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The Corrupted: Altered Werewolves

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  • The Corrupted: Altered Werewolves

    [Another tidbit from the old forums, made by Isabella/TinkerMoth for my Walking Shadows campaign]

    Corrupted Werewolves

    Spirits are mutable. The spirits they devour can affect their very natures. Likewise, spirits can sometimes be transmuted into other beings. A spirit trapped in the Hedge becomes a Hobgoblin. A spirit that becomes too in tune with vice becomes a demon. What then of werewolves, whose souls have been replaced by spirits? Is it possible for them to be changed so drastically?

    It is a great secret amoung the Urathra that werewolves, aligned as they are with the spirit world, can sometimes become corrupted by different realms. This usually occurs when a werewolf becomes trapped within that realm, cut off from the light of Luna and unable to find his way out. The werewolf's flesh body helps prevent their transformation, leaving them more resilient to change than an unbound spirit - but enough time in an alien realm can warp even the most balanced of Luna's children.

    These corrupted werewolves are anathema to their untainted brethren. A werewolf might feel rage, or betrayal, or pity, but they tend to possess an instinctual revulsion towards these creatures. The Forsaken are half-spirit and half flesh by nature - it is the definition of being Urathra. To see a werewolf transformed in such a way is akin to seeing a former friend skinned by a monster and turned into a meat puppet. Both Forsaken and Pure are likely to kill the corrupted wolf - out of mindless disgust or as an act of mercy.

    Bale Hounds are one of the most common corruptions - so common that some werewolves believe them to be a secret Lodge. These wolves have given their oaths to the Maeljin, potent spirits of Vice, and twisted their very natures into those of sin. Some Urathra even whisper that they have their own Firstborn Patron, Viruhk-Ur, the Soulless Wolf. It is not known if these werewolves are so far gone to have transformed their spirits into demons. Whatever the case, demons and spirits are not so different, and Urathra have no means to sense a Bale Hound is any different from themselves. They could be anyone, and they move secretly amoung the Urathra, corrupting everything they touch.

    Briar Wolves are monstrous creatures that roam the Hedge, hunting in packs and preying on travelers. It is not known if these creatures were once Urathra - but Spirits who enter the Hedge risk becoming hobgoblins, and werewolves cut by the thorns risk losing their minds, flying into Death Rage and running after foes only they can see. This has lead some to theorize that werewolves, and wolf-bloods, who become trapped in the Hedge may turn into Briar Wolves. Whether it is true or not, the creatures bear a strong resemblance to the Gauru warform, and their eyes are disturbingly human. They cannot shapeshift, nor can they speak in human tongue. The hunt is all that drives them, a brutal, vicious hunt that revels in their prey's fear - an instinct that some Urathra find vile, and some too close for comfort.

    Styx Hounds are werewolves that stayed in the Underworld too long, either by their own volition or becoming trapped. Werewolves do not belong in the Underworld - they do not leave ghosts, as their spirits are spoken for. At the same time, they can become addicted to devouring ghosts, or spend too much time away from Luna's moonlight and become unable to leave. When this happens, the werewolf slowly changes, its spirit half becoming attuned to the Underworld. The most powerful of these are rumored to become Keroberoi, the guardians of the Underworld's Laws - indeed, the original Cerberus is rumored to have been precisely that. There are claims that the secretive Lodge of Death are in contact with these beings, or even count them amoung their membership. Interestingly enough, the Pure are immune to this transformation - having no bond to Luna, they can spend as much time in the Underworld as they wish.

    The Weeping Wolves are known by other names: Howlers, Skin-Wolves, Lycanthropes, or just the Infected. Whatever they are called, they are the unlucky werewolves that have been corrupted by the Abyss. How this happens is not quite known. Some speak of tainted Essence, that twists spirits into epitomizing the negative traits of all they embody. Some might have been bitten by other Infected, or twisted by encounters with other Intruders. Certainly, any werewolf that comes into direct contact with they Abyss is in great danger of becoming corrupted. If any werewolf exemplifies the legends of werewolves told by mortals, it is the Infected. They have no control over when they shapeshift, and no control over their minds once shapeshifted. An Infected wolf, once transformed, tries to kill or bite as many people as possible without getting killed - they retain a horrid intelligence, and they almost universally target their friends, family, and packmates first. Any hapless mortals bitten become Infected themselves, turning into rampaging werewolves on the next full moon. They are called Weeping Wolves because that is how they are found when not transformed - sobbing amoung the bloody tatters of murdered loved-ones, and trying desperately to remember what happened. For obvious reasons, Infected are usually hunted and put down immediately. Desperate packmates often wonder if there is some way to save the Infected, but most Urathra consider it wishful thinking and too risky to even attempt.

