Most tribes value heritage very much, so only children of Garou from the given tribe are introduced into the tribe. The Silver Fang, Fianna, and Get of Fenris are among those who especially value heritage; in these tribes a young Garou wouldn't be allowed the proper rites and trails to join the tribe if he wasn't of appropriate heritage. The tribal totem is the ultimate judge of whether a particular Garou will be accepted into the tribe, although it is a rare and shameful thing to be rejected. Very rarely Garou find that their native tribe is not suited to their philosophy, and may either reject the tribes utterly, or attempt to join another tribe. The Children of Gaia and Bone Gnawers are the two tribes most open to Garou that have left their original tribe.
Every werewolf character belongs to one tribe. Usually the player picks a tribe during character creation. This determines other game relevant stats, like tribal gifts (magical powers), tribal specific merits and flaws, and the starting level of willpower. Since changing the tribe is extremely uncommon, the tribe chosen very much determines the characters future. In addition, most characters at least partly live up to the tribal archetypes.
The Tribes are listed below. Several tribes have joined into greater alliances. These alliances are mentioned after the tribal descriptions.
In fact, the different tribes were created in such matter, that some of them hold grudges against each other, while others are mistrusted or looked down on. But, since the game setting rules, that there are only a few Garou left, the Garou from different tribes must still work together. So, if the some players choose their characters to be from different tribes, this adds to character depth, since their cultural differences will inevitably emerge during the game. Some of the tribal dislikes and prejudices as given in the game setting:
|Tribal Glyph:||colspan="2" style="text-align:center;"||-||Totem:||Pegasus|
|Sourcebooks:|| Black Fury Tribebook|
Black Fury Tribebook revised
The Black Furies represent the game's version of an amazon-like society as they are a tribe of avenging and warrior-like (usually) female werewolves. In modern days Furies appear all over the world. Their tribal totem is Pegasus. While childbirth is considered a sacred act among the tribe, only females and male Metis descendants of Furies are accepted. Fertile sons and most Metis are sent off to be adopted by other tribes (usually the Children of Gaia).
Furies are strongly connected to the Wyld and shun the Wyrm and the Weaver's work, including pharmaceutical care and test-tube babies. In other words, creations of Man that mess with Mother Nature. In their defense of Gaia, most Furies seek out violators of the land and females, in general. Very few are adamant man-haters. The tribe is a fierce rival of the Get of Fenris, whom they view as nothing but a bunch of male chauvinists.
The older 1st Edition tribe book stated, that the Furies originally held much power among early matriarchal human societies. But when patriarchal societies emerged in the middle eastern region, their influence was reduced and they were driven back to Greece, what today is considered their land of origin. Furies regard patriarchal societies as being influenced by the Wyrm or Weaver to strip human leadership from female intuition.
|Alliances:||none, although some individual BSD or single packs ally themselves with Pentex.|
|Sourcebooks:|| Book of the Wyrm|
Book of the Wyrm 2nd Edition
The Black Spiral Dancers are a tribe of werewolves that have become corrupted by the Wyrm. They provide some of the antagonists in the game.
The first Black Spiral Dancers were from the White Howlers tribe, which originated in Scotland. Some of the Howlers were corrupted to serve the Wyrm by dancing the Black Spiral. They then forced the other Howlers to join, or killed them.
Later the term is used for all Garou who join the forces of the Wyrm. To do so, the Garou still has to perform a rite that mimics the original event to some degree. This is described as 'dancing the spiral'.
Within the Black Spiral Dancers, fallen Silver Fang Garou still bear their noble heritage and feel that they are still the born leaders. They call themselves Silver Spirals.
