Four Cliaths

I recently decided to have a little fun rapidly hacking together a few starter-level Garou characters. I doubt they’ll ever see play, though they may turn up as cast members in Troubled. The idea was to put together a group of Garou that would be suitable for what I like to call “Steve’s Army.” Each of the following Garou is from a different tribe. All but one have a  comparatively fighty quality about them, but each of those also has some quirk that keeps them from relying on claws, fangs or fetish weaponry in combat. Also, at least two of them are built on strong social skills more than anything else, and one is focused on being a lookout type. I’m not convinced that they are really finished, but they’re pretty close.

James “Chaplain” Clay

Chaplain, tasting the rainbow
Concept: Chaplain
Breed/Tribe/Auspice: Homid/CoG/Philodox
Age: mid to late twenties
Nature/Demeanor: Builder/Teacher

Physical: Str 3, Dex 3, Stam 3
Social: Char 4 (Spec: Trustworthy), Man 4 (Spec: Persuasive), App 2
Mental: Perc 2, Int 2, Wits 2
Talents: Alert 1 , Athletics 1,Brawl 2, Dodge 1, Empathy 3, Expression 2, Intimidation 1, Primal-Urge 2
Skills: Etiquette 2, Firearms 1, Iskakku 4 (Spec: Blocks), Leadership 1, Performance 1, Survival 2
Knowledges: Academics 2, Medicine 1, Rituals 2
Backgrounds: Fetish 1 (Harmony Flute), Contacts 1, Pure Breed 2, Rites 2 (Rite of Contrition, Rite of the Pack’s Blood)
Gifts: Persuasion, Resist Pain, Truth of Gaia, Swallow Rage
Rage: 4
Gnosis: 1
WP: 4
Rank 1
Renown: 0G, 3H, 0W
Freebie Points: 5 for Str, 7 For Swallow Rage, 2 for Iskakku, 2 for Performance, 1 for Rage, 1 for Fetish
Merits: Supporter (2 – CoG)
Flaws: Metis Child (4 – PPG 163), Soft Hearted (1 – PGG 164)
James Clay experienced the First Change unusually late in life: He was already a protestant chaplain in the US Army, stationed in Afghanistan. He was traveling with a convoy when his HMMV was disabled by an IED. He lost consciousness in the blast, but awoke when a small group of Taliban militants was dragging him off. None of the militants escaped his Rage, though the panicked Taliban fighters shot him repeatedly. His uniform shredded and caked with dust and blood, he was eventually able to make his way back into contact with American forces and safety.
The trauma of his First Change and the difficulties associated with the Curse led to a psychological discharge for the chaplain. His horror and confusion at his budding Rage sent him spiraling into a depression, but he had always been a strong man and started to climb out of it again when he harnessed his anger to propel himself into the antiwar movement. Along the way, he switched denominations from Baptist to the more inclusive Unitarian Universalism.
A lovely Child of Gaia recognized the Lost Cub for what he was at a protest and brought him before her people. James quickly found acceptance and hope in her tribe and pack, and eventually found himself in her bed as well. When he stepped up to accept responsibility for his sin, James was cast out of his sept and busted back down from Fostern to Cliath rank to start all over again. Chaplain took that lesson hard, made a point of owning his mistakes, fought a challenge to see to it that his erstwhile mate and Metis cub were able to find a home in a good Sept far away from the original crime, and has personally striven to repent and be strict about Litany observance ever since.
James strives hard for peace, but he strives just as hard for unity of effort in the war for Gaia, and he believes that the Garou are in dire need of innovation and a change in tactics in that area, as well as eternal vigilance. One of the major ways that he helps promote peace is providing spiritual support, counsel and a sympathetic ear to Gaia’s warriors, helping them find a measure of peace inside themselves even as they must fight. He feels that if the Garou can fight out of faith and devotion to Gaia rather than anger or hatred of their foes, then they will be a major step closer to achieving real peace: if there is no peace within, then there can be no peace without.

He has considerable sympathy for the views of the former Imminent Strike camp’s views that the tribe needs to be ready to defend itself at all times, but is one of those that feels that the Children should not go it alone: he firmly believes in inclusion rather than exclusion, and dreams of a day when even the tribes will be abolished in place of one unified and healthy Garou Nation.

