Garou Nature

Garou Society

Garou Society is divided into three distinct castes, and dictated by two "ruling" factions. Each caste has a different set of expectations, sterotypes, and cultural bias. These are determined by what, and to whom, you were born. Blood ties are very important to the Garou, and it is considered a dis-honor ( or seen as a lack of Wisdom ) to either ignore or dismiss what your blood-ties and birth-rights claim.
These caste divisions are based on blood-ties of Family ( Breed and Tribe ), and what face of the moon one is born under ( Auspice ). The "Ruling" factions are determined by a deeply imbedded instinct of hierarchy. These consist of the Pack, and the Sept.
The "Ruling" factions are simply the inner instinct of Wolf coming to the surface. Garou are by nature a very instinctual, passionate, feral, and domanience-driven creature. It's no wonder humans instinctually fear them.

*… and of Family

Family is also a very important aspect to Garou Society. Most Garou don't have a stable or normal family life. Both Homid and Lupus are touched by the Curse, and instinctually are seperated from the main family group they've been born into by those of that particular family - be it wolf-pack or human-home. Those that are still invovled with their family still feel the seperation, but not as keenly. Unless their parents are kinfolk "in the know", or know of their child's 'affliction' for what it really is, most parents often find ways of seperating themselves from their kids. There is just something that un-nerves them greatly about 'little Sara' or 'little Bobby'.
80-90% of all Homid Garou often don't know one or both of their parents. They are often raised in foster families and/or orphanages, find themselves as street urchins, or locked up in mental hospitals for their "out-bursts". Some don't realize their heritage and exhibit signs of their impending change to such a degree, that they are totally ostricized by humanity in general.
Lupus Garou have it no easier. Though raised in the mindset of the wolf, Lupus have a sudden burst of inspiration and insight of rational human logic. This leaves them somewhat apart from their brethern. Things that wolves take for granted, are now thoughts and ideas that the new Garou cannot seem to shake. No longer completely invovled in the "Now" of wolf-thought ( Elfquest reference ), they live outside and above of the pack mentally.., and thus also socially.
This is why the Sept, the pack, and the blood-ties of Kinfolk are so important. They are the ties that remind garou just -what- they are fighting for in the loosing battle against the Wyrm.

Within the Mindset of Garou..,

One follows one's Alpha exclusivly, and if another Alpha of either Pack or Sept ( unless of a greater Rank ) places orders, the pack may look to /their/ Alpha for 'approval'. This even includes the Septs. If a Garou of great rank comes into a Sept and starts giving orders, he/she may find themselves ignored unless they have the Sept Alpha's approval and support.
This of course is not the be-all, end-all of how Garou society works. Wolves inherently via for domience. Even though the instinct is to follow the stronger, smarter, more able wolf in the pack, wolves will test each other. Good natured bickering amoung packs memebrs is expected, where destructive in-fighting is often frowned upon. If a pack cannot work together, then they are ineffective to fighting the Wyrm.

Pack is family. Some packs are created to solve problems, and are temporary. This often happens with older Garou whose original pack-members are dead, or seperated by duty and need of the Sept. Most packs are those forged during the Rite of Passage, or created for a specific need of the Sept. These "natal packs", or original packs, often form tighter bonds. But wether a pack is newly forged or have a number of battles under their claws, the bond of 'pack' lasts for much longer then the "lifespan" of the pack itself. One may grieve for a fallen comrade, or a great warrior that risked his/her life for the good of the Sept and Tribe. But one /feels/ the loss more keenly when its a pack member.

Elders are respected. This is something that does tend to vary from Tribe to Tribe. But to Garou who's life expectency is very short lived, an Elder is someone to be admired. Elder's, simply, have /survived/ and carry wisdom and experience in their words.
On the flip side of that, often Elders become hide-bound to certain Traditions that no longer apply to the Life of Garou in a more modern age. Silver Fangs are notorious for following specific modes of speach, forms of ettiquette, and traditions that seem frivalous and impotent in today's outlook. Where some Glasswalker Traditions change so fast, that often its hard to keep up with the "how's, who's, why's, and what-for's " of their Tribe's Traditions. Gaia bless those poor souls who learn how to interact amoung different Tribes.

… Of Breed, Auspice, and Tribe

A character's Breed is something they are born, as either a human, wolf, or the reviled Metis. Auspice determines a Garou's "Path" or "Duty" amoung fellow Garou. Tribe, though some Garou will dismiss this, can be changed. Before a Cub claims her birthright as a Garou, she can pick what Tribe and Tribal Totem she will follow.

Tribial alligence is not something that one chooses off-handily. If a Cub is discovered to be of one Tribe, by blood, but runs under the alligence of another, some Garou may take great offense to this. More often a Garou claims the Tribe they were born to, either out of loyalty to the Tribe, or from a "Calling" of the blood ( or forceful 'blood' relations ;) ).

**The Auspices **

Ragabash / Thuerge / Philodox / Galliard / Ahroun

Auspice: Ragabash
Pathway: Trickster, Fool, No-Moon, "They who walk their own paths". A Ragabash is there to remind the Garou what it is they fight for, to seek out other ways to a solution, and use cleverness, tricks, and wit over brawn.

Auspice: Theurge
Pathway: The Seer, SpiritKeeper, SpiritWalker, Cresent Moon. A Theurge's duty to the Garou is more then just a translator/mediator between the spirits and the werewolves. They are the Lore keepers of the Umbra, spiritulists, wise, and enigmatic. When ever a Garou has a question concerning the spirits, they come to a Theurge.

Auspice: Philodox
Pathway: The Judge, Law Keepers, Half Moon, Truth Seekers. A Philodox Embodies the essence of the half-moon face of Luna. They are the "balanced" Auspice, neither full of rage nor lacking in willpower to control their emotions. They work as the law-keepers for the garou, impartial judges, some are even Lore Keepers that rival the Fianna. One has to know the law to enforce it, eh? ;)

Auspice: Galliard
Pathway: The MoonDancers, Bards, Lore Keepers, Talesingers, History Keepers, Gibbous Moon. A Galliard is touched by the near-full moon rage. They are fighters as much as they are lovers. The rage within them more often comes out as passion, vibrance, and excitement.

Auspice: Ahroun
Pathway: The Warrior, Leaders, Guardians, Full Moon. The Ahroun holds within them the full Rage of the Mother. Blessed by Luna's Fullest Face, they are the elite warrior caste. Though often they strugle with the balance between Rage and Wisdom, they are a sight to behold when on the battle field.

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