totems

Bane Totems

And he asked him, "What is thy name?" And he answered saying, "My name is Legion: for we are many."

-Mark 5:9

The forces of corruption are legion, a spiritual army arrayed behind the three Hydra heads of the Triatic Wyrm: the Beast of War, the Eater-of-Souls, and the Defiler Wyrm. After a Black Spiral completes his Rite of Passage, he must accept one of these "three Heads of the Hydra" as his personal totem. This is the first step towards true spiritual decay.

The next step is to ally with a pack. Black Spiral Dancers have their own rituals for establishing this allegiance, although they are notably more perverse than Garou equivalents. The pack then chooses a Bane totem to serve as their spiritual focus. It is entirely possible for a Dancer to have a personal totem that conflicts with the pack’s choice of a Bane totem.

Once the pack members have chosen their communal corrupter, they are referred to as "bastards" of that totem. The choice of Bane totem also establishes what kind of pack the Dancers serve. There are three varieties of spiritual guardians: totems of Cunning, totems of Corruption, and totems of Strength. Traditional Black Spirals refer to this spirit as a "Saulah," a phonetic corruption of the name "Samladh" the original incarnation of Lion.

The next step is the Rite of Alliance. The pack must work together on their first, great infamous task in service to the Wyrm. During this initiation, the servitors of this cult receive mystic insights, often through visions and illusory voices. Black Spiral Ragabash call this quest a "Road Trip." Galliards retell tales of the most infamous quests in an epic poem entitled Fear and Loathing (the first journey involved the pursuit of Raoul King, a renowned Gangrel "gonzo" journalist). The type of Bane totem- Cunning, Corruption, or Strength- influences the type of journey required.

Totems of Cunning

These Bane totems serve the Defiler Wyrm. If a pack chooses a Totem of Cunning, it’s a sure sign that outright violence is not their first choice of action for resolving a problem. Contrary to the stereotype of Black Spirals being "cannonfodder" eager to die in battle, these bastards are masters of false logic and deceit. Rites of Alliance in service to these totems typically involve the performance of a seemingly impossible quest. A great betrayal, incredible theft, or brilliant abduction is often involved.

The Wippoorwill

Background Cost: 6

In the early days of the world, this totem chose to reshape itself in the image of the whippoorwill, a nocturnal bird of legendary insight. According to one legend, whippoorwills are drawn to places where mortals are about to die. Singing in chorus, they await the moment when the victim’s soul is about to cross over into the underworld. When the bird’s prey dies, the flock swoops down and consumes the unfortunate mortal’s soul.

In a similar manner, the Whippoorwill totem is able to find souls that are weak enough for the Wyrm to devour or suborn. This totem is especially good at sensing Garou who are losing their internal battle against Harano. Once a werewolf has begun to question his own values, a spirit guided by this Bane-totem advises them on how they will bring their quarry into the Shattered Labyrinth. This may involve a Whippoorwill-spirit, just as Garou rely on "Kin-Fetch" spirits, watching over werewolves who are ready for their first change.

Traits: Another benefit granted by this totem is the ability to imitate all known species of birds. Whippoorwill’s bastards do not need to use Howls to signal their brethren. Instead, perverse variations of bird songs suffice. All followers of Whippoorwill also gain an additional two dice for any Perception rolls that involve spotting enemies at night.

Ban: The Whippoorwill demands a moot in its honor twice a year. This often involves the sacrifice of a spiritually wounded human or Garou to the Black Spiral Labyrinth. In addition, its bastards may not harm birds of any kind. Torturing any predator that hunts birds, and whippoorwills in particular, pleases it.

Kirijama, "The Hidden Foe"

Background Cost: 7

The hidden enemy can only materialize in the physical world as a faint shadow. By manipulating darkness, Kirijama has powers that allow him to deceive his enemies into fighting imaginary foes. More commonly, he appears in the Umbra in a form just beyond the senses of the Garou. Many of Gaia’s warriors believe Kirijama was destroyed long ago, but the Gifts he provides to his bastards prove otherwise.

