger of not winning, but even if I *did( let that happen post-vote-closure... that's +1 to both Death Wolf and Winter Wolf, so we still have a tie!

        ​Is this going to be another coin-toss situation? Is there a better way to resolve the tie? Will Inspiration Wolf leap in and take the lead in a surprise finish? I have no idea!


        - Chris Allen, Freelance Writer: Forsaken & Awakening 2nd Edition / The Pack / Dark Eras 1 & 2 / The Contagion Chronicle / Idigam Anthology / Night Horrors: Nameless & Accursed and Shunned by the Moon / Trinity Aeon / Aeon Aexpansion / And more besides...

        ​Like my work? Feel like helping me stay supplied with tea? Check out my Patreon

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        • #79
          Let them fight it off each other, and tell us who is the last wolf standing :P


          My Homebrew Signature

          "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

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          • #80
            Strange, both me and nofather are counting 12 votes for Winter Wolf.

            Edit: Kalzky voted E, and Tessie voted E while namedropping Skolis-Ur. None of them used the words "Winter Wolf", so they might account for the missing votes.
            Last edited by Teatime; 03-05-2018, 01:10 PM.


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            • #81
              I'll recount in a moment.


              - Chris Allen, Freelance Writer: Forsaken & Awakening 2nd Edition / The Pack / Dark Eras 1 & 2 / The Contagion Chronicle / Idigam Anthology / Night Horrors: Nameless & Accursed and Shunned by the Moon / Trinity Aeon / Aeon Aexpansion / And more besides...

              ​Like my work? Feel like helping me stay supplied with tea? Check out my Patreon

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              • #82
                I've got Winter Wolf winning. I'm only counting Second Chances among the 'change my vote' because they actually did it before the polls closed, though. Other than that, Amravanti said they would edit their post to Death Wolf if Black Wolf didn't have a chance, and Satchel implied the same, though there was no editing done. Heroofthemists said he would vote Winter Wolf if there was a tie, but I don't believe there is. Though if Satchel and Amravanti both shifted to Death Wolf, that would give a tie, which Heroofthemists might break by voting for Winter Wolf.

                ​a) Destroyer Wolf X
                ​b) Death Wolf XXXXX XXXXX
                ​c) Black Wolf XXX
                ​d) Red Wolf XXX
                ​e) Winter Wolf XXXXX XXXXX XX

                Destroyer Wolf: Michael
                Death Wolf: Cinder, the Firebrand, Fumus, BigDamnHero, Monghani, Thorbes, 21C Hermit, Vent0, Rosencroft, Second Chances
                Black Wolf: Amravanti, Satchel, Heroofthemists
                Red Wolf: Blakemikizuki, reseru, branford
                Winter Wolf: LostLight, Maitrecorbo, Malus, Konradleijon, nofather, ArcaneArts, Kalzky, Gryphon's Feather, wyrdhamster, Tessie, blackheartz, Khanwulf

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                • #83
                  It's okay Fenris-Ur, I still think you're cool.


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                  • #84
                    Ah, I see the one I missed.

                    ​Winter Wolf does indeed win!


                    - Chris Allen, Freelance Writer: Forsaken & Awakening 2nd Edition / The Pack / Dark Eras 1 & 2 / The Contagion Chronicle / Idigam Anthology / Night Horrors: Nameless & Accursed and Shunned by the Moon / Trinity Aeon / Aeon Aexpansion / And more besides...

                    ​Like my work? Feel like helping me stay supplied with tea? Check out my Patreon

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                    • #85
                      Originally posted by Michael View Post
                      It's okay Fenris-Ur, I still think you're cool.
                      I'm guessing the only reason he didn't get more votes is because he's skipping the Royal Avatar thing and making a personal appearance in Basra.

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                      • #86
                        Also, now it's confirmed, I can also say that one of my patrons has very kindly requested Red Wolf as well, so it looks like there'll be two Royal Avatars in the end anyway


                        - Chris Allen, Freelance Writer: Forsaken & Awakening 2nd Edition / The Pack / Dark Eras 1 & 2 / The Contagion Chronicle / Idigam Anthology / Night Horrors: Nameless & Accursed and Shunned by the Moon / Trinity Aeon / Aeon Aexpansion / And more besides...

                        ​Like my work? Feel like helping me stay supplied with tea? Check out my Patreon

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                        • #87
                          Oh well, win some, lose some. I just got an Azlu demigoddess, after all.

