Mitanu

Mitanu is the Planetary Incarna of Mercury. The Clever Rogues' planet being closest to the sun gives astronomers trouble when locating it visually in the sky. However, in the Aetherial, moving from Hyperion's realm one isn't blinded by the realm's light.

Some dismiss Mitanu as an unworthy trickster — After all, the Incarna is associated with Ragabash and specially favors the Bone Gnawers. Certainly he's small, quick and difficult to find if he wishes to remain hidden. He does not posses the honesty of Katanka-Sonnak or the caring nature of Sokhta, but what strengths he does possess make this Incarna a consummate thief or spy. Rabid chance is his meat and drink, and it gives him a wonderful gift for unconventional methods of handling difficulties. Perhaps that is why he is particularly fond of the Bone Gnawers, who must often make do with less than other Garou.

Lemon Trees on Mercury?

Moving around Mitanu's realm are Quicksilver spirits, extremely curious and apt to take what ever interests them. Sometimes they'll return it once they are through with it, or if you request it of Mitanu. Of course as any Bone Gnawer will tell you, you don't get something for nothing.

Rather than actually holding court as some of the other Incarna do, Mitanu prefers more informal meetings. he may propose contests that feature racing or displays of wit. most often, he ask visitors to undertake some sort of quest or challenge — often something that they can only accomplish through their wits. Occasionally he requests visiting Garou to preform a theft for him, recovering something stolen from a sept under his protection, rescuing a prisoner or taking an item from his enemies. He wards the winners of the contests and those who perform services for him with Gifts and treasures he has collected. Of course, such lucky winners may later find they are missing some other item they had with them at the time of the contests.

Mitanu's realm seems very like the planet Mercury in the physical realm. It is quite small and dense, and has only the thinnest atmosphere. Of course that doesn't bother travelers who don't breath in the normal fashion whiles in the umbra. However this does create a weird landscape of deep basins, high escarpments and folded ripples across the surface. It looks quite forbidding. The sky is brown and ash gray, the realm seem so barren and unwelcoming that most travelers pass it by (when they can find it at all). Naturally, Mitanu wants to be unnoticed, overlooked and dismissed as unimportant.

How else could he hide what he's really up to?

In reality, once one penetrates the small layer of atmosphere there is, one realizes the coloration and apparent landscape is in the air, as if painted on the scrim. Beneath it, Mitanu has created a jewel-bright world made up of equal parts challenge and comfort. Azure lakes grace emerald green meadows flanked by tall tree-covered mountains. Abutting this Edenic landscape lies a horrid desert of baked stone, raw windswept peaks and ashen pits miles deep. Mitanu tends to move from one landscapes to another, when ever the whim strikes him. To find the Rogue, one most of the time has to experience both settings (and possibly others he has adopted) before he allows himself to be found. Wherever he decides to reside, his manor appears, it presence betrayed only by Mercury's Path.

Mitanu's Manor

Visitors to Mitanu's domain may wander through paradisiacal or hellish vistas until the Incarna decides to acknowledge their presence. Those he finds interesting he will approach sooner rather than later. Mitanu's Manor can only be found by locating Mercury's Path and walking it to the end. It may appear as a rural lane winding among hills, a set of tracks leading over a sea of dunes, a leaf-strewn path in the woodlands, a stream bedecked with stepping stones or even a passage leading from branch to branch among the trees. To follow the path successfully calls for one to use their minds to do so and outwit Mitanu's minions, who try to discourage travelers or hide the way from them.

The manor itself may be a tree house or a palace. Maybe even a circus tent, a pagoda, a domed arena or even an underground bunker. Whatever the form it is always hidden until you reach the end of the path, the manor boasts several colours and textures; you see, it is created from various odds and ends Mitanu has collected or had brought to him by questing visitors. The whole of the structure is made of "borrowed" or "acquired" items. It's a chaotic jumble that looks nothing so much as a collection of rags, toys, pieces of dirftwood, garbage cans, jewelry, clothing, stones, grass clippings and wax crayons. There are many other components, each as eccentric as the last. Somehow all these random bits and bobbles are arranged in a manner that gives the place an architectural structure of sorts. It's the quintessential "stuff" pile ever Bone Gnawer dreams about. Of course, he will change it, so that different visitors, or even the same visitors visiting once again, will see different things.

Whatever the reality of his manor, part of his domain is as barren as it appears.

Occasionally Mitanu shares with those who excel in his contests and challenges Mercurial Powder, a talen that increases ones natural mental abilities. He will also teach worthy candidates a Gift, which helps its recipient become better able to commit acts of thievery. While that may sound somewhat dishonorable to many Garou, one should keep in mind that not all Garou can be Ahroun. If such a gift didn't serve Gaia's purposes, he wouldn't teach it to them.

