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New Tribe: The Drinkers of the Well, Followers of Creator Wolf

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  • New Tribe: The Drinkers of the Well, Followers of Creator Wolf

    Something I drafted up a while back for a request - so here it is on the forums at last, the first draft of the Drinkers of the Well, followers of Creator Wolf! Obviously this is a purely theoretical tribe that might come into existence from the return of Danu-Ur in a given chronicle.

    I'll think about maybe popping up the Thought Gift some time too.

    Drinkers of the Well
    Simnah Hestunadar
    Danu-Ur, Creator Wolf, walks the world once more. Perhaps she never left it. Perhaps she never existed before now at all. The reality of her presence is itself dream-like, something to make one question one’s own perceptions of what is and what is not. In her wake gather the Simnah Hestunadar, her Drinkers of the Well — a newborn tribe of Uratha, an impossibility rendered a truth.
    Some say the Drinkers of the Well formed these past few years, forged from nothing, from Ghost Wolves, in the fiery crucible of Iraq. Certainly, the new tribe seems to have the greatest concentration of its numbers in the Middle East—but already, its reach extends far beyond that region. New Drinkers emerge across the world, in places where no Iraq-initiated Simnah has yet walked. In some places they even seem to have been there already, before Danu-Ur’s supposed renewal. At least one centuries-old Lodge was attuned to her all along, suddenly swept up into the new-forged tribe.

    Who are these Drinkers of the Well? They are not a rag-rag collection of Ghost Wolves, no; they are as devoted and dedicated as the adherents of any other tribe, albeit mostly still finding their feet in their nascent great cult. The Drinkers believe their goddess to be one of renewal and inspiration, of creativity and thought. They are the wolves who howl at the moon and stir sensation in the minds of those who hear. They are the new growth after fire has burned all to ash; they are the turning of the seasons that grinds dead flesh to mulch and from it brings fresh and fertile possibility. They are something dreamlike, something intangible—beasts of madness, wolves of the mind’s darkest and brightest recesses, representatives of the creative part of the world in balance to Fenris-Ur’s symbolic destruction.

    Their name spurs other Uratha to ask from what well it is they drink, and what meaning this conveys. The Drinkers say thus: They drink from the well of creation, from Danu-Ur’s fountain of possibility, from the ocean of the mind, and thus are filled with that contemplative, immaterial power. The world is broken. Old cycles creak and crumble. Flaws cannot be fixed through simple destruction—the sundered paths of old must be replaced with new ways, ways that learn from what came before and make something altogether better. To drink from the well is to take potential into oneself, and become a vessel to turn that potentiality into a greater reality.

    The Drinkers are, of course, Uratha. The Wolf Must Hunt. The Drinkers look upon the world and see a ruin, a wreck, a scrapheap that might yet be salvaged and forged anew. Their sacred prey, then, relates to how they might achieve that, and what obstacles to it stand in their way—and it is here that perhaps the most striking feature of the Drinkers of the Well should be addressed.
    The Drinkers of the Well are neither Forsaken nor Pure—or rather, they contain both within their ranks. This surely cannot last, but the tribe of the Drinkers is still not set, still not a hardened scar in reality, and so both factions may yet shape its future. As a symbol of potential, the Drinkers currently contain all such possibilities, and while there is a great deal of friction within its ranks between the Anshega and the Urdaga who have pledged allegiance, their patron obliges them to work together to some extent. This is complicated all the more by the relationship between Destroyer, Creator, and Rabid—a tangled mess that leaves both Forsaken and Pure suspicious of the new tribe, but also eager to cultivate alliance with it.

    As the rival factions seek to draw Creator Wolf to either the Forsaken or the Pure, the nature of the tribe’s spiritual link adapts itself to her petitioners. As a result, the sacred prey of the Drinkers of the Well also remains in flux, unfixed, more than one thing at once. The tribe hunts those who would warp or break the world, who would hold it in stasis or change it without understanding. So too does it hunt the idigam; or, rather, it holds the idigam as the most dangerous and worthy prey, inasmuch as the Tribe members understand the nature of these ever-changing entities. The Drinkers do not lie to themselves that they can simply hunt the idigam like any other prey. They know the power and rarity of these horrors. Still, in the Moon-Banished and Earth-Bound they see the greatest of lessons—how change, unfettered, is simply madness, and how stasis, once bound into Coalesced form, is its own kind of trap.