When a pack serving Kirijama attends a Black Spiral Moot, they prefer to remain hidden, appearing as a series of shadows on a nearby wall. Only one member of the pack may whisper on behalf of the pack at any given time. Others see the shadowy form take on different guises as the different auspices of the pack speak.

Traits: Kirijama’s bastards gain an additional die to any Stealth Dice Pool. They also learn the Gift: Invisibility, though servants of Kirijama can cast false shadows or leave false clues regarding their presence as part of this Gift. They typically prefer intrigue and subterfuge to crude displays of physical power.

Ban: Kirijama’s minions can never become famous, even within their own Hives. This makes it difficult for them to rise in rank, but typically, they recognize Renown only among their own kind. Their achievements are only recognized immediately before a Rite of Transmogrification.

Totems of Strength

When reason fails, force prevails. Totems of Strength serve the Beast-of-War, and for these bastards, too much violence is never enough. Though packs arrayed behind this Bane-totem are capable of subterfuge and cunning, they excel once they are able to indulge in unbridled bloodlust. Rites of Alliance in service to these totems often involve the victimization of innocents at their climax. Wrecking a school bus, killing mallwalkers in a shopping mall, or abducting a suburban family tests the limits of the Delirium, but can still act as the finishing touch on this type of misadventure.

The Green Dragon

Background Cost: 9

The Green Dragon is a symbol of pure power, an absolute monster that destroys its enemies through overwhelming force. When its anger is released, its green, fiery breath scorches the Earth. Bastards who personally serve the Beast-of-War are accorded more respect when serving this Bane-totem.

Traits: The Dragon’s bastards can emulate their guardian’s greatest power. A servant of the Green Dragon can spew forth toxic flames three times a day. Any victim within six feet of a vomiting servitor can attempt to dodge the attack- this requires at least four successes on a Dexterity + Dodge roll. (note that if several packmates attack the same victim at once, the difficulty for the target’s Dodge roll increases by 1 for each additional attack!) The Inferno inflicts two Health Levels of damage if it strikes successfully and is as hot as chemical fire (difficulty 9 to soak). In addition, the Dragon’s bastards gain an additional die to soak damage from any source. Other Dancers revere the Dragon’s bastards as warriors among warriors.

Ban: This totem abhors cowardice. Any of his bastards who run from a fight lose the ability to vomit flame for a full day. In addition, the Green Dragon may instruct other Black Spirals to hunt the coward down and torture him for his failure.

The Bat

Background Cost: 4

The Bat soars freely through the Shattered Labyrinth, mocking those who fail to find their way. The night is hers and she uses her advantage in darkness to torment those who are lost. She instills terror in friend and foe alike. Her bastards like to swoop out of the night, attacking with the element of surprise.

Traits: Bat grants an additional die to all Intimidation, Stealth and Survival rolls. She also teaches her bastards two Gifts: Patagia and Ears of the Bat. Though the bastards she leads astray find crossing the Second and Third Circles of the Shattered Labyrinth more difficult, she later rewards them by lowering the difficulty of all Gifts involving flight or sonar by two.

Ban: The pack must breed a small family of bats. When these lovelies feed, the werewolf must also devour the insects they have gathered. Bat’s bastards are also fanatic about preserving the Veil. Without it, their element of surprise is lost.

Hakaken, "The Heart of Fear"

Background Cost: 5

Hakaken was a great Shadow Lord Ahroun, a villain corrupted by his own overwhelming pride. For over forty years, he led his tribe to victory against the Wyrm time and time again. His overconfidence eventually led him to believe he could overcome the Shattered Labyrinth itself. According to this legend, he danced to the threshold of the sixth circle during his first transmogrification. He later advanced to the center of the abyss. Once he survived this final quest, the experience destroyed his sanity so thoroughly that he immediately became an Incarna.