    The Hounds of Heaven are the most alien of the Corrupted, and less is known of them than any of the others. No one is sure where they come from, how they come to be, what they might serve, or what their goals are. They are frightfully rare, and when found, they answer little. They speak in broken words or unknown languages, strange codes, and sounds no mortal voice should make. They say they use their powers to unmake evil. Whatever they do, they do it with the utmost focus. They do not share a common form - some have eyes all over their bodies, some have wolf heads even in human form, some have flaming eyes, and some look like any Urathra save for a divine presence. There is no proof they come from any Heaven, but those who see them agree that the name fits them. Despite this, the Urathra are just as hostile to them as to any other Outsider. The Uratha maintain the border between the worlds, and an "angel" is just as much an intrusion as a spirit.



    GM of the Walking Shadow Campaigns
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  • #2
    Yep. I'll be using this. All of this.


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    • #3
      Very cool and like PenDragon I will steal this and add it to my game.

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      • #4
        And here I was just pondering whether I ought to make a thread pointing to the uncanny similarities between Pure pack totems materializing to hunt with their packs and the True Fae's occasional tendency to be accompanied by retinues of briarwolves…


        Resident Lore-Hound
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        • #5
          I've played around with Hedge-corrupted Werewolves before, though I didn't use the Briarwolves directly to reflect a contingent of Hobgoblins that were a lost pack. I called them the Berserkers and based them off the very same critters from the Nightbreed movie. Definitely some good ideas there when using elements from the other games to pose a threat that's not quite the "norm" antagonist wise.


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          • #6
            Originally posted by NeoTiamat View Post
            The Weeping Wolves are known by other names: Howlers, Skin-Wolves, Lycanthropes, or just the Infected. Whatever they are called, they are the unlucky werewolves that have been corrupted by the Abyss. How this happens is not quite known. Some speak of tainted Essence, that twists spirits into epitomizing the negative traits of all they embody. Some might have been bitten by other Infected, or twisted by encounters with other Intruders. Certainly, any werewolf that comes into direct contact with they Abyss is in great danger of becoming corrupted. If any werewolf exemplifies the legends of werewolves told by mortals, it is the Infected. They have no control over when they shapeshift, and no control over their minds once shapeshifted. An Infected wolf, once transformed, tries to kill or bite as many people as possible without getting killed - they retain a horrid intelligence, and they almost universally target their friends, family, and packmates first. Any hapless mortals bitten become Infected themselves, turning into rampaging werewolves on the next full moon. They are called Weeping Wolves because that is how they are found when not transformed - sobbing amoung the bloody tatters of murdered loved-ones, and trying desperately to remember what happened. For obvious reasons, Infected are usually hunted and put down immediately. Desperate packmates often wonder if there is some way to save the Infected, but most Urathra consider it wishful thinking and too risky to even attempt.
            At last, we know where the original werewolf legends came from!

            Is it wrong that I find these cooler than regular Urathra?
            Last edited by MugaSofer; 11-13-2013, 11:22 AM.

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            • #7
              *cough* No, Muga, you are not. One of my personal pet peeves about WtF has been how far away it is from the classic werewolf legends (you know, the infection aspects, involuntary transformation, tying it to the full moon). A key element in my own revisions of Werewolf has been to put the shapeshifting more front and center (click on the link in my signature and look at the Banes thread, especially for werewolves). Not everyone agrees with us, but! That's my feeling here.

              Another thing, I think, is that Werewolf suffers from certain issues with antagonists in that many of them come off as being rather two-dimensional (again, my opinion). Essentially, the Hosts, the Maeltinets, the Spirits, even the Idigam and the Pure are all basically "external threat that you go and beat up." The Hosts are interesting, but after a while it feels as if one body-jumping creepy-crawly is much like another body-jumping creepy-crawly. Compare this to, say, vampires, where the game is very much about political interactions with other vampires, or the more puzzle-like interactions with Abyssal Intruders, or the faerie-tale logic structures of dealing with Hobgoblins and True Fae in Changeling (or the personal agony of dealing with a fetch).

              The Corrupted, I feel, are compelling because they aren't external, they're internal. They are corruptions of werewolves, and so there's a certain sense of "There but for the Grace of God go I." The Corrupted might have been a friend before. Maybe you want to save someone before they get fully Corrupted. Maybe they're hiding in secret (Bale Hounds) or spreading like the plague (Weeping Wolves). It fills a niche in WtF which I don't think has been filled adequately yet, and that's why people respond well (this thread has more responses than any other thing I've been posting by a long shot, despite being relatively short and utterly shorn of mechanics).


              GM of the Walking Shadow Campaigns
              New System and Setting Material

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              • #8
                Yoinked for Campaign...
                Awesome Work Neo Tiamat via Isabella/Tinkermoth
                Thanks...


                The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary. - James. D. Nicoll

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                • #9
                  You are very welcome! Tell us how it goes!


                  GM of the Walking Shadow Campaigns
                  New System and Setting Material

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                  • #10
                    I will, though it is not for the nWOD system, but a Fate Core World of Darkness. Taking a stab at it, anyways. Otherwise, it is back to nWOD.


                    The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary. - James. D. Nicoll

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