    A few of the Drinkers, those who were once Ghost Wolves and who believe that an unaligned path is the best way forward, push for the tribe to remain as neither Forsaken nor Pure—a cult apart, a faction unto itself. They don’t want the Drinkers to be Ghost Wolves, but think that the feuding werewolves that have dominated Uratha life for so many millennia have proven themselves incapable of fixing the world or finding a solution to the problems that have plagued them since the Sundering. It must be a new tribe, a new People, who bring a fresh approach unfettered by the grudges and old thinking of the past. It must be the Drinkers of the Well, and they must drink their fill of the font of inspiration and renewal and be unafraid to embrace whatever answers they find beyond the boundaries of the mind and sanity.

    The Firstborn
    Creator Wolf is the Firstborn patron of the Drinkers of the Well—if she is indeed Firstborn. The stories of old are garbled, contradictory, confused. Indeed, the present reality is just as incomprehensible. Creator Wolf seems to have the power of a true Firstborn, but has not gathered it over time; she has simply appeared. She sees a world full of problems to be addressed, of cracks to be mended, and broken engines to be remade anew. She is a tide of change, but not of chaos, ever unsatisfied with the faults all around and endeavouring to improve and refine. Her siblings, both confused and yet at the same time entirely familiar with her existence, see her as calculating, perhaps even cold, focused with a machine-like intensity on the systems of reality and the endless potential that springs from within it; but they cannot deny her creativity, her raw passion for ingenuity with solutions.

    • Danu-Ur was reborn in Basra, Iraq, when Fenris-Ur realized that he had long lost his sister-reflection, the Creation to his Destruction, and sought to clear a den into which she might be reborn. But that doesn’t make any sense—for Fenris-Ur, the Destroyer, surely could not have enacted such a moment of recreation, and Danu-Ur could surely not have simply willed herself into existence. Could she?
    • Creator Wolf is Rabid Wolf. Rabid Wolf was once Creator Wolf, possessed of pure clarity of thought but always sought yet more, and drank so deep of the well of knowledge that exists beyond the border of reality; this broke her mind, turning her into a being of fractured but intense truth juxtaposed with the corruption of her spiritual power. So Creator Wolf fell. But that doesn’t make any sense—for here is Creator Wolf, and Rabid Wolf as well, and the two both exist at once. They do indeed seem to be the same entity, yet as if split from two realities, or as if reality itself has been split to allow both to exist at once—broken and whole, a pair of warped mirrors.
    • This story is true. Creator Wolf never existed until now. The world is changing, though. You think Urfarah, a fundamental pillar of creation, could just keel over without creation adapting, healing, or trying to fix itself? The Forsaken have done good work over the past few millennia, and slowly corrected the heavy weight of the world to a stable form. Now’s the time for the relaunch, the reboot, capable of supporting the metaphysical mass of the system’s repair mechanism. That’s Creator Wolf. She never existed in Urfarah’s time, but the Great Predator knew she’d be needed one day, and she’s as much his daughter as any other Firstborn. Whoever wins the battle for her soul among the Drinkers, they’re the ones who’ll shape whether it’s Pure or Forsaken ideology that dominates the era to come.

    The Prey
    The Drinkers’ pursuit of the idigam matches well with the Forsaken paradigm of the hunt, albeit simultaneously rather askew from it. The idigam are each singular, matchless foes—most Uratha never encounter one, and so a keen sense of their handiwork and learning the lessons needed to hunt them has perhaps only a limited allure to the Forsaken heart. That said, the idigam are undeniably a great threat, and plenty of Uratha who have lost a great deal to the newly returned Moon-Banished are heeding the call of a new tribe that promises, above all else, a devoted focus on dealing with the problem these chaotic entities represent.