                          I'll lick my wounds and prepare to fight for Rabid Wolf when the time comes.


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                          This is what I'm working on

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                          • #88
                            Originally posted by Acrozatarim View Post
                            Ah, I see the one I missed.

                            ​Winter Wolf does indeed win!
                            Hooray!!!!

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                            • #89
                              As a Patron its always nice to get that extra content.

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                              • #90
                                Here we go. I warn you, this is a bit of an odd one. I figured that 'big, really powerful wolf being' would be shortchanging you all a bit when it came to a Firstborn herald - too straightforward, too simple, not enough story​ to it. Plus I wanted to show that the Firstborn totems are big, broad beings with a lot of variety within their portfolios, not one-note beings. So instead I wrote this, a royal avatar that relates to a particular aspect of Winter Wolf that perhaps sometimes gets overlooked. I recognise that this one may be a bit contentious and, as ever, the disclaimer that this is not official, this is a take on an aspect of Winter Wolf that I may completely change my mind on down the line, opinions held here are not eternal, official material may clash or contradict, etc. etc. etc.

                                The Knight Of The Crossroads - Royal Avatar Of Winter Wolf
                                Believing that the Firstborn are distant and aloof from the world means believing a lie. The demigods of the Shadow and the Hunt are engaged and active in the world, even if they must oft work through intermediaries, catspaws, and the influence of the Tribal bond. When a more direct hand is required, it has been known for the Tribal totems to split royal avatars away from themselves - singular facets or aspects of their being, distilled down into autonomous form and set about a mission or task. Meeting even a royal avatar is a rare honour for a Forsaken, and often the subject of rumours and stories. Understandably, most of the People assume a Firstborn's avatar will be lupine in form - some sort of massive, particularly noble spirit-wolf being the common conception. Sometimes, this assumption is correct.

                                Sometimes, the truth is much stranger.

                                Often does a Storm Lord face dire straits, enemies arrayed against them and fighting for their life. The Iminir do not expect the help of Skolis-Ur - for surely Winter Wolf will want them to stand on their own feet and succeed on their own merits - and they know that the totem's eyes will be upon them during such an ultimate test of strength. Thus does many a Storm Lord dies, too proud to look for aid even when it is most needed. Some Iminir nod their heads and believe this is how it should be - that honor demands they adhere to Winter Wolf's harsh tenets even in the face of destruction.

                                Yet honor is a complex thing. A fool adheres to the rules of honor without thinking about their implications and ramifications, and this makes honor the fool's weakness. The wise wield honor itself as a weapon, learning the rules and all their complex twists and turns and exploiting them ruthlessly and pragmatically to survive and succeed. Many look to the Storm Lords and see their spiritual authority and their power over the weather, and from these two aspects draw an incomplete picture of Winter Wolf's bond with the Tribe. They miss the third aspect of that spiritual link that ties patron to Uratha.

                                The Knight of the Crossroads turns up in all manner of situations, the one constant being that it is certainly never expected. No seer's runes or prophet's visions ever predict the Knight's appearance, and it's possible that Winter Wolf itself does not have conscious control over its avatar's manifestation. Its arrival heralds trouble, instability, and challenge; it brings a testing of order and traditions, and a winnowing of false pride. The elders of the Storm Lords believe it is a mischievous, dangerous, disrespectful godling because that forces the Iminir to confront their own assumptions and become stronger as a result. The Knight appears to have caught wind of this, and now deliberately undermines these aggrandising stories wherever it can, presumably for its own entertainment.

                                The appearance of the Knight of the Crossroads is at odds with traditional depictions of Winter Wolf. As its name would suggest, the Knight is armoured; brass and steel plates covered in baroque ornamentation of faces, shapes, expressions, a clashing tapestry of depictions that shift and change with every movement the Knight makes. The Knight is nothing but armour; within, it shines with a cold glow and sparks of lightning. Sometimes the Knight is in the shape of a wolf roughly assembled from its rococo armour; sometimes it's in the shape of a human, or a cloud-like swarm of its metal components. It sometimes wields a weapon, or embellishes its extravagant appearance further with sashes woven from wolf's fur or crackling layers of coloured ice.

