The Garou Lunar Calendar
The Garou use a much different calendar than humans, which should come as no surprise. "January", "2000", they have no bearing on Garou society. Garou astrology gives them a different method of tracking the passage of time, and this article will give you, the player, a basic idea of how it works and how it can affect your character. This information is taken from Rage Across the Heavens, and is thus ‘canon’ material. While there are no direct game effects, you can use this to flesh out your garou’s history by giving him or her a more direct connection to the stars.
The Garou calendar is based on the phases of the moon. A Lunar Month starts at the full moon and goes until the next full moon, thus a Lunar Month is 29 or 30 days. There are 12 Lunar Months in a Garou year, totaling 255 days, every year. No need for leap years to adjust this calendar, folks. The Garou calendar is very precise.
Each month is governed by a celestial Incarna, and each is connected to a particular Tribe (What’s that? Yes, there are 13 tribes and only 12 months, bare with me). Several months are also connected to particular Auspices. For a Garou to be born in a lunar month that corresponds to his or her Tribe and/or Auspice is considered good luck. Lunar months also have certain correspondences to qualities, virtues, elements, colors and so forth associated with them. Stargazers have even draw connections to tarot cards and zodiac signs. Garou born during a month often have personalities traits in common, though not always overtly. Just as the phase of the moon decides a Garou’s Auspice, the lunar month can influence his or her personality.
The months are named after their Incarna patron, though different tribes use different names (e.g., Black Furies would use the Greek names for some). I have tried to identify what names which tribes would most likely use.
So take a look. Search through these descriptions and decide what month suits your character best, then claim your Garou was born (or had his First Change) during that month.
Nerigal, The Ice Warrior, Incarna of Mars
The First Lunar Month
Nerigal is The Blooded One, a true warrior. One would expect no less of the Incarna of Mars. Naturally, he favors Ahroun, and those born during his month tend to be an "Ahroun’s Ahroun", being quite gung ho. But all Auspices born under Nerigal tend to be the aggressive type. Philodox tend to back up their judgments with powerful words and strong arguments, Galliards lean towards inspiring their packmates in battle with war tales, Theurges use the Gifts to increases the odds of victory in combat anyway they can, and Ragabash tend towards more violent pranks and belligerent attitudes.
The Get of Fenris are Nerigal’s favorite tribe, for obvious reasons. His Umbral Realm is cold and snowy like the Get homelands in Northern Europe.
Nerigal lends himself as a Totem, quite willingly for a planetary Incarna, to any pack that braves his Realm to seek him out. (Background Cost: 8; Never enter fox frenzy, always berserk. +1 to Brawl and Melee die pools and +1 to soak for each packmember. +2 temporary Glory; Forbidden to show fear. May not retreat once combat starts. May not avoid obstacles, must overcome them)
Eshtarra, the Songteller, Incarna of Earth
The Second Lunar Month
What a second, isn’t this Gaia, you ask? Yes and no, I answer. Gaia is a Celestine, Eshtarra is one of her Incarna faces, like the Totem Danu. Eshtarra stands for music and song and the fruitfulness of the earth. If Nerigal gives the weapons to fight with, Eshtarra gives a reason to fight for. Her colors stand for the blue of the oceans, the green of the forests and grasslands, and the white of the clouds. She favors Galliards the best, and those born during her month tend to prefer songs of nature. Eshtarra Ahroun, while still fierce warriors, fight their best for defense, when protecting someone or something. Eshtarra Philodox often use stories to illustrate their points, while Eshtarra Theurges are deeply connected to the power of the earth, seeing themselves as vessels of Gaia’s power. Eshtarra Ragabash have an "earthy" humor that most consider crude.
The Fianna are her preferred Tribe, and they call her Danu. The Fianna’s love of song endears them to her. Eshtarra does not lend herself as a Totem to anyone, not wanting to give any Garou swelled heads ("Look, Gaia favors us best!"). If she does want to aid a pack, she will connect to them as Danu (Werewolf: the Apocalypse, 2nd Edition, page 263, the Dana Totem).
Mitanu, the Clever Rogue, Incarna of Mercury
Third Lunar Month
Mitanu, trickster of the planetary Incarna, favors Ragabash best, and those New Moons born in his month show sharp wits and flexibility of action. Mitanu Ahroun have lightning reflexes and the ability to think fast on their feet in combat. Philodox have silver tongues and talk their way out of almost any bad situation. His Galliards specialize in humorous songs and stories, while Mitanu Theurges use their Gifts in unexpected ways, finding unique uses for such magics.
The Bone Gnawers are Mitanu’s favorite children, as he likes their ability to survive and adapt and keep laughing no matter how much shit life throws at them.
