Fictional character backgroundEdit
Within the game structure the Silver Fangs are werewolves and the traditional rulers of the Garou Nation or werewolf nation. They have millennia of historic selective breeding and heroic tradition behind them. Most major royal families or noble houses have ancestral connections to the Silver Fangs, particularly the now-defunct Russian royal family. While many of the Garou Nation's finest leaders and warriors have come from the ranks of the Silver Fangs, in recent centuries the tribe's stock has fallen dramatically among its ostensible citizenry. Centuries and centuries of inbreeding has caught up with the tribe, with madness and stubborn clinging to tradition becoming more and more common among its senior members. Also, the rise of democratic thought across the world has weakened the tribe's ability to use its royal heritage as an asset, and prompted disaffected tribes to be vocal about their disagreements and disapprovals. Still, the Silver Fangs are far from defunct, and the rise of dynamic young leaders like King Albrecht in North America and Queen Tamara Tvarivich in Russia, along with the continued patronage of its noble totem Falcon, may give the tribe a much-needed infusion of strength and purpose.
As with many tribal histories, it is difficult to separate fact from myth. Silver Fang myths give many different reasons for their ascendancy over the other tribes, some saying that Wolf himself rescued Gaia from death and was rewarded by their signature ivory coat, and others saying that Gaia, after creating the first Garou, designated the leaders with the white coat. It is known that Russia's Sept of the Crescent Moon, ostensibly the oldest caern in existence, was raised by Silver Fang Theurges and that it has been in existence for millennia. It is also known that the Silver Fangs tend to consider Russia their traditional homeland, and that they were involved with their royal and noble families since the days of Novgorod and Kiev Rus.
The Silver Fangs were active in human politics many centuries before that, though, having learned of kingship and heredity from them millennia before. They were present in the royal families of Rome and proto-Europe, often battling vampires for control of nations and the Glass Walkers for dominance of the cities. As the centuries passed, they and their Kinfolk married into Europe's royal and noble houses, guaranteeing their tribe a ready position to work at turning kingdoms and empires to their desires. Through the Dark and Middle Ages, they managed to maintain their power and influence, and were the unquestioned leaders of all Garou (that is, all known Garou in Europe, as the Uktena, Wendigo, and Croatan were quiescent in the Americas, and the Stargazers and Bunyip were in Asia).
That situation began changing after the Renaissance, when new philosophies and ways of thought began making headway. But what really put the nail in the coffin of unquestioned Silver Fang leadership was the opening of the New World to colonization. Tribes seeking breathing room relocated by the hundreds across the Atlantic, and the Silver Fangs who went with them acted every bit as boorishly to the native tribes as did the rest of the European settlers, making them no friends among the native Garou factions. The Silver Fangs were divided over the American Revolution, and began polarizing into American and European camps. The European camp would polarize itself in the 19th century; it is rumored that the Crimean War was instigated by rival Silver Fang houses. And while the Silver Fangs squabbled amongst themselves, their "subject" tribes began stretching their wings, and expanding beyond their niches. To be sure, there were notable Silver Fangs during this time period, such as American Theurge Isaiah Morningkill, who were more concerned with getting the job done than standing on tradition, but the tribe as a whole was slowly ossifying, and the only ones who didn't know it were them.
The 20th century seemed to be the final chapter for the Silver Fangs' traditional leadership of the Garou Nation. The English Silver Fang house of Austere Howl was plagued by Wyrm cultists among its Kinfolk, the Russian house of Crescent Moon took multiple hard hits from the overthrow of the royal family and the Communist rule, the Asian house of Blood Red Crest became plagued by low birth rates, and the American house of Wyrmfoe was, for decades, ruled by a king who grew more paranoid and insane each day. The other tribes were perfectly willing to go their own way, and the Shadow Lords were eager and poised to leap into the leadership vacuum.
Then, during the 1990s, things changed a little. Two young and stubborn leaders came to the fore, and have thus far proven to be exactly what the tribe needs to keep from slipping into stagnation.
Baba Yaga, the powerful vampire that once plagued Russia, made a comeback, and brought powerful Wyrm-dragons with her. The Russian Silver Fangs were at the forefront of that war, rallying the other tribes and fighting as if heroes of old, despite taking horrid losses and the treason of one of their most respected war leaders. The war ended with the Russian Garou victorious, a young and strong-minded queen on the Crescent Moon throne, and a newly-reinvigorated group of Russian Silver Fangs. That queen is Tamara Tvarivich, descendant of the greatest Russian Silver Fang heroes and a master Theurge who fought on the war's front lines even after her uncle, the house leader, was slain.
In America, the paranoid and insane King Jacob Morningkill of House Wyrmfoe was killed by Lord Arkady Iceclaw, a famed Russian Silver Fang and secret Wyrm agent, who plotted to assume the throne himself. His plot was thwarted by Jonas Albrecht, exiled grandson of Morningkill, whose years of exile among the "common" tribes had taught him humilty and toughness. With the aid of his packmates, Albrecht recovered the lost Silver Crown, the tribe's greatest fetish, and used it to oust Arkady from the Oak Throne. Since his ascension, he has been a hands-on leader, and more interested in getting things done and restoring his tribe's respect among the other tribes than standing on ceremony.
With the leadership of these two rulers, even should Apocalypse be around the corner, the Silver Fangs will fight till their last, shining proud as the heroes they were born to be.
Tribal society and organizationEdit
The Silver Fangs boast a complex tribal organization.
All Garou in the tribe fall into one of two Lodges:
- The Lodge of the Sun, which deals with temporal and day-to-day matters.
- The Lodge of the Moon, which deals with spiritual matters.
