Shantar

Shantar is the Planetary Incarna of Neptune. Like Ruatma, Shantar is a water world. Unlike it, the planetary Incarna who corresponds to Neptune seems like an old friend to visitors form Earth. Sometimes called the "other" dark blue planet, Shantar can evoke such nostalgia. Like the Earth, from a distance she too shows wishy white clouds above her deep cerulean ocean. The illusion shatters as one moves closer and finds that there are no corresponding green and brown land formations.

Like with Ruatma, travelers must move through a watery environment to meet with the Incarna, and again they must deal with water that is well below freezing in the physical world. One can move through it because Shantar allows them to and protects visitors from the frigid temperature that prevails there. They are however, not protected from the storm systems that move across Shantar's equator. Like the Great Red Spot on Zarok, Shantar possesses a Great Dark Spot framed by shining white clouds. It too is as large as the Earth and flows around the planet in opposite direction from Shantar's rotation. Shantar's hurricane beats out Zarok's in terms of sheer force, however, with winds ten times those of such storms on Earth. Anyone with foolish ideas about trying to brave the storm can imagine themselves torn asunder by 1000 mile-an-hour winds.<br>

I'm sitting over Neptune City

When approaching Shantar's realm, you can hear the roar of the sea, but [[G[lass Walkers]]], who claim Shantar as their patron, will tell you that it is the sound of Shantar's Loom. As the Incarna also acts for patron for the Philodox, it is better to leave the argument of which it is in their hands. Other small storm systems become apparent as one draws near the planet, as does it own ring system and moons. And despite the liquid nature of the world, Shantar provides unique quarters for those land creatures who come to visit her realms.

A shimmer in the waters tells visitors that one of Shantar's floating islands lies ahead of them. It isn't strictly an island since it is too is composed of water, but she has compressed the water into shapes and forms and partially solidified it for visitors. It has the same colouration as everything else around it, even appearing transparent when you look through it, but she has given beds and blankets, tables and chairs, even places to store belonging for those staying a while. Should travelers wish it , the Incarna can provide food for them in the same way.

The Loom Maker enjoys interacting with visitors, particularly if they can show her anything she has never seen before — a new invention, a fetish she is unfamiliar with or even a tool of some sort. Visitors can definitely feel her affinity for the Weaver in her love of creativity, but she also maintains a distance from the Weaver's doings. Most of her planet remains untouched and her creations are intended to further Gaia's aims rather than conflict with them. Shantar does believe the Weaver has been unfairly condemned, though, and like the Glass Walkers she favors, the Loom Maker hopes to reclaim the Weaver and restore her to her rightful place in the Triat. She is philosophical enough to realize that many Garou do not feel this way, however. While she may try to convince them otherwise, she will forgive them if they continue to mistrust the Weaver. If they do not offend her and make it clear they seek help for Gaia, she may off them some of her creations or teach them gifts.

Although she will create a shelter for visitors and has a stronghold, travelers are probably to meet with the Loom Maker at her pool of wisdom.

Shantar's Pool of Wisdom

This strange, deep blue eddy is less than a hurricane, but more than a whirlpool. It lies just outside Shantar's stronghold. One must cross through it at an angle that allows them to just skirt the edge, while turning their attention to the center, where the Incarna constructs her creations. Here she stores many of the items she has made as well as the plans for constructing them and ideas on new objects. It is actually more like a workshop than anything else, albeit a strange one. Once Shantar tells travelers they may enter, they must immediately leap as far towards the center of the whirlpool as they can and be sucked down into her workspace.

It is fairly uncomfortable for a minute or so as they spiral down, but they emerge to a peaceful space where they may explore and interact with Shantar. She is quite willing to share her knowledge with those who possess both desire and the aptitude. Again, everything she creates has the look of plastic bags stretched over blue coloured water, but if the Incarna should make a visitor something, it assumes a more normal appearance once outside her realm.

Those who prefer may speak with the Incarna concerning philosophy, Garou practices, the Litany and its origins, the Weaver's role in creation or anything else. Like Lu-Bat, Shantar is very open to any subject that is not directly detrimental to Gaia and the other Incarnae. It must be understood, however, that she is a staunch supporter of the Weaver — this is disconcerting at the least, and one must be careful that they don't let it cause them too much friction. Nevertheless, if one can curb their tongues, there is much that Shantar can teach them.

Dangers of the Realm

Because Shantar is a proponent of the Weaver, she has allowed her Penumbra to touch upon the Weaver's Aetherial domain and occasionally Weaver-spirits come through into her realm. Attracted by the constructed items, these spirits may converge on the shelter built for travelers or some other place visitors have gathered. They are probably aware of how Shantar feels about the Weaver and may be reluctant to confront these spirits lest they insult the Incarna. Until they do, however, they will run rampant, calcifying whatever they touch and binding it in Weaver webs. This might include anyone in the traveling group if they aren't careful. Certainly, should someone leave anything in their quarters, they may return to find it enmeshed in webs and must fight to retrieve it. The good news is that while Shantar wants to heal and restore the Weaver, she doesn't necessarily want Weaver-spirits running about her domain. She will not be angry with travelers who dispatch these spirits or find a way to drive/lure them back to their own realm.

Weaver Taint - Of greater danger than the spirits is a trap that travelers have already fallen into. As they travel throughout the inner system of the Aetherial Realm and meet with the planetary Incarna, they are quite likely to receive or earn special items — fetishes and talens. Some may even have used them and found that they enjoy having such extra power. And this is the trap. When they begin depending on ''things'' rather than themselves, the Garou may become more complacent and certain they can overcome just about anything. At some point during their stay, Shantar will ask each member of a pack secretly what item they would most like to have made for them.