Mitanu has no problem acting as a Totem, as long as the pack in question has a Bone Gnawer, a Ragabash or at least someone born under his sign, otherwise forget it. Mitanu won’t deal with humorless packs. (Background Cost: 7; +3 to Subterfuge and Streetwise die pools, and gain Blur of the Milky Eye. Ragabash Gifts cost one experience point less to learn; Must learn to fend for themselves and not rely on any one piece of equipment for long, thus none of his packs may use a fetish or weapon for more than a month (except Talons))
Sokhta, the Lambent Lady, Incarna of the Moon
Fourth Lunar Month
What was said about Eshtarra and Gaia goes for Sokhta and Luna. The Incarna is a “face” of the Celestine. Sokhta, also called Pheobe (but always Sokhta by the Stargazers) is all about reflection and mystery and quiet meditation. Her colors represent calm and tranquility. As the patron of mystery and magic, she loves Theurges, and those born under her sign have an intense attunement to their Gifts, using them instinctively on an almost unconscious level. Sokhta Ahroun have a strange calmness in battle, while Sokhta Ragabash have a subtle humor and are experts at evading punishment if their pranks get them in trouble. Her Galliards can evoke greater motion through delicate and sensitive techniques, and her Philodox are able to touch on the unconscious motivations of those the speak to.
Stargazers are Sokhta’s tribe, their focus on meditation and calm action appealing greatly to her.
Sokhta loans her power to packs as a Totem of Respect. (Background Cost: 7; Enigmas 3, Primal-Urge 2. Any pack member can use the Gift: Open Moonbridge; Must always defend Moon Bridges and Moon Paths from the Wyrm.
Katanka-Sonnak, The Wind Rider, Incarna of the Sun
Fifth Lunar Month
As with Gaia/Eshtarra and Luna/Sokhta, so goes Helios/Katanka-Sonnak. Also called Hyperion, he is known as the Wind Rider because of his association with solar winds, he is the energy of renewal and rebirth. Ahroun get Katanka-Sonnak’s favor, and those born under his sign are known for their boundless energy in combat and dramatic manner. His Ragabash have a directness to them that’s unusual for their Auspice. Philodox use fiery speeches and make judgments with solid conviction, while Galliards tell their stories and sing their songs with intense passion and drama. Katanka-Sonnak Theurges prefer vibrant spirits of fire and wind and other intense qualities.
It may seem odd that the Incarna of the Sun favors the icy Wendigo, but he sees past the coldness of their homelands and their cannibal totem to the fiery rage in the hearts. Their brashness and angry energy makes them akin to him.
Hyperion only rarely becomes a Totem of a pack, and only if he is very impressed with the pack’s mettle and foresight. Mokole and Corax will respect Katanka-Sonnak’s children. (Background Cost: 10; Each pack member receives the Gift: Kiss of Helios. The pack may call upon 5 Willpower points per story; Must protect other shapeshifters, especially Corax and Mokole).
Hakahe, the Ebon Whisperer, Incarna of Vulcan
Sixth Lunar Month
Now, before you start making Spock jokes, Vulcan is the "hidden planet", laying on Mercury’s orbital path on the exact opposite side. Only a very few humans suspect it exists, but none have proved it.
Hakahe, lover of magic and lost lore, likes Theurges the best, and those born during his month usually devote themselves to discovering forbidden lore. Hakahe Ahroun use their Gifts to enhance their combat abilities, while Hakahe Philodox are secretive and rarely explain their judgments. His Ragabash plan elaborate and anonymous pranks and his Galliards collect riddle songs and obscure stories.
Obviously, Hakahe’s favorite tribe are the Uktena. With their love of magic and mystery, they are Garou after his own heart.
Hakahe as a Totem is a rare occurrence, rarer if there’s no Uktena in the potential pack. (Background Cost: 7; +3 Crafts and Repair rolls, and teaches the Gift: Reshape Object. All Occult rolls are at -2 difficulty; Must work to build things of importance in human communities, and teach humans to build rather than destroy)
Tambiyah, The Veiled Mother, Incarna of Venus
Seventh Lunar Month
Tambiyah shows the importance of balance, and the purity that result when one attains such balance. Her color is gold, a color of warmth and wealth.
Galliards get her favor, and those under her sign stress the importance of the lessons their songs and stories teach. Tambiyah’s Ahroun fight with the strength of a mother protecting it’s young, while her Philodox temper justice with mercy when it is possible. Her Theurges use their powers for healing and protection while her Ragabash use their pranks to teach and warn about potential dangers.