The Black Spiral Dancers don't honor the same virtues of the other Garou, they follow a darker set of rules and their renown is based on other character traits than that of the Garou Nation.
|Sourcebooks:|| Bone Gnawer Tribebook|
Bone Gnawer Tribebook revised
The Bone Gnawers, the Children of the Totem Rat, are the lowest of the Werewolf along the World of Darkness and the History. Their origins are uncertain, perhaps they descend from a "scavenger sept" of the prehistoric North Africa or perhaps they have been a collection of the desperate throughout the history of the Garou Nation. Bone Gnawers are often despised as honorless cowards; while this is true of some of the tribe some of the time, Bone Gnawers in general are devoted to the protection of the weak (the homeless, the mad, the exploited) from the corruption of the Wyrm, fighting in the core of the city with all the vicious strength of a cornered rat.
|Tribal Glyph:||to be added|
|Sourcebooks:|| Rage Across Australia|
Wild West Companion
The Bunyip werewolves were knowledged in the traversing of the Umbra, and traveled through the Umbra to become the only tribe of Garou to originally inhabit Australia. Because of the isolation, the Bunyip performed various fertility rites in order to breed with the Indigenous Australians and thylacines (the marsupial/Tasmanian Wolf/Tiger) due to the lack of a wolf species in Australia. Their isolation also led to their severing of ties with the rest of the Garou Nation and alliances with the various Changing Breeds that inhabited Australia. They even made the Rainbow Serpent their tribal totem, along with other Australian fauna (kookaburra, Bunyip, kangaroo, brush-tail possum, magpie, wedge-tailed eagle, echidna, and lyrebird).
When Europeans colonized Australia, the various European Garou tribes killed off the Bunyip, having been fooled into mistaking them for one of the Changing Breeds. The Garou realized their mistake, but the spirits of the slain Bunyip have not lost their anger.
|Sourcebooks:|| Children of Gaia Tribebook|
Children of Gaia Tribebook revised
As described above the game setting sictetes, that there are dislikes and even grudges, some centuries old, among the tribes. So, in the game, the Children of Gaia represent a smoothing factor as their primal interest is joining together all of Gaia's creation to save the world and to accomplish that they need to unite all of the tribes as one. Of course the other Garou do not share this interest, some regarding friction with other tribes as their tribal tradition. Many Garou therefore consider the Children of Gaia as well-meaning but naïve tree-huggers who talk too much and do too little, but that's not how they perceive themselves and their duty. One of their practices is to teach humans better behavior to shield them against the Wyrm's corruption. Their reputation as being 'soft' is a result of this. This image of the tribe is the one thing that hinders the tribe the most. But besides their reputation, the Children are just as potent fighters as all the other Garou. Their access to a unique self-healing power especially makes them dangerous opponents. While they fight hard battles against the Wyrm's minions they also use subtle ways of combat, shielding body, mind and soul to wyrmish energies. In addition, most Children of Gaia don't see fighting duels as a suitable way to solve disputes with other Garou, so their hesitation might be perceived as cowardly, if a Child of Gaia is challenged to a duel.
All this leads to the other tribes' mixed feelings towards the Children of Gaia. Their achievements as mediators are overshadowed by their willingness to include the cast-offs from other tribes into their ranks. They indeed are the only tribe to actively seek out Metis and reformed Black Spiral Dancers to join them.
The Children of Gaia's totem is the unicorn, which represents innocence and purity, but also stands for healing, unity and chivalry.
|Tribal Glyph:||to be added|
|Notable Aliases:|| The Middle Brother|
(among tribes native to America)
|Sourcebooks:|| Fianna Tribebook|
Fianna Tribebook revised
The game authors designed the Fianna as a passionate tribe of Garou, descended from Celtic cultures. Widely known for their storytellers, bards, musicians, poets and other artistic types, the Fianna are a tribe whose love for parties, music and company is coupled with a strong sense of honor, potent ferocity, and strength in combat. The Fianna claim that the first Galliard was a Fianna and they're known for their ties to the fairy-folk (see Changeling: The Dreaming).
Every Fianna has a story to tell, their bold tales are only matched by the Silent Striders. Fianna lust for a good fight is matched by the Black Furies, whom they tend to hit on at grand moots, and Get of Fenris. Even though they share a common ancestry with the Gets, they are on bitter grounds with each other due to several conflicts the two tribes have had. The Fianna have warm relationships with the Children Of Gaia and Bone Gnawers and (mostly) obey the reign of the Silver Fangs.
