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Hungry Like The Wolf: On the Sacred Hunt

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  • Hungry Like The Wolf: On the Sacred Hunt

    I've had Werewolf: The Forsaken on the brain lately. This has led me to looking at the books, studying things and trying to build up a proper frame of mind.

    Now, the Sacred Hunt is meant to be a feature of the game that takes prominence. It features first and foremost with the Oath of the Moon with Urum Da Takus, The Wolf Must Hunt. But the Sacred Hunt is also a consideration when delving into the Blood & Bone of a wolf, with each Archetype factoring into how a werewolf can gain Willpower through using the hunt. And even more importantly, the Sacred Hunt has a timer ticking in the soul of every werewolf, that urges them to their next outing, based upon their Primal Urge.

    But when the core book comes to talking about the Sacred Hunt itself... I'm having trouble finding much material on it. The best places I can find is the "Storytelling The Hunt" section on pages 283-4 and the Siskur-Dah Condition on page 310.

    So, to better learn, I'm here to ask for some help. Are there places I'm missing in the core book that discuss the Siskur-Dah in more detail? Are there places in other books that go into deeper detail of the Sacred Hunt?

    Also, my understanding is that the Sacred Hunt is meant to be a tool that the werewolf pack makes active use of in order to solve problems they have. What are examples of what people have done with this tool? Does anyone have some neat stories from their game about memorable hunts?

    In advance, thanks for any help. ^.^

  • #2
    Originally posted by Paradim View Post
    So, to better learn, I'm here to ask for some help. Are there places I'm missing in the core book that discuss the Siskur-Dah in more detail? Are there places in other books that go into deeper detail of the Sacred Hunt?
    For mechanical detail, the Rite description on page 140 is the main source of information. In the Tribe write-ups on pages 33-50, there is more detail on how each tribe hunts, how they view the Hunt and their prey, and how they act both on and off the Hunt. The Pack also has a lot of information on the Hunt, including the specific Hunts of the Lodges.


    Consumer of lore, myth, history, tales and songs.
    Constantly Out in the Grapes ™

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    • #3
      If you have a copy of the Idigam Chronicles Anthology, the story Desert Dreaming Hunt includes a description of the Sacred Hunt rite being performed and the effect it has on the world around it.

      But what would you like to know? Happy to talk through ideas.


      Writer. Developer. World of Darkness | Chronicles of Darkness | The Trinity Continuum

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Paradim View Post
        So, to better learn, I'm here to ask for some help. Are there places I'm missing in the core book that discuss the Siskur-Dah in more detail? Are there places in other books that go into deeper detail of the Sacred Hunt?

        Also, my understanding is that the Sacred Hunt is meant to be a tool that the werewolf pack makes active use of in order to solve problems they have. What are examples of what people have done with this tool? Does anyone have some neat stories from their game about memorable hunts?
        I think Lorekeeper's got some good references and Bunyip's always a great source.

        Early in second edition we had a thread I can't find right now that was about people's first sacred hunts using second edition, but the closest I can find is one thread from a year ago where I mentioned a couple of mine (if I find the thread I'll post it). Obviously Actual Plays can be a good example, and I totally agree with Lorekeeper about the Pack book, where it gets into what it's like when a pack is on the hunt.

        All that said, I think seeing it as a 'tool' is selling the 'sacred' bit a little short. It sort of brings werewolves back in tune with Pangaea, making them a little less Forsaken for a while and letting them be who they really are and do what they're meant to do. One of the neat aspects of Pangaea was that every hunt was considered a sacred hunt. If you've looked through Primal Urge you can see that werewolves can sort of 'starve' if they neglect the hunt too long, and needing a rite to pull it off is fortuitous, but it still means it's possible for a werewolf who isn't 'in the know' to neglect it through ignorance, trying to hunt and not being fulfilled because they don't know the Rite of the Sacred Hunt. The Sacred Hunt brings you back to that, where your hunt is a fulfilling and metaphysically fulfilling event.

        It's entirely possible a pack would use it frivolously, but there exists an entire tribe (in the form of the Predator Kings) who are willing to hunt those who dishonor the hunt.

        In our games since second edition came out, the running theme in sacred hunts was that they were used for a concerted and important effort for the pack. Usually about eliminating threats to the territory, or the pack itself, or vengeance against individuals or groups that had committed gross wrongs against the pack. They're the big quest. Dread Pirate Roberts going after Buttercup, and later again Inigo Montoya, Fezzik and Wesley storming the castle. John Wick's hunt to get the guy who killed his dog. It can be smaller scale, but even then it's something that should be done with some gravitas. It's not the nightly patrol of the Scoobys through Sunnydale casually staking random vampires, it's going after the big named villain of the episode or season.

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        • #5
          I think of it as a mystical lock-and-load montage for climactic plans and battles


          A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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          • #6
            A Sacred Hunt shouldn’t be used frivolously but it can. The rite to use the Sacred Hunt is a tool and like all tools it can be used or misused according to the wielded.

            That said, for many Uratha packs, the Sacred Hunt is about purpose. It’s saying to the world ‘this hunt is important, this hunt is sacred, this hunt will embody the Hunt’, and the world takes notice. The Essence of the world empowers the magic of the Siskur-Dah to bind wolf and prey together in this sacred dance. When the Uratha perform the Siskur-Dah rite, the world holds its breath for a moment. Predators pay attention because something bigger and meaner than them is about to hunt. Prey scamper away because the predators are about to set out. Though there’s no mechanical effect for this, from a narrative point of view the characters should feel like the world paid attention and they’re now part of a story that ends with their teeth at the prey’s throat - actually or metaphorically, depending on the hunt.

            And being bound by the Siskur-Dah isn’t just a nice-to-have thing that activates some beneficial powers, it’s the Uratha agreeing to fulfill their ancestral role and take on Urfarah’s mantle. The world expects their actions to work towards the climax of the hunt. If they break off the hunt to do other things the spell breaks and the magic falls away. The world breathes a little easier, but it’s possibly a little more disappointed. Spirits of the hunt - or those aligned with the roles of predator and prey - will probably feel the Uratha’s failure through their Influences. The spirits that take note of such things will remember when the characters next call for Renown or favors. Spirits aligned with their enemies may pass on the information to unfriendly ears, who will be interested in the territories of wolves who can’t perform their duties.

            If players want their characters to call Sacred Hunts for every trivial thing, let them, but their characters should feel like the world is watching and judging when they do, because it is. Urfarah was a Pangaean, a pillar of the world. When he fell and the Uratha agreed to take on his duties they didn’t just sign up to occasionally slaking their bloodlust or busting a few heads. They’re maintaining this pillar of the world now - much reduced, and imperfect as it never was before - but as best they can. Each time they fail in this duty they sacrifice a little more of the hunt’s importance to the world.


            Writer. Developer. World of Darkness | Chronicles of Darkness | The Trinity Continuum

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            • #7
              I couldn't find anything about the scared hunt in WW:tF 1e, so I guess it's a 2e thing. Anyways, Duran Duran was one of my exes' favorite bands! I find inspiration for WW:tF in the natural landscapes around me (I am next to many mountains, national-parks and state-parks).

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