Traits: Hakaken’s Gifts rely upon the ability to bestow absolute fear and the madness caused by it. His greatest weapons are paranoia and phobias. Thus, his bastards add one die to their Intimidation Dice Pools. They also learn the Gifts: True Fear and Icy Chill of Despair. Some cults of Shadow Lords secretly worship him, believing that he has further powers to bestow.

Ban: Hakaken’s bastards must instill fear into their foes before slaying them.

Totems of Corruption

These Incarna of the Defiler Wyrm revel in ultimate foulness. The bastards who serve them aren’t gloryhounds; instead they delight in infamy. The Delirium distorts their most extreme activities; humans only remember them as horrid atrocities. Rites of Alliance serving corruption are not easily forgotten. Infesting a forest with toxic waste, confusing he police with cryptic serial killings, or establishing a remarkable cult are all examples of infamous acts.

The Dark Fungus, "His Mycological Majesty"

Background Cost: 3

Black Spirals burrow labyrinthine tunnels beneath the surface of the world. The Umbral reflections of these spirit paths are even more treacherous. Damp corridors become farming grounds for the servitors of the Dark Fungus. The Plant-spirits that serve his Mycological Majesty hover over mushrooms and lichen, steeping them in phosphorescent bacteria and psychoactive chemicals.

Only bastards of the Fungus may partake of this holy sacrament. Eating fungal wonders grants great insight, but at a further cost to ones sanity. When ingesting dark fungus, the Dancer must make a Stamina roll; the difficulty is (10-the ingestor’s Gnosis). Failing the roll means the Dancer gains a Derangement and a hell of a bad trip; success reveals further mysteries of the underworld; five successes bestows the Gift: Pulse of the Invisible.

Traits: Bastards of the Fungus gain one die to their Enigmas and Occult Dice Pools. They also typically carry a stash that would amaze the protagonist of a Carlos Castenada book.

Ban: Servants of this Plant Incarna must tend to growing mushrooms wherever they find them.

Relshab, "The Faceless Eater"

Background Cost: 10

This Bane-totem manifests as a huge anthropomorphic, hermaphroditic form covered in rolls of flesh. Its ponderous bulk crawls and ripples in sickly waves. Its face is obscured by thick, callipigenously roiling layers of fat. Relshab’s right arm is a tube through which it can ingest any substance. Digested substances are boiled within a surging stomach furnace. The palm of its left hand holds a chittering maw of canine teeth, through which it utters demands for more flesh. Though this may seem repulsive, it pales compared to Relshab’s sexual activities, in which dozens of servitors attend to its unspeakable desires.

Traits: A servant of Relshab can "eat" portions of a victims soul, lowering Traits through the Gift: Whelp Body. If the bastard can humiliate her victim thoroughly through perverse sexual activity, she can reduce his Willpower instead. The bastard can also use a point of Gnosis to consume anything smaller than their head: severed body parts, steel, toxic waste…anything. Bastards who serve Relshab especially well receive the Fomori Gift: Stomach Pumper.

Ban: Relshab’s servitors greedily consume any edible substance placed before them. They have a fierce hatred of Unseelie redcaps, and must fight them on sight.

G’louogh, "The Dance of Corruption" or "The Demon Goddess"

Background Cost: 15

G’louogh manifests as an ever-changing ball of shifting energy. She continually forms and reforms vile horrors from her anatomy. Some worship her as a tainted fertility goddess, claiming that she is the "mother" of all Banes. Cultists who revere her speak of her never-ending blasphemous dance, one in which she spawns an army of foulness at the center of the universe. The Demon Goddess can easily spawn Jagglings and Gafflings by "budding" them off her twisted form. The most powerful of her spawn are the infamous Nexus Crawlers, guardians who eagerly enact their mother’s bidding. The very fabric of time and space can be preserved or corrupted by their deeds.

Traits: G’louogh grants its bastards the Gift: Fabric of the Mind.

Ban: The bastards of the Demon Goddess must be capricious in their behavior; they can never support the status quo. G’louogh also asked for a sacrifice of a mutilated body part once each month. If the pack can’t find a victim to chop up, G’louogh will choose one randomly from the Hive.