While the tribe didn't originate on the British Isles, they now consider it their homeland (especially Ireland). They forced the White Howlers, who lived there before, to move into Scotland; while they overtook England, Wales and Ireland. With the first kings and queens, the Silver Fangs came to the isles to claim them their kin. Later the Get of Fenris invaded along with their Viking kinfolk (source of their bitter relationship). The isles were a relatively calm place otherwise, since they were well protected. But when the Wyrm managed to corrupt kinfolk among the local Garou and turned the White Howlers into the Black Spiral Dancers, the relative peace suddenly ended. Today Fianna still fight anyone with passion who bears wyrmish taint. Like their kinfolk, the Fianna of England and Ireland developed a grudge against each other. With the rise of the British empire, Fianna settled in America and in lesser numbers in Australia. They never settled in the British colonies in Asia, where the shapeshifter population is governed by the Beast Courts of the Emerald Mother.
|Sourcebooks:|| Get of Fenris Tribebook|
Get of Fenris Tribebook revised
The Fenrir are infamous for the constant "testing" to which they subject the other tribes of Garou. The Fenrir use these tests to determine the fitness of the other tribes in the task of defending Gaia and her Caerns. In practice, the Fenrir are known to challenge members of other tribes to duels and to take control of caerns, by force if necessary, if the rightful claimants are unable to defend them. It is for this reason (or pretext) that they have engaged in a series of battles with the Fianna tribe and were a primary force in the war with the Uktena and Wendigo tribes and their Native-American kinfolk.
They are also notorious for being unable to compromise and prone to rage - the reason they are derided by other tribes. Also, more manipulative tribes (like the Shadow Lords) tend to think of Fenrir as of cannon fodder.
|Notable Aliases:|| Warder of Apes (Dark Ages)|
Iron Riders (Wild West)
|Alliances:|| Garou Nation|
Beast Courts of the Emerald Mother (Boli Zouhisze)
|Sourcebooks:|| Glass Walker Tribebook|
Glass Walker Tribebook revised
The Glass Walkers are the wolves of the cities, sharing that realm with the Bone Gnawers. Whereas the latter tribe holds the streets and slums as its domain, the Glass Walkers are in the thick of the financial and technological flow, fighting their battles as often with guns, computers, and bank accounts as with fang and claw. Taking the unusual totem Cockroach as their spiritual patron, the Glass Walkers find themselves semi-pariahs among their brethren for their love for the city (and, to a lesser extent, for their affinity for humanity and its technology, which some other tribes proclaim as evidence of their corruption by the Weaver), but continue marching to the sound of their synthesized drums, confident that their chosen lifestyle holds the key to preserving Gaia.
All duties that the tribe holds are divided among the four houses of the tribe. Normally each house should be represented in each city, but if there aren’t enough Glass Walkers around, some duties are taken over by the houses present.
|Notable Aliases:||Kucha Ekundu (African split-offs)|
|Sourcebooks:|| Red Talon Tribebook|
Red Talon Tribebook revised
Red Talons are the most separatist of the Garou tribes, camping in the far wilderness far from humanity, whom they despise. Red Talon beliefs hold that man, including all human kinfolk, is a "cancer" upon the earth completely corrupted by the Wyrm, For that reason along with the belief that humans have no instincts, the tribe only allows lupus members, products of Garou/wolf breeding.
Red Talons were instrumental in the Impergium, the forceful control of human populations through violence, some elders known as the Winter Council are trying to reestablish the Impergium. Though no one out side the Red Talons know about the Winter Council.
As stated in the Red Talon Tribe book there are three main camps within talon society.
Movement between camps can happen. As described in the tribe book, one notable elder and a member of Whelp's Compromise was quite the impassioned predator king in his youth yet giving his reason for changing camps as to be he believed it was not the humans fault, it was the fault of the Banes (Wyrm spirits) influencing humanity.
The Red Talons claim to have invented the Garou runes when their leader clawed the Silver Fang leader during the inception of the tribes, saying that the mark would be their clan name.
To the Red Talons the life of one wolf is worth more than any number of human lives. The Talons do everything they can to protect all wolves. However, because they reject their human halves, they cannot do much except kill interlopers.
|Notable Aliases:||Hakken (Japanese relatives to the tribe)|
|Alliances:|| Garou Nation|
Beast Courts of the Emerald Mother (Hakken)
|Sourcebooks:|| Shadow Lord Tribebook|
Shadow Lord Tribebook revised
Hengeyokai (for Hakken)
The Shadow Lords are a tribe of manipulative Garou, originally of Slavic origins, but the tribe's main focus is on ability rather than race.