Guillermo “High & Tight” Castaneda
High & Tight, ready to rock and roll

Concept: Recruiter
Breed/Tribe/Auspice: Homid/Glass Walkers(Dies Ultimae)/Galliard
Age: 19
Nature/Demeanor: Soldier/Fanatic
Physical: Str 3, Dex 3, Stam 3
Social: Char 3, Man 4 (Spec: Silver-Tongued), App 3
Mental: Perc 3, Int 2, Wits 3

Talents: Alert 1, Athletics 1, Brawl 1, Dodge 1, Empathy 1, Expression 2, Primal-Urge 1, Subterfuge 2

Skills: Crafts 1, Etiquette 1, Firearms 3, Leadership 1, Melee 1, Performance 3,  Stealth 1, Survival 2

Knowledges: Computer 2, Linguistics 1, Rituals 1

Backgrounds: Resources 1, Rites 1 (Bonding Rite), Equipment 3, Kinfolk 2
Gifts: Persuasion, Skyscraper Vision, Mindspeak
Rage: 4
Gnosis: 1
WP: 4
Rank 1
Renown: 2G, H, 1W
Freebie Points: Str (5), Dex (5), Stam (5), Kinfolk  (1), Empathy  (2), Willpower (1)
Merits: None
Flaws: Forced Transformation (under influence of alcohol, to Crinos 2), Pierced Veil (3)
Equipment: SWAT tactical Jacket (3 bashing, 4 firearms, 3 melee soak, 2 Dex penalty, but -1 versus things that rely mostly on arms/hands like shooting) + Helmet (2 soak -1 perception) [The SWAT gear + Fatigues combination outfit is dedicated], SPAS-12 shotgun, H&K G3 Battle Rifle or MP5 smg, combat knife, colt .45, tactical baton. [Note: since his Gnosis is only 1, none of his guns are presently dedicated…]

Guillermo, as a first generation Salvadorean immigrant, dreamed of serving in the US Military as a show of gratitude to the country to which his family escaped from crushing poverty and internecine strife. He hoped to serve as an officer, and read voraciously about warfare, its history and tactics. Then, at the age of 14, he Changed.

The Glass Walkers found him in short order, and he was now in an entirely different sort of army, fighting in a much more important war… but the Garou, even the Glasswalkers, felt and fought more like tribesmen than real soldiers, and he felt incredibly frustrated at their chaotic and often undisciplined nature. Then he learned about a camp of Garou that studied and taught its members and the Garou nation at large to study, learn from and use the tactics, weapons and training methods of the world’s greatest modern militaries in preparation for the Final Battle – and best of all, they equipped and  trained their Kin to act as full pack members. Guillermo immediately made his way to join this camp at their compound/boot camp in Western Australia.

He happily dove into the indoctrination and culture of the Dies Ultimae, and was filled with an evangelical zeal. Now, he travels about North America, making presentations and telling the stories of his camp’s successes in an effort to proselytize (he would call it “recruiting”) to forward-thinking Garou as well as Kinfolk that want to adapt and bring the War of the Apocalypse into the modern age. Also, he makes a point of not just recruiting but fighting for Gaia as an example himself. In his travels, he is accompanied by his father Carlos, a veteran of the interminable civil war in El Salvador as well as his sister Maria, who has a pretty face to help with Guillermo’s presentations as well as a knack for circumventing security systems.

Guillermo seldom bothers shifting into Crinos form, preferring to fight in Glabro using firearms and wearing extensive body armor. Though he is a skilled fighter and demagogue, he badly needs to connect to his spiritual and wolfish side.

Barry “Bloody Knuckles” Lonergan
Bloody Knuckles, earning that name

Concept: Brawler
Breed/Tribe/Auspice: Metis/Fianna/Ahroun
Age: 13, but looks 21ish
Nature/Demeanor: Competitor/Bravo
Metis Deformity: No Claws (His forepaws in Crinos and Hispo form have stubby, useless nails instead of the claws of which other Garou are so proud, and so he has no claw attack at all)

Physical: Str 5 (Spec: Mighty Arms), Dex 3, Stam 4 (Spec: Indomitable)
Social: Char 3, Man 3, App 2
Mental: Perc 2, Int 2, Wits 2

Talents: Athletics 2, Brawl 4 (Spec: Fisticuffs), Dodge 2, Expression 1, Intimidation 2, Primal-Urge 2, Subterfuge 1