 The Vampiric Wyrm

Sanguine Totems

In relativity, it is known that a cainite cannot be entranced or follow the same Totems of which the Black Spiral dancers fallow, and for that matter cannot fully incorporate any such gifts without some form of help or ritual from its Garou allies.

In Replacement of such however, comes the matter of which the cainites who had joined with the Wyrm, had token upon themselves to install different and new totems that they would be linked to through the blood of the garou. All thought any cainite who would drink their blood would retain a negative affect from such; it had granted the ability in which to distinguish itself for a link to the spirits and Totems.

In almost each form of Vampiric totem, the cainite must enact a certain ritual or perform certain tasks before sending themselves into Torpor. While within Torpor however, their mind exists from the body itself and seemingly goes through a funnel of a large black nexus of energy. The energy will look very liquid, and almost as if it where oil, however at all times a magnetic vibe will be felt no matter where the cainite resides.

Each Totem is placed with that of a certain symbol or Rune that is linked with that of the Wyrm themselves and each of the three Triatic Wyrm: the Beast of War, the Eater-of-Souls, and the Defiler Wyrm.

In Replacement for the Totems of Cunning, the Totems of Strength, and the Totems of Corruption, the fiend of one of a more recent group of black spiral dancers had gathered his own

Totems for each selection. Though these totems seem increasingly different from the Garou totems… the very scent of the Wyrm taints the cainite blood and shifts its scent in many different ways.

The Cainite totems are based around age olden gods who are willing to gift their follower(s) with gifts, likewise for a price.

For a cainite to be able to come into contact with the Totems of the Wyrm, the cainite must intake blood from a Black spiral dancer then fall into three nights of Torpor. The Cainite will then go through a test similar to that of the Black spiral dances, however this process is based around the limits of the cainites pain factors… hitting its senses with sunlight, Bones being splintered and organs bursting. The Final hours of Torpor remain to be the most agonizing; as of each tendon was slowly splitting from the flesh and cohering the bones. This is all spiritual however, and you run the risk of losing actual sanity due to the process.

Totems of Cunning

"I’ll crash through the thorny gates of haven, and bring down the light of there accord..

Then as my enemy’s lay and bubble, both they and the light I’ll devour"

Another unique aspect of the cainite totems, many of which also provide the whim of regaining lost humanity, or suddenly becoming symbiotic with the beast itself. However, these Sanguine Totems serve the Defiler Wyrm, showing an aspect to thought out actions. When a cainite Wyrm hold the choice of choosing these Totems, it shows that the cainite is thinking of assaulting something or holding a different approach to a conflict, showing that out-spoken acts of violence are not the first coarse of action. When Rites of Alliance is performed with these Totems, it is often the coarse of a seemingly unfathomable objection. Attacking a small town of heavily armed civilians, destroying an officer’s base, or stealing a cities prince.

The Crow

Legend goes, that a Crow comes to the place where souls have died, waiting for the essence to leave the dead beings body’s. The Crow would lift the souls high into the heavens… then carry them off to the lands of the dead. But sometimes, and only sometimes, the raven brings the person back into this reality, to correct the mistakes that needed to be maid.

When the Fiend of the Black Spiral dancers heard of this legend, he had been simply fascinated with the temporal essence that constantly surrounds its being. And so, the cainite had went into the commen world and pulled with him a singel crow back into the caverns In which it had dug for passage. Much like when a cainite ghouls an animel, the same must be done with the crow, however in the process of such crow is slowly overtaken buy the essence of the defiler Wyrm.

Buy most matters, the Crow and the cainites inner beast hold a spiritual link with one another.

The crow holds the ability to find the purist of souls or the weakest of the sorts for the Defiler Wyrm to devour into its eternal hunger, and often helps the cainite track the soul down within a number of hours before theifting such, or killing the holder of the soul for deposit for the wyrm.