Beyond that, all the Silver Fangs in the world are organized into seven Houses, which are delineated by geographic location and, sometimes, philosophy. There were originally 13 houses, but a number have dissolved or been lost during the course of history. The surviving houses are:
- Clan Crescent Moon (based in Russia) - the oldest and most prestigious of Silver Fang Houses.
- House Wyrmfoe (based in the United States) - the youngest of the Houses, known for its maverick and iconoclastic style.
- House Unbreakable Hearth (based in the U.S. and Canada) - a respected House, with a long tradition of acting as middleman between the other tribes and the Silver Fangs.
- House Wise Heart (based in the Middle East) - a mysterious and secretive House, known for dabbling in spiritual research.
- House Blood Red Crest (based in southeast Asia) - one of the smaller Houses, the Blood Red Crest is suffering from low birth rates and attrition.
- House Gleaming Eye (based in Europe) - this House is known for its determined investigation and persecution of Wyrm-tainted factions within the Silver Fangs, and is currently hunting down the remains of House Austere Howl.
- House Austere Howl (formerly based in England) - currently a semi-renegade House, Austere Howl has been afflicted with Wyrm-taint thanks to activities of its Kinfolk, and its surviving members are trying to stay alive long enough to prove that not all members of the House have turned evil.
The houses that have fallen in the mists of time are:
- House Conquering Claw - a noble warrior house of the Roman era, the Conquering Claw was eventually brought low by Rome's vampires and finally collapsed during the Renaissance.
- House Winter Snow - this house, holding sway over Britain, France, and Holland, fought fiercely against the Black Spiral Dancers during the 16th century, but became drunk with power after their King discovered the Silver Crown, and attacked the Get of Fenris and Fianna. Afterwards, stricken with remorse and shame, Winter Snow fell into Harano, and eventually faded away. There are rumors of the house's ghosts lingering in the Umbra.
- House Golden Sky - the pride and joy of the Silver Fangs, the Golden Sky was the epitome of what a Silver Fang was supposed to be. One of the first Kings of this house, Arak Mammoth-Bold, was the one who arranged for Falcon to become the tribal totem, and thus the house had close ties to both Falcon and Helios. Some centuries ago, the Golden Sky disappeared, probably into the Deep Umbra, with no word of their fate ever to trickle back.
- The Silver Spiral - not truly a formal house, this is the catchall epithet for Silver Fangs who have fallen to the Wyrm.
- The Ice Pack - these half-legendary, predominantly lupus Silver Fangs dwell in the Arctic regions, attending to their own business and their own wars against the Wyrm. They are considered almost mythical by the Garou Nation, but they occasionally make appearances at dramatic times.
- The Unknown - this house's name has been stricken from all records, out of shame and guilt. It is said that this house was singlehandedly responsible for wiping an entire Changing Breed from the face of Gaia.
Each House has, as its leadership, a King or Queen. The King or Queen (often, though not always, an Ahroun) is attended by a Seneschal (traditionally a Ragabash, but held by many different auspices now), who acts as the ruler's second-in-command and regent, and a Shaman, Steward, and Squire from each of the two lodges (these roles are held by a Theurge, Philodox, and Galliard respectively). These eight individuals comprise the House's court, and the local Silver Fang lords and ladies - that is, the leaders and senior members of local Silver Fang or Silver Fang-dominated septs - will periodically report to the King or Queen.
There is no official central leadership for the Silver Fangs; the House leaders have absolute authority over their regions (as far as the other tribes will allow, anyway), and the most powerful or respected of them seems to ascend to a position of unofficial supreme leadership.
Even royalty has factions, and the Silver Fangs are no exception. While mostly united in their desire to remain "top dogs", the tribe is divided on how to go about it. The following camps are the most polarized factions within the Silver Fangs:
- Royalists - The tribe's traditionalists, the Royalists wish to return the "good old days" where all other tribes bent the knee to the Silver Fangs. The Royalists do not get along well with the Renewalists.
- Renewalists - Home to the tribe's "young Turks", the Renewalists advocate the integration of new ideas and, perhaps, new blood into the tribe, to stave off stagnation. The Renewalists do not get along well with the Royalists.
- Ivory Priesthood - Less a faction than the tribe's self-appointed arcane researchers, the Ivory Priests research the secrets of death and life.
- Grey Raptors - Perhaps best described as an extremist sect of the Royalists, the Grey Raptors take it upon themselves to deal judgment upon those who defy the Silver Fangs.
- Masters of the Seal - The tribe's most secret camp, the Masters of the Seal are thieves, dispatched to steal the most damaging and most useful secrets from the other tribes.
Perspectives on the other tribesEdit
The Silver Fangs tend to regard the other Garou tribes as their subordinates, first and foremost. How that relationship is executed is the matter of contention. The Renewalists insist that they must gain the other tribes' respect again and use that to regain a position of benevolent overlordship. The Royalists seem to feel that a return to the former status quo is most desirable.
How the other tribes regard the Silver Fangs varies greatly in detail, but in essence it remains the same: they're past their prime. Some allowance is made for the American Silver Fangs, who are generally seen as still being vigorous and effective, but by and large many of the other tribes see the Silver Fangs's day as having come and gone. (This is not to say that most tribes are willing to elevate the Shadow Lords in their place.) Many regard the Silver Fangs as being heavily inbred, both philosophically and genetically (the latter is certainly true, with centuries of cousins marrying cousins, and the highly dubious-seeming relationship between brother-and-sister heroes Yuri and Sophia Tvarivich).
Werewolf: The ForsakenEdit
In Werewolf: The Forsaken, there are two possible equivalents to the Silver Fangs. One is the Storm Lords, which seem to be "one part Shadow Lord and one part Silver Fang". The other is the Ivory Claws, one of the "Pure" tribes. This article contains content from Wikipedia. It was nominated for deletion on Wikipedia
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