Much awoo about nothing

Okay the title only makes sense when you know the running gag that werewolves make a noise written just as “awoo” and pretty much anything they do can be referred to as awoo :)

So yeah I was running for the Freshers One Shots today, although I hoovered up a bunch of oldbies, but I was running OWoD (as its known) Werewolf The Apocalypse, which was truth be told pretty kick ass.  The pitch was basically that the Garou of the UK had worked out that the only way to actually deal with this whole apocalypse thing was to stop being grouchy rustics and ill educated malcontents and instead press forward by educating the young pups and seeing if they could come up with a solution to problems.So they picked a campus or two that were far enough away from everything else, infiltrated them as best they could, and basically arranged for the packs that were in the area to be incubator packs.  Taking in young Garou for a few years, educating them into lots of cool mystic knowledge, and also educating them in a lot of regular human knowledge before booting them back to their packs in an upgraded form.

Now this was actually a game in which there wasn’t really much combat or gritty stuff, instead the young Garou (we had one Metis poet, one loner outdoor geologist, one druggie, two people going into politics (Silverfang and Shadow Lord), a Glasswalker techie and a Bonegnawer aiming to become part of The Man to help out the Gnawers on the street by shuffling their paperwork) and the point of the game wasn’t them directly combatting the Wyrm, or blowing shit up, or fighting other Werewolves – instead in this session they were integrating into the area.

So they started by an awkward meet and greet, followed by heading out to the Pack’s main local digs – which was amusing to run they didn’t actually interact with other packs in the area much but basically there was an interesting subplot about how much the incubator pack (Scholae Luna) was basically gentrifying the bay (they were mostly academics) and had been slowly pushing some of the older, more established and rural/working class packs out of their older territory, but this wasn’t explored much.  Anyway they met the packs totems, there was some possession (I was patterning the local Garou ritual structure on stuff from things like Witchdom of the True and also the writings of Lupa for inspiration :)) and the characters had a bit of a trippy time, which I then contrasted with the more integrated joking and related nature of intrapack relations the next morning over breakfast.

In the week they took it upon themselves to do some poking about campus and met some of the local tree spirits, chatting to Grandmother Oak and one of the pack promising to come learn the language of Trees (it’ll only take a couple of years), they avoided an old hanging tree (here played by the LURPs tree) and also met The Princes of the Trees who seemed to be half-tree/half-fairy.  The Princes dealt happily with the Silver Fang and offered to take the pack to far away realms for only an arm and a leg (literal price), but settled on swapping information for moving some markers about on which trees were getting pruned (A quest from Simon the Sorcerer actually) where they bargained with the trees to make it work for everyone, without just using threats on the trees but instead making it more about some get a light pruning to save more of them.

After this adventure they went to connect with the Dragon Of The North, an old thing that sleeps under the mountains, under the trees, under the rivers and just doses, but connecting with it would make them part of the north spiritually and give them access to more things without offending it.  I got a room full of people chanting Merlin’s Charm of Making, and also they paid in gifts of shared food with its guardian, a strange bear-human creature, they found it was sort of lying under all the lay-lines of the North and stuck to them.

The actual climax of the game was being sent after this (where they’d been judged competent enough) up to High Street to see Haweswater and look for a caern there that was linked to Freyja in boar aspect.  They worked out to get gold, and then went up there.  Some of the pack hunted down their first deer, some of them quested through the spirit to find the caern and one hunted through the physical.  The game ended when the players brought gold, fresh offered animal, and talked their way through some local Garou who were working at the caern (part of a Northern pack “Reavers of the Wyrm”), one of their members opened the access to the sacred site, then got possessed by Freyja, and as her they took the offerings of gold and blood and deer and danced and anointed them all.

So yeah – a tour of weird stuff, generating some strange atmospheres, viewing the North West through a slightly more mythic and mystical lens, connecting with the local environment and the struggle of working together and some interpersonal conflict rather than straight up violence.  A welcome change to Werewolf :)

Leave a Reply