Dangers of the Realm

Ash Pits - Although much of what Garou see as they approach Mitanu's domain is illusory, that picture exist for real in at least part of his realm. Gray ash pits cover a portion of his holdings and can be extremely dangerous. For one thing, they are sometimes several miles deep and anyone falling in gets sucked down and suffocated as if they had fallen into quicksand. Though this sounds strange since one seems weightless and need not breathe in most of the Aetherial Realm, it is the result of an Incarna's local law superseding the general laws of the Aetherial.

Ash pits aren't always obvious. Something that appears to be firm ground, even a grassy sedge, may be a thin covering over one of the pits. Those who do not check their footing as they travel through the realm stand a good chance of tumbling into one of the pits.

Sometimes, as one is lost in the ashes, they experience a sort of dream challenge that they must defeat. If they can do so, they are able to find that they can stay afloat long enough to reach firmer footing. This is a test Mitanu puts some Garou through to determine their mental and physical fitness.

If Mitanu wishes to test certain candidates, they have no chance to avoid stepping into the pit regardless of rolls to avoid it. Those who win through receive a gift of Mitanu's Mercurial Powder and realize that the ash they struggled through forms the basis for it. Needless to say, those Garou who prove unfit do not emerge from the pit and their powdered bones become part of the ashen hazard.

Mitanu as a Totem

Mitanu, like most other planetary Incarnae, isn't above acting as patron to a pack. However, he doesn't act as a totem to any pack without a Bone Gnawer, Ragabash, or someone born under his sign — such a pack is obviously a humorless lot.

Mitanu represents agility and quickness in all its forms — Speed of wit as well as speed of foot. That agility expands to include his appearance. He takes on many forms to those visiting his realm. Perhaps as a hyper ferret, a lean gray wolf or a small bird of prey. More frequently however, he choses to be a roguishly handsome man of medium height with a trim waist, long legs, thin supple fingers, and dark auburn hair. The clothes he wears change on a whim, as do the colours that they take on.

Mitanu's children are masters of inprovisation. The Incarna blesses them with the ability of subterfuge, to trick their foes, and makes them more streetwise to know their terrain. He also gives all members the Gift: Blur of the Milky Eye. Even better is that any Ragabash Gift is far easier to learn whiles being one of Mitanu's chosen.

However, Mitanu expects his children to fend for themselves by finding appropriate tools for any task as they go along. He disapproves of over reliance on any one item, and forbids his packs to carry any particular fetish or weapon for more than a month. Talens are exempt from this rule.

Mitanu, the Clever Rogue: The Third Lunar Month

Aetherial Realm - Mercury
Auspice - Ragabash
Colours - Gray
Element - Air
Other Names - Hermes, Mercury, Loki, Jurima
Quality - Quickness
Tarot Card - Magician
Tribe - Bone Gnawers
Vices - Avatice
Virtues - Agility, Mental Acuity
Zodiac Correspondence - Gemini

The journey into the third lunar month takes one from the realm of the mother to the realm of the eternal child, the trickster at heart Mitanu, the Clever Rogue, reminds us that after seriousness of battle and the solemnity of the mother's presence, we need the relief of tension that comes with laughter. Mitanu's influnce leads us down the convoluted paths of trickery and swift though.

The colours pale brown and gray suggest a mixture of other hues, a muddled and often confused painter's palate of mucky half-truths and almost lies. Mercury, the planetary home of Mitanu, appears thus in the sky as it rushes around the sun intent on its own unfathomable purposes. Air is Mitanu's element, the medium of movement and speech.

Mitanu favors the Ragabash auspice for their irreverent attitude and ability to adapt swiftly to any circumstance. Ragabash born during the third lunar month demonstrate an almost preternatural quickness of thought and flexibility of action. Ahroun ruled by Mitanu exhibit fast reflexes in combat and an ability to think on their feet. His Philodox enjoy a glibness of speech and the ability to talk their way out of almost any situation. Galliards born during Mitanu's month excel in humororous songs and stories, even though the truths they illustrate may be serious. Mitanu-born Theurges use their gifts in unexpected ways, experimenting with the outer limits of their powers.

The Bone Gnawers' talent for survival through adaptation and grit appeals to Mitanu, and he honors them above the other tribes. Shrewdness, quickness of thought and action — these are marks on those Bone Gnawers fortunate enough to claim Mitanu as their birth patron.

Western Astrology links Mercury with the sign Gemini, the celestial twins and the patrons of communication (and miscommunication). In Graeco-Roman mythology, Mercury or Hermes serves as messenger of the gods, but his messages do not always contain accurate information and occasionally seem deliberately misleading. The term "mercurial" implies whimsical changeability — no coincidence, this.

Mental agility and swiftness of movement embody Mitanu's best attributes. His weakness lies in the avarice that comes from always seeming one step ahead of everyone else Garou born during the month of Mitanu need to guard against the tendency to hoard information as well as control its dissemination. This greed also manifests as desire to acquire what others have, occasionally leading to an uncontrollable need to accumulate physical things as well as knowledge.

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