These black-pelted followers of Grandfather Thunder are masters of diplomacy and Machiavellian intrigue. Waiting for the right moment to strike is essential to the members of this tribe. The power-structure within the Shadow Lords is a strict hierarchy where you climb higher through means of cunning, physical prowess, and mental mastery of those around you. The Shadow Lords’ lives are a constant competition for power. Despite the appearance of "inner turmoil" they are one of the most unified tribes in the nation. They have great insights into psychology of their enemies and scrupulously exploit anyone’s weak spots if needs be. Shadow Lords respect power and patience, they condemn weakness and impetuousness. Any cub that’s not strong enough in their eyes is banished from the tribe.
To the other tribes, the Shadow Lords’ goal is simple: to push the Silver Fangs off the throne and obtain power over the Garou Nation; the Shadow Lords and the Silver Fangs have been bitter rivals ever since the ending of the Impergium. Because of this rivalry, and of the apparent descent of Gaia's favor to the Silver Fangs (each new cub has either a physical or mental deformity from inbreeding), the Shadow Lords tout the Silver Fangs as unworthy and suggest a tribe as strong as their own should rule the nation.
The other tribes are wary of them at best, but even the ones who hate them most don't question their ability to get things done.
|Alliances:|| Garou Nation|
|Sourcebooks:|| Silent Strider Tribebook|
Silent Strider Tribebook revised
Rage Across Egypt
The Silent Striders were exiled from their homeland of Egypt by the Followers of Set, and have been roaming the world ever since. They are involved in the world of Wraith: The Oblivion and Vampire: The Masquerade more than any other werewolf tribe.
Since their exile, they have traveled the world, and their kin are now the Gypsies, better known as the Roma. They are cursed to always travel, yet yearn for a home to call their own. Many serve as messengers and couriers, traveling from caern to caern as a global information network.
|Sourcebooks:|| Silverfang Tribebook|
Silverfang Tribebook revised
The Silver Fangs are the traditional rulers of the Garou Nation, with literally millennia of selective breeding and heroic tradition behind them. While many of the Garou Nation's finest leaders and warriors have come from the ranks of the Silver Fangs, in recent centuries the tribe's stock has fallen dramatically among its ostensible citizenry. Centuries and centuries of inbreeding has caught up with the tribe, with madness and stubborn clinging to tradition becoming more and more common among its senior members. Also, the rise of democratic thought across the world has weakened the tribe's ability to use its royal heritage as an asset, and prompted disaffected tribes to be vocal about their disagreements and disapprovals. Still, the Silver Fangs are far from defunct, and the rise of dynamic young leaders like King Albrecht in North America and Queen Tamara Tvarivich in Russia, along with the continued patronage of its noble totem Falcon, may give the tribe a much-needed infusion of strength and purpose.
|Alliances:|| Garou Nation (former)|
Beast Courts of the Emerald Mother
|Sourcebooks:|| Stargazer Tribebook|
Stargazer Tribebook revised
The Stargazers are named after for their tendency to seek the stars patterns to discover their path.
They are of Hindu decent, and don't sway too far from their traditions. They believe in reincarnation, a common belief among Hindus. They developed a form of martial arts, Kailindo, that is made specifically for the shifting abilities of the Garou (and possibly other shape shifters.) The Stargazers also created their own gifts to help with Kailindo techniques. The Gifts lend power, agility, and shifting ability to make Kailindo maneuvers easier.
The Stargazers are experts in the study of the heavens and philosophical matters. They are a tribe of usually absent minded Garou who strive to discover the truths of Gaia in the patterns and behavior of the stars and the planets. This frequently provoked the other tribes, because while they were fighting in the battlefields for Gaia, the Stargazers were "doing nothing useful" (as those other tribes said).