Skills: Crafts 1, Drive, Etiquette 1, Firearms 1, Leadership 1, Melee 1, Performance 1, Stealth 1, Survival 2

Knowledges: Enigmas 2,  Rituals 3

Backgrounds: Pure Breed 1, Ancestors 3, Kinfolk 1, Rites 2 (Rite of Wounding & Rite of Boasting)
Gifts: Primal Anger, Resist Toxin, Inspiration
Rage: 7
Gnosis: 3
WP: 8
Rank 1
Renown: 2G, 1H, W
Freebie Points: 2 Rage, 5 Willpower, 5 Dexterity, 5 Stamina, 2 on Brawl, 2 Rites
Merits: none
Flaws: Mark of the Predator (2), Geas (Never refuse a challenge or be ostracized by all Garou until an atonement can be made: 4)
Equipment: 2 Knuckle dusters, fire axe

The Fianna are a passionate and mercurial people who are much given to song, warfare, liquor and loving. They also greatly prize physical wholeness and perfection, taking them as signs of spiritual wellness and purity. These two traits collided head-on one night at a tribal revel a little bit outside of Boston, when a pair of young Fianna who had a bit much to drink and whose blood was running a bit too hot managed to find themselves alone together.

Some nine months later, young Barry was born to the everlasting shame of both parents. The cub’s paws ended with blunt nails rather than proper claws, marking him as unable to properly fill an Ahroun’s role in the eyes of the tribe. He has spent his whole life trying to prove his worth as a warrior despite this handicap, and has made his skill at bludgeoning enemies into unconsciousness or death with his malformed fists a matter of particular pride. Like the boy named Sue, the Ahroun with no claws has grown up to be tough indeed.

Barry has cheerfully embraced the Fianna stereotype of fierce, jovial, loud and rampaging yet poetic drunks for an outward persona to mask his steely resolve and competitive instinct so that foe and rival alike will underestimate him until the time comes to teach them a brutal lesson. He lives to prove himself a mighty warrior and hear his name in song like the Fianna heroes of old rather than being consigned to the outer fringes of moot fires. A particularly fond yet remote wish is to win enough approbation to be permitted to enjoy the amorous company of tribe Kin, though the Fianna normally ban the sterile metis from such things.

For serious battles rather than the odd fistfight, Barry owns a couple of sets of brass knuckles and a fire axe – this latter only ever sees use when badly outnumbered or if he is expecting to face especially large or well-armored enemies like Thunderwyrms or certain battle banes. At times he has been known to improvise knuckle dusters by wrapping his hands in rags and then clenching heavy chains around his fingers.

Barry’s Kinfolk is a cousin by the name of George who owns a shipping business and employs Barry to provide some protection at times.


Chases-Cats, catching one

Concept: Stray Wolf
Breed/Tribe/Auspice: Lupus/Bone Gnawers/Ragabash
Age: 3 (looks about 18 in Homid form)

Physical: Str 2, Dex 3, Stam 3
Social: Char 3, Man 2, App 1
Mental: Perc 4 (spec: Paranoid), Int 2, Wits 4 (spec: Cunning)

Talents: Alertness 3, Athletics 3, Brawl 2, Dodge 2, Empathy 1, Expression , Intimidation , Primal-Urge 3, Subterfuge 1
Skills: Animal Ken 2, Stealth 2, Survival 2 – Urban, Survival 2 – Rural
Knowledges: Enigmas 2,  Investigation 1, Rituals 3

Backgrounds: Kinfolk 2 (wolf Kin), Rites 5 (Rite of the Omega, Rite Of The Opened Caern, Rite of Contrition)
Gifts: Heightened Senses, Prey Mind, Blur of the Milky Eye, Tagalong
Rage: 1
Gnosis: 5
WP: 4
Rank 1
Renown: G, 1H, 2W
Freebie Points: 4 Talents, 2 Rites, 2 Knowledges, 7 for Prey Mind
Merits: none
Flaws: none
Equipment: She has no material possessions.


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One Response to “Four Cliaths”

  1. Four Hermetics « Casewerk: More Internet Ravings Says:

    […] By casewerk In the vein of my recent post Four Cliaths, I’ve decided to quickly dash together four starter-level characters for Mage: the Ascension, […]

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