    By comparison, the Drinkers’ wider hunt for those who change the world or hold it in stasis in ways the tribe deems inappropriate or sacrilegious resonates more with the Pure approach. It is a broad-reaching definition of prey that gives the individual werewolf a great deal of leeway to define targets as they see fit rather than as to their fundamental nature—open, perhaps, to abuse and hypocrisy, and if anything truly threatens the nascent Drinkers of the Well it is the possibility they crumble from within due to a crisis of faith. The Drinkers try to focus on bigger-picture prey, the werewolves or humans who are the reason that city can never pull itself out of urban decay or the meddling occultists whose sorcery has rotted the very fabric of reality.

    Drinkers often focus on a rather more personal kind of prey as well—symbolic or metaphorical ambitions to be relentlessly pursued. The Drinkers of the Well claim to want to build a better world, and that means actually building something. Some are engineers or architects or simply labourers and crafters, determined to create perfect physical works that will serve as another cobble in the road to the future. Others delve deep into whatever intellectual or artistic pursuits they obsess over, pushing boundaries back as far as they will go and then carrying on regardless of the impossibility. In the course of this work, some Drinkers of the Well encounter what they see as a deeper truth of Danu-Ur’s clarity; visions of great machines behind the skin of existence, immense systems that have ground along their endless paths since the birth of the world, and false seemings lying over circuitry that dictates the laws of the Flesh. The Drinkers take these strange phenomena as prey too, seeking to unpick the mystery of this silent engine in the hope that it can be understood and its faulty workings laid bare and repaired.

    Nicknames: Demiurges (academic), Dreamers (casual), Drunkards/Addled (insulting), Makers (slang)
    Concepts: Engineer blessed by Danu-Ur’s sight, architect seeking perfection, drug-fuelled visionary, Ghost Wolf happy to have finally found acceptance, climate change activist turned werewolf, revolutionary firebrand, freshly-converted zealot, healer seeking to mend old wounds
    Gifts: Inspiration, Shaping, Thought.
    Tribal Renown: Either Purity or Wisdom (each tribe member chooses one).

    Sacred Hunt
    The Drinker of the Well Sacred Hunt grants your character the ability to diminish the prey’s influence over the world, denying them the 10-again quality on all dice pools to either change or hold in stasis their own nature or that of their surroundings. This applies as much to the efforts of the prey to build a barricade in their home as to that of an occultist warping the fundamentals of physics in an area. It never applies to the shapeshifting abilities of a werewolf—that is inherently and naturally within the Uratha’s nature, the perfect blend of change and continuity.

    Additionally, the Drinker of the Well Sacred Hunt grants your character the ability to identify any Essence Shaping in her presence which stems from the prey, whether individuals affected by an Essence Shaping power or a lingering aura or corruption created by an idigam; she does not necessarily know the specific power in question, but does know it is the work of an idigam, and can tell whether the idigam is currently Coalesced or Formless.

    Hunter’s Aspect
    Pure members of the Drinkers of the Well can place the Reverie Condition as a Hunter’s Aspect. The victim is caught with a sense of her own impermanence, dissociated from her physicality as if the world around her was dreamlike and distant. She will attempt to avoid using any physical objects, from driving a car to opening a door to picking up a weapon, and must spend a point of Willpower to be able to make use of a particular interaction or tool for the Condition’s duration.

    New Merit: Unfettered Ingenuity (••)
    Prerequisites: Drinker of the Well
    Effect: Once per session when faced with an immediate conundrum, puzzle, or material problem that she thinks needs fixing in a creative and constructive way, your character can gain the Inspired condition for that task, or can apply it to another character she can spend at least one turn communicating with. She can also roll her Wits + Crafts to gather tools in short order, acquiring what she needs from the environment or area and adapting it to her purpose through ingenuity and determination. If not used by the end of the scene, the Inspired condition fades. Neither she nor any other target gain any beats from the Inspired condition given via this merit.
    Drawback: Your character also gains the Obsession condition towards solving the problem until the Inspired condition ends. She does not gain any beats from the Obsession condition.