                                The Knight makes no secret that it is a fragment of a god, but is remarkably irreverent both to its own full self and to any Uratha it encounters. Where it perceives a tradition or piece of dogma to have become stale, worn or outmoded, it points this out through mockery, wit and insults. It loves challenges and wagers, and this seems to be one of its primary purposes; to be met, as if by chance, by a Storm Lord who faces a great trial or test, to whom it offers the chance of even greater trial in return for a boon. The classic stories have this happen at a crossroads, making the metaphorical and symbolic into the direct and blunt. The godling pitches a complexity that will make the Uratha's existing task much trickier but that also pushes them to ​think​, to fight not just harder but smarter. Set aside the old, powerful fetish axe for the coming fight with the Pure champion - instead, defeat the Anshega​ with something that they never see coming at all, even as you stand boldly in front of them and obey every law of the duel. Do not just compose a song that will defeat the madness-spirits whose insane harmony is driving the humans to destruction - discover and weave in the precise words that will also turn the spirits against each other. The Knight is never unfair to the Storm Lord, and the additional favour or gift that it offers for those who rise to the challenge is meaningful. If the challenge is not accepted, that's that - there is no retribution or punishment greater than knowing you turned down a chance to impress Winter Wolf itself by going further and achieving more, after all.

                                Some Storm Lords intentionally draw the Knight's attention, performing old Tribal rites or seeking out its perches in the deep Shadow. They call it up and ask it for a challenge. If the Knight does appear, it always complies, usually coming up with a fiendishly tricky task. For these challenges, the Knight does not issue a boon or favour - but succeeding at one is itself a huge mark of honor amongst the Storm Lords.

                                ​Even when challenges are not the purpose of the Knight's appearance, its presence in the world warps them into being. Meeting the brass wolf-spirit is likely to lead to interesting times one way or another, often in a way that mirrors the narrative beats of a story, as improbable events escalate towards a dramatic finale. For most people, having their life suddenly and briefly conform to the structure of a storyteller's yarn is chaotic and confusing, but those who rise up and overcome the challenges often find the aftermath to be rewarding in precisely the sort of way a story rewards its heroes.

                                The Knight has sometimes appeared for other purposes, especially when a rot has set into the Tribe. These are usually brief yet impactful manifestations; it incites a Storm Lord that it believes has the talent to right a wrong, to bring down a tyrant, to purge corruption. It offers them advice on how to evade detection by those who would stymie or stop them, and how to twist the rules of the game to suit their needs. It goads truculent Storm Lords into working together by spiking their arrogance or pointing out the foolishness of a feud. It brings favour to the lawyers, the judges, the thinkers who win with words and deception rather than knives and claws. Some say it is a patron of the Lodge of Crows, possibly the patron of the Lodge, and that it communes with adherents once a year under the new moon, pointing out threads of the tapestry of the Tribe that need to be pulled out. It is said that when a Storm Lord's brands of Renown writhe and twist to mark the highest level of cunning, the Knight always attends the celebrations; if the cunning wolf keeps it plied with drink and entertainment for the whole night, the Cahalith recount, the Knight will steal away the Shadow's knowledge of that Uratha and seal it in a box beneath a place-that-is-not's glacier, befuddling spirits that try to learn of the clever one. Rare, reverentially-spoken stories regale listeners of times when a Storm Lord has sacrificed themselves to save their fellows and buy time for their allies not by some contest of might or defiance but through misleading, evading, running ceaselessly to lure the foe into a pursuit that can only end in their death or masterfully wielding the rules of Shadow and society to draw all ire onto themselves, shouldering the burden of being the one who perishes so that the greater whole may triumph. The Knight does not swoop in to save them at the last moment; it does not do these true Iminir such disrespect for their struggle and their sacrifice. These stories are perhaps the only times the avatar is ever described without mockery on its tongue and laughter in its manner. Instead, its place in such stories is only to protect the children of the dead, showing no mercy to those would threaten the young offspring of heroes. It does not want to draw attention from the memories of those Storm Lords it so loves, and thus works to ensure that it is never more than a passing mention in these tales.

