Wendigo
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“O Great Mother, guide us in our hunt! Our prey is swift and cunning, and its scent evades our noses. We are your warriors! Call the wind to guide our arrows true, to pierce the thick hide of the Wyrm. Protect us from its poison as we fight with tooth and claw. We slay the monster in your name, O Great Mother!”

- Midnight-of-the-Year, Wendigo Galliard

Overview


The Wendigo are more deeply tied to their sacred lands than any other tribe. While the others follow their Kinfolk in migrations from nation to nation, the Wendigo rarely leave their ancestral territories. Like their Kinfolk, they know that their heart and soul are brother and sister to the land, and to sever such a bond is to die. Thus, they defend their lands with a ferocity and - some say - cruelty shocking to even the hardest of the other tribes. While they can be among the calmest and most stoic of Garou, when their beloved, sacred lands, Kin or traditions are threatened, their unleashed Rage knows little mercy.

Some in the tribe say that they have spent too long worrying about the land and not enough time tending to their Kinfolk, who too often must defend themselves alone against oppression. The most bitter among the tribe say that their Kin must fend for themselves, for only in such a way can they learn to be warriors, but wiser council points out that without their Kin, the Wendigo themselves would cease to be. The proud Garou, however, know little about fighting the diseases born of conquest: depression, poverty, hopelessness and lack of spirituality. Torn from their old ways with few spirit allies to guide them, Wendigo Kinfolk often suffer in the modern world.

Thus, many in the tribe have taken up the political causes of their human relations and the more militant protection of their wolf cousins. Wendigo have been involved in many recent Native American protests, including numerous incidents not covered by the news media - incidents that invariably involve Wyrm servitors. Indeed, Pentex is attempting to buy many tribal lands and use dams to flood them, to strip-mine them out of existence or to poison them with faultily-contained nuclear waste.

The Wendigo need allies to win battles on so many fronts, but they are too bitter and prideful to seek aid from other tribes - especially the traitor Uktena, who have lost themselves in mystic traps. While certain septs have healed the frayed relations with Older Brother, others still save hate in their hearts toward the Uktena for not dying with the Croatan. Some wise Garou within the tribe have seen the source of this anger: The Wendigo wish that they themselves had died instead of Middle Brother, and their Rage has eaten away at their hearts.

Appearance
Virtually all Wendigo are born from the native peoples of northern North America (although a rumored few hail from Siberia). On four legs, they resemble the great timber wolves that make the tundra their home. Their coats are varying shades of gray so that they fade like ghosts into the forest.

Kinfolk
All Wendigo Kin are native peoples, whether huddled on reservations or living in the wilds as their ancestors did. The tribe is lucky to have a relatively high proportion of wolf Kin wandering free in the northern lands.

Organization


Each Wendigo sept is led by many Chiefs, although usually one Chief stands out among the others as the most respected and, thus, the most heeded. Generally, Chiefs are considered either peacetime or war Chiefs; Philodox usually lead during peace, while Ahroun lead in wartime. This tradition has caused trouble of late, for some claim that there is now always war, and thus the Ahroun must lead the tribe. The Philodox, however, say that wartime is only when there is a battle to fight and that they must lead at all other times.

In addition, a group of shamans known as the Lodge of the Manitou (or the Lodge of Mysteries) councils the Chiefs in matters involving spirits or magic, including the pursuit of prophecy.

The Wendigo take auspice roles very seriously, and they almost oppress anyone who wishes to behave outside her moon-given role. For a Theurge to act like an Ahroun once or twice is fine, but to continue such behavior invites bad luck. The only exception to this rule is the Ragabash, who are expected to act contrary to any expectations - for the New Moons to do otherwise is to break the auspice taboo.

Tribal Weakness


Wheel of Seasons
The Wendigo have long lived in a very close relationship with the Earth and its ever-changing season. They have a different weakness during different times of the year, but they gain power in winter, the season of their totem.

  • Spring: +1 difficulty to Willpower rolls, the vibrancy of new life distracts the Wendigo.
  • Summer: -1 difficulty to frenzy rolls; summer is the traditional season of war.
  • Fall: +1 difficulty to change forms; the world slows down in autumn, and fewer new things are born.
  • Winter: -1 difficulty on soak rolls; winter is the Wendigo’s season, and they use their hate and anger to fortify themselves during this time.

Camps


Ghost Dancers
Harkening back to the religious movement that galvanized many Native American nations at the end of the last century, the Ghost Dancers seek to strengthen the power of their spirit allies in this world by thinning the Gauntlet and again bringing about a union between spirit and matter. Only through such means can the land live again and be able to throw off its foes without the aid of the Garou.

The Sacred Hoop
This group believes that there is a purpose behind the migration of peoples across the world, that it signifies a coming together of disparate creatures of Gaia, beings intended ultimately to work together in harmony. People are meant to learn the ways of others with respect and to grow from such understandings. Thus, the Wendigo's traditions are not meant for Wendigo alone but are also good for other Garou, even other shapeshifters. Indeed, humans, too, can learn from such wisdom. The Sacred Hoop is led mainly by a coalition of peacetime Chiefs who seek to avoid war at all costs.

The Warpath
The most militant and powerful camp in the tribe, the Warpath is made up mainly of Ahroun and led by war Chiefs, although many auspices join its ranks. Its members involve themselves in Native American rights issues, especially where monkey-wrenching or violent protest is warranted. Although most Native rights matters are given little heed by the media, the issues the Warpath champions are more obscure still, for they involve battles with the true enemy: Wyrmspawn. The Wyrm's minions are expert at covering up these fights and even lending a negative spin to what little evidence remains.

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