Traits: All thought the Totem spirit resides within the body of the crow, it grants the ability to do many things. The prime examples of such are as fallows. The cainite, much like the ability Auspex, can send out certain emoitains out towards another of the hive. Words are not expressed within the process of this connection however, but anyone receiving this contact understands such vibrations clearly, this would be Gift of False Breatheren. The second trait is that the cainite gains a link with any bird that it touches (IE: the cainite could link its mind with any bird and as it moves into an area, the cainite retains the ability to hear and see the on-goings which the bird retains, the same goes with the raven. This is Aphemery)

Bane: The Crow totem is on an ongoing quest for souls for the Wyrm while it is within contact of the spiritually linked. Thus, every seven nights the caster must do any and all things that the Totem demands as to search out for a soul. Also, while within such a state the cainite cannot harm any species of birds and of another crow is in waning, the cainite must pass abide a drop of his vitae as so its path isn’t destroyed.

 

Mercantor

"The God of Lies and Deceit"

The being known as Mercantor, had attained the level of incarna in only afew generations. With this case however, it did absolutely nothing to gain such a place in power. With its height lengthen into a 1’4 in height, with a skinny though surprisingly strong body, the god of deceit had granted its followers the ability to manipulate even the most wary of kings and confuse even those with the strongest of perception. This Totem, can be used buy garou and cainite alike, however buy far the cainites seem to use such at a far more regular bases. The being that is aligning himself with the Totem must first engrave the name of the Totem into that of a bowl, a pot, anything that can hold blood will mainly do. If it’s just the cainite enacting the Totem, he must place the blood beside his resting place and fall into slumber, spiritually connecting himself with the blood. This loyalty is spent off into the umbra while the Totem Mercantor forms out of the blood. This figure looks much like a well crafted Chinese doll, however when it comes to contact with the cainite it floats up into the air while ether black eyes flush into a red glow, speaking into the cainite or garou’s mind with simple emotions and vibrations.

If it is the group themselves… each member, or the members fallowing under the totem must ix there blood into the item (cainite Blood second last, hive chief last).. The group must then surround the item and simply focus their will apon the item. If done correctly, the Totem will form just as it would with the cainite while in the same hold a spiritual link with any that retain the blood placed into its creation.

Traits: Beings who are under this Totem gain an extra die in Manipulation and Wits, and also gains the gift of Illusion Crafting. With this the being can move around those of his own weaving illusions around them. At many times in battle the Illusions are so well crafted that a being would not know that it wasn’t real, but this takes an occult+Intelligence roll against a difficulty of the targets Perception and manipulation.

Bane: Mercantor is at times very selfish and seemingly hyper, as if on a constant rev. every two months, the Cainite or group must bring to Mercantor fresh meat, and however Mercantor is extremely picky as well. The follower(s) would do best if they where to bring the animel or human into the hive, and kill them there as they lay the body before Mercantor. Even if it’s within the follower(s) own cavern, he must exist such and await for Mercantor to intake the being. Chickens would be best to feed to Mercantor due to them not being faller then him, and is very swift for him to eat. Each time the Totem is fed, the follower(s) is granted with an 1 extra point to manipulation, causing the target to be able to lie to even the prince and seemingly get away with it, that is if the follower holds a higher manipulation then such a figure.

 

Totems of Strength

"I’ll take you down! To a whole where you will always be alone, I’ll tear you out! To a world that doesn’t care where you belong I’ll Push you out! To a place to feel pity for your self

You will be taught! By the pain in which you have created"

Godhead-The Reckoning

The Totems of Strength are laced under the fabrication of the Beast-of-War, and for those who fallow such, the cainite beast is set free as for it to divulge itself within a flow of ceaseless carnage and velocity, while in the same constantly begging for more. Thus the cainites of which fallow the wyrm are more then happy to allow there beast to elevate from there flesh without the though of losing any or all forms of humanity. Always at the end of there movement of Chaos, a climax of innocent blood stains the ground… this could be from splitting the carcass of a night time stroller wide open, attacking a school bus, or for the most matter defiling sacred ground. Whatever the outcome, the beast remains sedated and more aligned with that of the cainites heart, seemingly more obedient and controllable.

1