                                The Knight of the Crossroads has another, firmer role to play in Winter Wolf's agenda - it serves when the totem has a need to play dirty in the games of the gods. There are rules around how the Firstborn can meddle in the affairs of the world, it seems - rules of the Shadow and of other, greater cycles of existence. If Winter Wolf wishes to bring to bear immense destruction or unleash its rage, it has avatars of storm and ice that can perform this task to perfection, but it is not always allowed to act thus unless someone else in the great dance of power makes a misstep first, someone else crosses a line that lets it retaliate. Where the Pure have played by the rules and one of their own totems has been able to bring an avatar to bear, where the laws of the Shadow grant Silver Wolf the right to wreak vengeance upon a Forsaken protectorate through manifesting part of itself and Winter Wolf cannot honourably intervene - then, perhaps, the Knight of the Crossroads will appear, a capering, snickering wise-fool, and do everything in its power to goad, lure, and taunt the rival Firstborn without quite breaching the pacts and instincts that bind the behaviour of these demigods. The Knight is Winter Wolf's understanding of its own shortcomings, weakness turned into a form of strength, and master of exploiting those same shameful vulnerabilities in others. Enough barbed words, capering mockery and tiptoeing as close to the line as possible through its meddling, and even an avatar of Silver Wolf might forget themselves, make a play out of turn that breaks the rules, and let the Knight's full triumphant, joyous wrath loose upon the world.

                                ​The Knight of the Crossroads wants the Storm Lords to be challenged and to triumph; it wants them to not just endure but to live​, for what is survival without joy? It wants to show that even in living up to Winter Wolf's tenets, pride and arrogance can become a weakness of their own, and that strength of body and flesh should not be honoured to the detriment of the mind and the wit. The Knight is the fire that burns in Winter Wolf's heart even as the raging ice surrounds him; the passion split aside from the ferocity, the power set aside from the dignity. What use is respect, the Knight says, if it is merely used to cover up weakness? What worth is there in honor that is not understood, rigorously tested, its vulnerabilities not discovered and dealt with? The Knight is seemingly Winter Wolf turned topsy-turvy, a trickster god born from the soul of a grim and unrelenting deity. To many, it seems a contradiction. To Winter Wolf, it is another tool, another strength, applied to change the world in pursuit of its ultimate hunt: a true heir to the hunt, flawless and perfect, immaculate and beyond the ability of even the Knight of the Crossroads to find fault in or push to greater heights.

                                The Knight Of The Crossroads
                                Rank 5 Spirit of Challenge
                                Power 13 Finesse 12 Resistance 15
                                Willpower 10 Essence 50 Initiative 27 Defence 12 Corpus 50
                                Ban: The Knight of the Crossroads must protect children in its presence from harm.
                                Bane: The ribs of a human betrayed and killed by humans to whom they have offered hospitality and welcomed into their home.
                                Influences: Joy 3, Trouble 3
                                Manifestations: Twilight Form, Reaching, Gauntlet Breach, Materialize, Possess, Claim
                                Numina: Awe, Celebration*, Emotional Aura, Hallucination, Invoke Challenge*, Mortal Mask, Trickster's Perspective*, Winterheart*, Untraceable*
                                New Numen - Celebration: Any communal gathering or festivity in which the Knight of the Crossroads partakes, and is treated with courtesy and hospitality even despite its mockery and taunting, takes on a greater air of conviviality and wellbeing. All participants regain a point of Willpower, and may cast off a single malign mental or spiritual Condition.
                                New Numen - Invoke Challenge: By spending 1 point of Essence, the Knight of the Crossroads can curse a target such that their life becomes significantly more complicated with challenges and obstacles, usually in accordance with narrative logic rather than adhering to any sane or realistic sequence of events. The next five failures the target suffers are automatically turned to Dramatic Failures (granting a beat in the process), and result in escalating and improbable adventures. Should the target survive and overcome these Dramatic Failures, they regain all of their Willpower, gain an additional Beat, gain the Symbolic Focus Condition.
                                New Numen - Trickster's Perspective: The Knight of the Crossroads has effectively limitless Speed and has a Size between 1 and 100, which it achieves by cheating perspective; it can cross from the horizon to the viewer's location in a single stride, not changing its apparent height at all in the process, or take a step away and grow vast in the process. Changing its Size does not change its Corpus.
                                New Numen - Winterheart: The spirit can spend 1 Essence and spread icy temperatures across the scene, inflicting the Extreme Cold Environmental Tilt and likely freezing many substances.
                                New Numen - Untraceable: The Knight of the Crossroads cannot be tracked, predicted, or its actions divined through supernatural powers. Technically speaking, such powers engage in a Clash of Wills against Winter Wolf if used against the Knight, and therefore fail.


                                - Chris Allen, Freelance Writer: Forsaken & Awakening 2nd Edition / The Pack / Dark Eras 1 & 2 / The Contagion Chronicle / Idigam Anthology / Night Horrors: Nameless & Accursed and Shunned by the Moon / Trinity Aeon / Aeon Aexpansion / And more besides...

                                ​Like my work? Feel like helping me stay supplied with tea? Check out my Patreon

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