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Rites: Seasonal

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Creatures of nature as well as society, the Garou mark the cycle of the year with Seasonal Rites. The details depend on the tribe and sept. Some celebrate each full moon and other events, others commemorate only the solstices and equinoxes. The depth and variety of seasonal rites speaks volumes about how a particular Garou community views its place in the world and tradition. Particularly spirit-minded (or perhaps deranged) Garou insist that without these rites, Gaia would cease to bless the Garou and perhaps even stop changing the seasons.


Related Rites Pages: Rites - Accord - Caern - Death - Mystic - Minor - Punishment - Renown - Tribal


Basic Rites


The Great Hunt

Required: This Rite must be performed on the Summer Solstice.

Time to Perform: The rite begins at midnight prior to the day of the Solstice, and concludes the next midnight.

Challenge: static Social vs. 11 Traits

Number of Ritualists: 5

Description: The long days of summer give your foes fewer hours of darkness to hide and conduct their business. You capitalize on this with a sacred hunt. At midnight you and your companions mingle your blood into a bowl. As you use this blood to paint one another with glyphs of war, you beseech Gaia to grant you a vision of a worthy foe to hunt. At dawn, this vision comes. While the target is usually a Wyrm-creature, it is sometimes a thrall of the Weaver or the Wyld, or even an enemy amongst the Sept's own ranks. You must hunt and kill this target by the following midnight, spilling its blood in sacrfice to Gaia, or else the rite fails -- a terrible omen.

Effect: If the target was suitably impressive for your abilities, you may claim a tale of Glory for participating in this Rite. If the hunt fails, all participants lose Glory, and for the next year all Garou of the Sept perform rites at a one-Trait penalty.


The Long Vigil

Required: This Rite must be performed on the Autumn Equinox. Spend the day prior decorating the caern with the sept's war trophies.

Time to Perform: The rite begins at sunset and lasts until dawn.

Challenge: static Social vs. 11 Traits

Number of Ritualists: 5

Description: This rite thanks Helios for his aid and welcomes the ascendancy of Luna, as night takes over the rhythms of sept life. You gather the participants around a bonfire, chanting your gratitude as the sun sets. You pray for safety in the long nights ahead, and you praise Luna for her aid. Galliards point to each war trophy in its turn, telling tales of the sept's most glorious victories -- and spinning those tales to glorify Luna. Other auspices may also have tales to tell, if you want to show them special honor. At dawn, with a final shout of praise to Luna, the sept hurls all its trophies into the fire as a sacrifice.

Effect: The spirits take note of your respect for Helios and celebration of Luna.


Rite of Reawakening

Required: This Rite must be performed on the Spring Equinox.

Time to Perform: The rite begins at sundown, and takes as long as it needs.

Challenge: static Social vs. 11 Traits

Number of Ritualists: 5

Description: This ritual takes the form of a sacred quest into the Umbra. Traditionally, this involves seven symbolic trials, running the gamut of all Garou abilities -- but in these last days, the rite often becomes a practical opportunity to deal with very real problems. At least one trial must call for each participant to give up an item of personal importance, a sacrifice to bury the old year and open oneself to a new cycle of growth.

Effect: The spirits see that you are renewed and prepared for the new year.


Rite of the Winter Wind

Required: This Rite must be performed on the Winter Solstice.

Time to Perform: Sundown to sunrise

Challenge: static Social vs. 11 Traits

Number of Ritualists: 5

Description: This ritual marks the longest night of the year. It honors the long-absent Helios, beckoning him back to light the days again. You gather around a great bonfire and howl, uplifting the spirit of the flames to renew Helios' strength. Every Sept adds its own individualized style to the night, be that with solemn sacrifices of gold or with celebratory torchlight revels. A triumphant howl at dawn marks the rite's completion.

Effect: The spirits see that you honor Helios.




Rite of Keres 

Required: This Rite must be performed on the night of the autumnal equinox.

Time to Perform: Sundown to sunrise

Challenge: Static Social vs. 15 Traits, Static Physical vs. 12 Traits, retest Rituals

Number of Ritualists: At least 5 garou

Description: Keres was an ancient Garou who, legend has it, was so protective of her packmates that when trapped in a cave by minions of the Wyrm, rather than let their bodies be tainted, consumed their physical forms. She then charged into battle, empowered by their spirits, and slew a staggering number of Wyrm-beasts before falling. Gaia, in recognition of her bravery, let Keres and her pack run together in the Deep Umbra as spirits forever. The Rite of Keres is a solemn event in which the ritemaster leads the Garou in a howling dirge for all those who has died in service of Gaia. At this time it is considered proper for even the bravest warriors to voice their anguish, loss, and fear, and to take comfort in those companions still alive. The gathered Garou sit in a large circle representing the neverending circle of Gaia's embrace. Each Garou in turn tells a tale of personal grief. As he finishes his story, the Garou flings a physical representation of his fear and grief made of some form of wood, known as a Talisman of Keres, into the center of the circle. The ritemaster is the last Garou to spin her tale and cast in her talisman. As she casts in her talisman, she focuses the anguish of the tribe through her body, calling out to the spirit of Keres to consume the talismans and grant strength to the Garou. If the rite succeeds, the Garou will sense the spirit of Keres as she consumes the talismans in a sudden blast of flames. After the talismans are consumed, the Garou each taste the remaining ashes, taking some small part of the strength of Keres into themselves. The ritemaster then leads the Garou in a revel to celebrate the purging of the Wyrm-taint they have cast forth. 

Effect: Any Garou participating in a successful Rite of Keres may make the follow-up Physical Challenge listed above. If successful, the participant receives a point of spendable (but not biddable) Willpower which refreshes at the start of each session that lasts for the next three months, for casting forth her inner fears and pain.


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