The correct answer lies somewhere between something that allows the Garou to help others and saying that they already have many powerful items and doesn't want to be greedy. In such a case, Shantar will try to oblige them to some degree, perhaps with a talen or revealing were they can find something similar some where else. If the Garou wants something to increase their own power, however, there is the danger they have teetered too close to the Weaver and been caught by acquisitiveness and a selfish desire for that power. Even though this is an affliction, not necessarily the same as Weaver-taint itself, it still can cause some uncomfortable explaining to do.

Those affected by Weaver taint cannon take any action without needing an item to help them. In effect, they need the assurance that the item gives them that they can succeed at whatever it is they attempt. The item is a crutch propping them up and giving them confidence. Take that item away and the Garou feels helpless. Unfortunately, the only cure for Weaver Taint is to remove every item, fetish, talen and object from the hapless Garou and force them into an immediate battle. Since they will undoubtedly go nearly berserk at the thought of someone else taking their precious items, the fight isn't too hard to bring about. Stripping them of all items can prove dangerous in of itself. False legs replacing ones lost in battle or a metis deformity are fair game, as are any other sorts of prosthetics. Removing a metal plate in someone's head placed there after a childhood accident may even endanger the Garou's life; certainly it would cause horrendous pain. During the battle, the Stripped must achieve at least one solid, damaging hit on their opponent without the use of any items in order to be cured. Once their mental aberration is healed, their items may be returned to them, but if they are wise, they will give some of the items away at the earliest opportunity to avoid a repeat of this crippling mental illness.

Shantar as a Totem

Although the Loom Maker is somewhat alien by human standards, she is relatively approachable as a pack totem. If a pack is willing to go to the trouble to reach her and ask her favor, she usually agrees (providing there are no knee-jerk anti-Weaver crusaders among the pack).

Shantar herself has enough that is "human" about her that one can relate to her, but appears the least like us of the Incarnae. Though she is not bombastic and gigantic like Zarok, Shantar is large — over nine feet fall — though she could probably make herself larger or smaller if she chose. She has blue skin, almost the colour of her oceans, with darker blue hair and eyes. The hair is singularly similar to seaweed and the Incarna's skin shows fine lines like faint scale patterns. She has four arms, which seem always in motion — gesturing, holding something or working on some new invention. Her face is quite pointed and her nose more like slits under a bony ridge. From the waist down she appears to be a twisted spout of blue water, swirled with white. One can only imagine what her wolf-form would be, if ever she were to take one. Despite the similarity to a waterspout, her presence does not churn the waters nearby or cause any difficulties for those in her presence. Although she incorporates water as part of her body, the Incarna doesn't appear wet any more than anyone else.

Shantar encourages her children to be creative and inventive. The pack following her improves when it comes to things that need repairing or crafting and become handy with computers. Further more Glass Walker Gifts are much easier to learn for Shantar's children. Finally, each of Shantar's children find it much easier when it comes to swimming or trying to navigate the Weaver's Webs.

The Loom Maker charges her children to heal rather than harm when dealing with the Weaver. She often gives her packs dangerous quests to cut the Wyrm-influence away from the Webs.

Shantar The Loom Maker: The Twelfth Lunar Month

Aetherial Realm - Neptune
Auspice - Philodox
Colours - Blue-gray, White
Element - Water
Other Names - Poseidon, Lir, Aegir, Liau
Quality - Mutability
Tarot Card - Moon
Tribe - Glass Walkers
Vices - Heedlessness
Virtues - Invention
Zodiac Correspondence - Pisces

The twelfth month belongs to Shantar, the Loom Maker, and completes the pattern of the year by weaving its events into the tapestry of time. Shantar governs creation and invention, thus reflects the synthesis that comes from uniting opposite forces.<br>
Shantar makes her Umbral home in the realm of Neptune. The dark blue-gray and white colours associated with the planet correspond to the ever-moving ocean. Shantar exhibits a changeable nature, just as the sea never remains still. Water is her element, for in its depths reside all the necessary ingredients for new life.

The Loom Maker shows an affinity for the Philodox auspice, seeing the lawgivers of the Garou as primary movers in the creation of a structured society. Shantar-born Ahroun tend to experiment with new tactics in battle rather than rely on tried and true methods of fighting. Rababash born invent new ways of acting as goads and pranksters. Galliards born under Shantar's influence enjoy complex songs and stories, using their talents to weave vivid images for the entertainment and edification of their listeners. The loom Maker's Theurges seek out new ways to use their Gifts and enjoy the complicated patterns involved in performing rites.

The Glass Walkers, supreme upholders of the principle of "making" enjoy the protection of Shantar. The Loom Maker appreciates the Glass Walkers' dedication to appropriate technology and their belief in the importance of pattern and structure in a world balanced between formlessness and stagnation.

Western astrology attributes this month to Pisces, the dual sign of the fish. The obvious yin-yang symbolism associated with the pictorial image of the sign emphasizes the twin aspects of Pisces — creation and destruction, hope and despair, action and stillness. Christian symbolism links the fish to Christ, while Sumerian myth represents Ichthys, the god of death and rebirth, as a sacred fish born from the union between Atagartis, the goddess of love, and the Euphrates River.

The best qualities of Shantar lie in her infinite capacity for invention and in her willingness to concede the necessity of change. Her chief flaws consist of her tendencies toward rashness and thoughtless change for its own sake.

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