    New Merit: Danu-Ur’s Blood (••)
    Prerequisites:
    Wolf-Blooded
    Effect: The Wolf-Blooded of Danu’s line can see the fine workings of machinery and systems, and the hairline faults that run through them. By spending a scene observing a machine or a social system, such as the bureaucracy of an organization or the hierarchy of a gang, the Wolf-Blooded can identify the component most damaged or likely to break, whether literally or metaphorically—such as rebellious team members, bearings that will soon cause a catastrophic cascade of failures, or even in one notable incident a Wolf-Blooded astronomer who identified a small meteorite bearing a gaggle of void spirits aboard it which would pass through a momentary chink in the Warden Moon’s vigil.

    New Rite: Paint the Well’s Ink (Pack Rite •••••)
    Though it draws upon newly-forged laws of the Shadow that surround Creator Wolf’s emergence, this rite is somehow much older—long practiced by strange and heretical Lodges of visionaries and oracles.
    This rite is only taught to Drinkers of the Well.
    Symbols: Potential, mirrors, renewal, water
    Action: Extended (5 successes; each roll represents 1 minute)
    Success: During the ritual, the ritemaster paints the recipients’ skin with surreal patterns of hallucinogenic and toxic inks. At the culmination, all participants in the rite gain the ability to see through any sort of illusion, phantasm, or other mystical deception, and gain the ability to perceive any sort of supernatural ability being used in their presence, even if it would not normally be visible to them. This does not protect human members of the pack from other effects of witnessing supernatural powers that would affect them, like breaking points or Lunacy. The ritual lasts until the next sunrise, after which the recipients suffer the moderate Sick Tilt should they enter any combat during the next day until the sun sets once more.


    - Chris Allen, Freelance Writer & Developer

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

  • #2
    This is really cool. I really like this.


    The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

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    • #3
      I've been jonesing for more info on exactly this totem since she/it was teased in Forsaken 2nd Ed.


      WoD-Dark Eras!! (Backed for Viking Age Werewolf)

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      • #4
        How did I missed that piece until now?!


        Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

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

        I now blog in here

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        • #5
          If I may ask, what is the general relationship between Rabid and Creator, and by extension the drinkers and fire touched?

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          • #6
            This tribe would be a great rival/ foil to my Homebrew Anshega Tribe- The Kukthidum, or Fang-Shapers in mortal tongue. Especially since they also claim to follow Danu-Ur.. which may or may not be an Idigam imposter who has long since infiltrated the Pure.

            Then again I could see many Fang-Shapers decide to throw in their lot with these new Drinkers, perhaps believing the (supposed) lies that The Danu-Ur the Kukthidum worship is not the genuine article, creating a Schism in the Tribe. Both do ultimately wish to engender new metaphysical growth, but through very different, incompatible methods. Oh yes, this is a better idea the more I think about it.

            That, and the fact that the God-Machine is often a target to this tribe just tickles my fancy in a big way.
            Last edited by Korogra; 05-15-2020, 09:43 PM.

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            • #7
              After reading the Gift of Thought, I was very curious about the tribe that focuses on it. Initially I read their name and thought it was a reference to Mimir. Having to sacrifice an eye to the well or being denied death to grant council. But then I saw their origin was Iraq and that made me recall a peculiar folktale: The Well of Madness.

              The tale goes that a witch warned a king that a madness poison would infect his domain's waters for a year. In order to avoid a panic, he and the court stocked up on uncontaminated water, yet told nothing to the population.

              When insanity covered the kingdom, the people began to think the king mad and plotted to depose him. In desperation, he drank of the tainted waters and joined the people in their madness.

              The theme of creative vision being mistake for unrealistic ambition comes through really strongly. One could interpret joining the Foresaken or Pure as being equated to drinking from the waters of madness. The witch from the tale and the fact that Danu-Ur "didn't exist until she always did" just smells of archmage shenanigans.