As the Apocalypse drew near, the Stargazers' numbers continued to dwindle, culminating in the Wyrm-led fall of one of their last large caerns in Tibet. This final act was a breaking point. The growing threat to their ethnic homeland, as well as the growing gulf between the Stargazers and the rest of the tribes of the Garou Nation, led all but a handful of the tribe to leave the Nation and return to the far eastern Beast Courts of the Hengeyokai.
|Tribal Glyph:||to be added|
|Totem:||none (but Minotaur is willing to ally himself with Skindancers)|
|Alliances:||(none, but some Skindancer share a secret caern with a sept of Uktena)|
Chaos Factor (supplement for Mage)
The first Skindancer was a human, who was kin to the Children of Gaia tribe, named Samuel Haight. He was jealous of his Garou relatives and sought to gain as much power as possible. The rite was one of his tools on that journey. Following his death in Mexico in the late 1990s, Haight's "tribe" was left headless, but a few Skindancers still remain, and new ones are created every once in a while.
Later the rite was taught to other kinfolk, who also were ready to perform the necessary deeds to become Garou. So there are a few Skindancers today. Although the rite turns them into beings of the Wyrm, some of them remain loyal to Gaia - but with the taint of the Wyrm on them, they must live in hiding from other Garou.
The completion of the Rite of Sacred Rebirth requires the pelts of five Garou, taken during the same moon phase, in addition to the fat of human infants and several other repellant components. Most of the humans who are about to undergo the rite are so filled with hatred, that they kill their Garou relatives without hesitation.
While the Skindancers don't have a true tribal totem, Minotaur is a powerful spirit ally to the "Forbidden Tribe." He especially hates Black Furies and requires that his adherents attack them on sight, but, unlike most other spirits, he is willing to accept Skindancers as followers.
|Notable Aliases:|| The Big Brother |
(among tribes native to America)
|Sourcebooks:|| Uktena Tribebook|
Uktena Tribebook revised
Uktena are said to be comprised of animistic peoples from all over the world. Most are of Native American heritage, though adopted werewolves are from a variety of backgrounds. The Uktena are a tribe of mystics, shamans and arcanists; because of their close ties to the magical and knowledge of the arcane many fear that there are those among them who may be turning to the Dark Arts, and their history of having their land gradually taken from them have made some of the Uktena very bitter indeed. Their main talent lies in the sealing of Banes, and as such they may have deeper knowledge of the Wyrm than the other tribes are comfortable with.
The totem of the tribe is based on Uktena from Cherokee myths. Early artwork depicted the totem, Uktena, slightly a bit different from myth: a giant snake with wings and antlers. Later artwork and descriptions changed from this image to that of a serpent's tail, a cougar’s head, a cougar's upper body, and antlers. Uktena was combined with the legends of Water Panther (Underwater panther) for this new hybrid beast.
|Notable Aliases:|| The Little Brother |
(among tribes native to America)
|Sourcebooks:|| Wendigo Tribebook|
Wendigo Tribebook revised
The Wendigo are comprised of wolves and indigenous peoples of the Arctic and Sub arctic of North America. Unlike their Brother Tribe the Uktena they have not actively begun to include other cultures outside of their traditional Kinfolk into the tribe. As a whole the Wendigo tribe carries a grudge against the rest of the Garou Nation (of which they consider themselves only nominally part) for the conquest of their caerns and protectorates during the European colonization of North America. It was this reckless time period that lead the Wendigo and Uktena to refer to non-Native Garou as Wyrmbringers. The grudge against Wyrmbringer Tribes can be expressed as mild condescension and mistrust among mainstream Wendigo to violent confrontation and guerilla warfare among the more extreme groups of the Tribe. Even before the conquest of the Pure Lands the Wendigo had a reputation as savage and vicious fighters; this has led them to have strong rivalries with the Get of Fenris tribe who have a similar reputation.
They still claim Canada and the northern United States as their homeland, and are locked in the almost hopeless struggle against the encroachment of Wasichu society and its effects. This same tribe follows the spirit of "The Great Wendigo", a mighty spirit of the winter and the wind who takes the form of a great white wolf and aids his people in their times of need. The spirit is known to be a cannibal spirit, and many Garou of the Wendigo tribe are likewise reputed by outsiders to have a temptation to eat human (or Garou) flesh.
|Notable Aliases:||none (they are known as Black Spiral Dancers today)|
The White Howlers are a fallen Tribe. Their former Kinfolk were the Picts of northern Scotland. Lion, the spiritual representation of the now extinct European Cave Lion was their Totem. Today they are a changed tribe known as the Black Spiral Dancers.