Tambiyah favors the Black Furies, liking their devotion to justice and restoring balance to the world. The Furies have a balance of strength and sensuality, and a dedication to women’s issues, all of which win the Veiled Mother’s approval.
Tambiyah usually only gives her strength as a Totem to packs that are all-female, but mixed gender packs that impress her enough can win her power. Black Furies will always respect her Children, no matter who’s in the pack. (Background Cost: 8; Each Child gains +1 Appearance. The pack gains +3 on Empathy and Medicine die pools. All non-Metis packmembers gain great fertility. Their chance of producing Garou children increases to 1-in-5; Her Children must work towards the welfare of children in some manner)
Meros, the Wandering Mystic, Incarna of Pluto
Eighth Lunar Month
As the Incarna of the outermost planet, Meros is a loner among the Incarna, a wanderer moving along farflung paths. He is a searcher of truth and a nomad of the skies. His colors are those of shrouds and rusted objects, and his association with “gods of death” makes him not just a wanderer, but a traveler from one state of being to the next, from life to death. The Dark Umbra is not unfamiliar to him.
Meros prefers Philodox the best, they being lawgivers who must adapt to different circumstances. Philodox born under his sign have a flair for versatile judgments under unusual situations. His Ahroun are unafraid of death and can adapt their skills to suit their opponents, while his Theurges are always exploring the limits of their powers. Meros Ragabash rarely repeat their tricks and Meros Galliards love tales and songs of death and transformation.
The Silent Striders, with their nomadic ways and connection to the Shadowlands make them Meros’ favorites.
The hardest part of gaining Meros as a Totem is simply trying to reach him. If you can catch him, however, he is usually willing to give his patronage if the pack truly understands what’s involved. (Background Cost: 7; -1 difficulty for dealing with Wraiths and the Dark Umbra. The pack will never lose it’s way and will always eventually arrive at whatever destination it wants. The pack gains +3 to Enigmas and Occult rolls, while each packmember gains 2 points of temporary Wisdom; The pack must travel, spending a minimum of four months a year on the road.)
Zarok, the Crowned Ruler, Incarna of Jupiter
Ninth Lunar Month
King of the planets, Jupiter could be said to "rule" over the Solar System. It’s Incarna, Zarok, certainly gives the ideal credence. His colors are those of his planet. Zarok represents leadership at it’s best, not tyranny.
Philodox, with their abilities of guidance and leadership, earn his favor, and those under his patronage make their judgments with confidence. Zarok’s Ahroun are battle-leaders and strategists, while his Theurges use their powers to create a sense of unity and purpose. Zarok Galliards tell stories of great heroes and leaders and Zarok Ragabash have a shameless audacity to their pranks.
The Silver Fangs, with their natural leadership skills and charisma, gain Zarok’s favor, and always have.
A pack must be well-respected to be worthy of Zarok as a Totem, and having a Silver Fang with them is a help. (Background Cost: 9; Each pack member gains a dot of Pure Breed and an extra Willpower point for resisting domination, mind control and intimidation. The pack as a whole gains +4 dice to Leadership and +2 to Intimidation, and may draw on an extra five Willpower points per story; Zarok’s Children must not dishonor themselves. If an action causes the pack to lose Honor renown, he will leave them.
Lu-Bat, the Peaceful Counselor, Incarna of Saturn
Tenth Lunar Month
The Incarna of the ringed planet influences self-control and the acceptance of our own limitations. His colors are the earth tones of the material world, and Garou born under his sign aspire to learn their own limits without feeling restricted by them. Some, though, show signs of sloth and preferring "to stay in a rut."
Ragabash is favored by Lu-Bat due to their critical natures, and New Moons born under him use their tricks to ridicule and shame others into the right courses of action. Lu-Bat’s Ahroun are slow to anger, but when they do, they have an uncanny understanding of their foes’ weaknesses, as well as their own. His Philodox make judgments carefully, after long examinations of all the facts and maing sure no loopholes were missed. Lu-Bat Galliards stick with traditional, strictly measured poems and song, while Lu-Bat Theurges study their powers’ limits, making sure they don’t overreach themselves.
Lu-Bat approves of the Children of Gaia and their roles as advisors and peacemakers. He likes their diligent work towards bringing understanding and acceptance of other’s differences.