              The pack rite builds on this idea, as hallucinogen were seen in many cultures as a gateway to ecstatic clarity, but are denounced by modern science as induced sensory misinformation. Given how their name made me think of Norse mythology, I suspect Chris was playing God of War and was particularly amused by the tale of how Mimir tricked Odin into sacrificing his eye. I think the original idea came from that and was refined into its current form, which is where the symbolism of putting hallucinogens into the well comes from.

              I can't help but wonder if the Tuatha Dé Dannan, the children of the Danu from Irish mythology, have any connection with Creator Wolf.

              Some time ago I wrote the Agathos Kai Sophos, a mage Legacy that also aspires to mastermind an elevation of the world. They too focus on being masters of planning, but from a different angle than the Demiurges. I can't help but wonder how they would both interact.

              Overall they are pretty cool. You have to admire the sheer ambition of those that hunt negative change, entropic stasis and the cosmic horrors that are the Idigam. Probably my favorite tribe so far.
              Last edited by KaiserAfini; 08-20-2020, 01:15 PM.


              New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.

              The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists
              The Szary Strażnik, an Obrimos Legacy of Scholars of the Glyphs of Fate

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              • #8
                While I love your idea, the simple truth is that the Gifts of Thought would be granted by conceptual-spirits, most likely spirits of riddles, philosophy, and strategy. remember Shadow Gifts are universal, any werewolf can learn them. the only "proprietary" gifts that exist are Auspice Gifts.

                Addendum: Now that I thought about what I just said, I also could see the Gifts of Thought being taught by certain spirits based on animals who are attributed great cleverness either from human perception, legend, and the animal's own nature- squirrels, foxes, coyotes, other creatures like that.
                Last edited by Korogra; 08-23-2020, 06:33 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by KaiserAfini View Post
                  Given how their name made me think of Norse mythology, I suspect Chris was playing God of War and was particularly amused by the tale of how Mimir tricked Odin into sacrificing his eye. I think the original idea came from that and was refined into its current form, which is where the symbolism of putting hallucinogens into the well comes from.
                  I'm sorry to shatter your illusions on this one but I've literally never played any of the God of War games, so it'd be rather tricky for me to have taken inspiration for the Drinkers of the Well from them!


                  - Chris Allen, Freelance Writer & Developer

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

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                  • #10
                    Just for ease of navigation; the Gift of Thought by Acrozatarim/Chris Allen can be found here.


                    Thoughts ripple out, birthing others

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                    • #11
                      This is rather brilliant, man I really need to catch up on 2nd ed Werewolf I've heard nothing but good things about how it was improved.


                      It is a time for great deeds!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                        This is rather brilliant, man I really need to catch up on 2nd ed Werewolf I've heard nothing but good things about how it was improved.

                        Its really great stuff, I also recommend this thread by Chris:

                        http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...rom-my-enemies


                        It has some really excellent new antagonists, I especially like the Avatarachnid and Kalinda Varamban


                        New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.

                        The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists
                        The Szary Strażnik, an Obrimos Legacy of Scholars of the Glyphs of Fate

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                        • #13
                          Maybe I'm smoke-addled and sleep deprived, but I'm not seeing any mention of a Tribal Vow. While I could see Dana-Ur rejecting such a static limitation, do they require so little for their patronage?


                          LFP: American Carnage (Werewolf: the Forsaken)

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                          • #14
                            Verge You're right - there isn't a Tribal Vow listed. Now, I'd like to claim something like, uh, it's on purpose due to the metaphysics of the early stage of the Tribe forming, so one hasn't yet anchored into a concrete symbolic form because the true nature of the Drinkers is itself not yet pinned down - and won't be until the internal dichotomy of the Pure/Forsaken alignment is ironed out.

                            However, the truth is that I forgot to add one. I'll need to have a think about it.


                            - Chris Allen, Freelance Writer & Developer

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

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