The White Howlers were amongst the bravest warriors of Gaia. In their zeal to fight the Wyrm they pursued it to its lair, the Black Spiral. Once there, they were defeated by the forces of the Wyrm. The survivors were corrupted to become slaves to that creature and willingly "dance the Black Spiral", entering deeper and deeper into a state of insanity to gain enlightenment in their war against their cousins, the Garou.
The tribes that are considered part of the Garou Nation are Black Furies, Bone Gnawers, Children of Gaia, Fianna, Get of Fenris, Glass Walkers, Red Talons, Shadow Lords, Silent Striders, Silver Fangs, Uktena, and Wendigo (see above). The Stargazer formally withdrew their support from the Garou Nation around 1999. Beginning with the start of the games latest Edition (2nd revised Edition) the Stargazers are now associated with the Beast Courts of the Emerald Mother, although some Stargazers continue to live among the other Garou as members of septs or packs, just like other garou do.
The Garou Nation has no central leadership or organized structure, it is more a fundamental understanding that the members of all tribes associated, should work together to battle the Wyrm's minions. While the holy laws of the Litany provide a common ground for such a coalition, old grudges and the different philosophies of the tribes often hinder it.
The Tribes of the Garou Nation share a common hierarchic system. Based on the renown a given Garou has, he is considered to be of one of five ranks. There ranks are called: Cliath (lowest), Fostern, Adren, Athro and Elder (highest).
Renown is divided into three aspects: Glory, Honor and Wisdom.
Since all tribes have, more or less, the same concepts of these three renown aspects, they acknowledge the ranks of Garou from other tribes and therefore have an understanding of who is equal to another.
There are some Garou, whose renown is greater than that of even an Elder. Those Garou are known by name to any Garou, since everyone has heard of least one of their deeds. Those Garou are often referred to as Legends or legendary Garou, although they are still alive. In the game mechanics these Garou are treated as if they were of rank 6.
The Wendigo tribe takes a special place within the Garou Nation, since they hold a grudge against all tribes, save the Uktena and Stargazers.
There is also a branch of Glass Walkers in Hong Kong known as Boli Zouhisze, which developed separately from the tribe. Since they are small in numbers and very localized they play, different to the Hakken, no part in the Beast Court society in general.
As mentioned above, the fallen Silver Fang, consider themselves special among the Black Spiral Dancers, using the term Silver Spirals to refer to themselves.
The Skindancers (see above) also hold a special position. They are very, very few and try to keep their existence secret. They might join the Black Spiral Dancers as well or could serve the Wyrm as sole agents.
During the early years of the European conquest of the New World, The Croatan, along with their kin and spirits associated to the tribe, sacrificed themselves ritually to save the world (or at least to buy more time until the Apocalypse). Their tribal totem turtle hasn't been patron to any Garou since then and their tribal homeland (an Umbral region mirroring the tribal essence) is inhabited only by flora but no fauna at all. Rules for playing Croatan appear in the Werewolf: The Apocalypse supplement Croatan Song.
The White Howlers are extinct. After the first of their tribe had fallen to the Wyrm and reappered as Black Spiral Dancers, they forced the remaining White Howlers to join or die. In the process the tribal totem of the White Howlers, Lion, lost his place among the tribal totems and became a servant of Griffon (Red Talon tribal totem). Due to the reduced power of today's Lion, no whelp can be a White Howler, even if he is a descendant of that tribe and bred true. Rules pertaining to playing White Howlers have never been published, as the tribe has been extinct for almost two millennia. White Wolf has advised that their tribal gifts, if necessary, can best be represented with a mixture of Fianna and Get of Fenris gifts.
While extensive information on the White Howlers is not available, White Wolf did release a supplemental entitled Past Lives. This gives information on all of the Fallen or Extinct Tribes and Fera.