Lu-Bat might act as a Totem of Wisdom if he is properly approached, though he only rarely accepts any such proposals. He prefers that Garou find their own way, and will only become a Totem if he’s certain the pack won’t rely on him as a crutch. (Background Cost: 10; -2 difficulty to all Enigmas, Empathy and Occult rolls. Each child gains +1 Perception and 2 points of temporary Wisdom; His Children must not act hastily, and must always have a back-up plan for any major undertaking)
Ruatma, the Shadowed One, Incarna of Uranus
Eleventh Lunar Month
Ruatma is the Incarna of the mysterious world of Uranus (save the childish humor, okay?), and he lords of dreams, secrecy and signs and portents. Ruatma Garou have a keen sense of diplomacy and a knack for understanding hidden meanings. Occasionally, Ruatma’s treacherous influence might well up, causing them to give in to ambition and selfishness.
Theurges get Ruatma’s greatest respect, and those Crescent Moons born under him are skilled at interpreting dreams and reading omens and use their Gifts in a direct, yet subtle manner. His Ahroun's are masters of.....let’s call it "dirty fighting", taking advantage of any enemy weakness. Ruatma-born Philodox have a flair for diplomacy and negotiation, while his Galliards can use their bardic abilities to skillfully manipulate the spectators’ emotions. Ragabash born under his sign know all the best sneaky, underhanded tricks.
The Shadow Lords, known for their secretive manipulations and shady deals have long since earned Ruatma’s respect. The Lords’ respect him in turn as the "power behind the throne", as they see themselves.
Ruatma does not lend himself as a Totem to anyone. Why? Only he knows.
Shantar, the Loom Maker, Incarna of Neptune
Twelth Lunar Month
Shantar, the Loom Maker, weaves the pattern of years into her tapestry, governing invention and creation. The patron of the last month of the Garou year, her colors correspond to both her planet and to the ocean, as water is her element. Garou born under her exhibit a capacity for invention and an acceptance of change. Their flaws usually consist of rashness and thoughtless action.
Shantar favors the Philodox, who she sees as the true movers of Garou society. Her Ahroun's like trying out new tactics rather that tried-and-true methods. Shantar Ragabash are always coming up with inventive new pranks, while Shantar-born Moon Dancers enjoy complex songs. Her Theurges like finding new ways to use Gifts and like the complicated performances of rituals.
The Glass Walkers, the true makers of the Garou, enjoy Shantar’s favor.
Shantar is quite an approachable Totem, and packs that go through the trouble of seeking her out usually get her help (provided they have no anti-Weaver prejudices). (Background Cost: 8; +2 to Repair, Crafts and Computer rolls. Glass Walker Gifts cost one experience point less. Each packmember gains +1 die to swimming rolls and to rolls made to navigate the Weaver’s Webs; Her Children must heal rather than harm when dealing with the Weaver. She often gives her packs dangerous missions to cut Wyrm-influence away from Webs)
Rorg, the Many-Taloned Hunter, Incarna of the Asteroid Belt
The Thirteenth Sign
Rorg is athe savage that rules over catastrophic change. He has no real time assigned to him on the calendar, instead marking the point between years, the change from one year to the next. He is the Incarna of the Asteroid Belt, which was once a planet, destroyed long ago. Rorg still aches over that loss. The asteroids are like an army on the march, denoting his preference for group strategies. His color is dark gray, the color of doom. While no Garou can actually be born under Rorg, many werewolves gravitate to him anyway, no matter what sign they were truly born under. Thus, "his" Garou are his by choice, not accident of birth. Garou associated with him tend to exhibit a knack for cooperation, which is a bonus among the instinctual pack animals that are the werewolves, yet they also have a rabid hatred and a lust for revenge that often gets the better of them.
The Ahroun is Rorg’s favored Auspice, and his Full Moon use the tactics of the pack, overwhelming foes with sheer numbers and force. Rorg’s Philodox make judgments based on instinct or group consensus, while his Galliards try to draw their audience along with them, getting them to participate in the performance. Theurges who choose to follow Rorg use Gifts that make them better fighters, while the tricks of his Ragabash are rather destructive in nature.
Once upon a time, the White Howlers were Rorg’s tribe. But when they turned to the Wyrm, he abandoned them and sought out another. The Red Talons, instinctual, savage, vengeful, were Garou after his own heart. The union has been a perfect one since. As the Talons care nothing for calendars, they do not mind not having a lunar month of their own.
There must be at least one Red Talon in a pack for Rorg to even consider acting as their Totem, and even then he might refuse if he thinks they’re lenient. (Background Cost: 10; Whenever Rorg’s pack acts together to accomplish a goal, whether attacking a single foe or putting their heads together to create a plan, they get a -1 to ALL difficulties related to the task (e.g., in combat, it would apply to initiative, attack and damage rolls, but not soak rolls - The pack’s goal is to attack, not survive). They also gain +3 Primal-Urge and are taught the Gift: Mindspeak; Rorg’s Children may not forgive any crime against them or their loved ones until those responible have been justly punished)