Uktena


     The Uktena tribe is composed of animistic (some would say primitive) peoples from throughout the world. They are the "world beat" of the Garou Nation, yet as the most multicultural tribe, they've also inherited many of the legacies of the dispossessed. Throughout their history, other cultures have slowly encroached on and devoured their tribal lands. Their Kinflk have been forced out of their homelands repeatedly, sometimes dragged away in chains. Generations of suffering have nurtured hatred and a thirst for vengeance. While they have accumulated mysticism and magic from throughout the world, many are drawn to dark arts, occult studies and forbidden lore.

     At one time, however, the tribe was one of the three largest in the world, roaming across vast stretches of primal wilderness. Long before their descent into darkness, the Uktena, Wendigo and Croatan tribes made up one people. Modern Galliards refer to these ancestors as the "Pure Ones." When early Garou first led migrations of primitive humans across the Bering Strait, the Uktena settled in the south, wandering through what is now the Southern United States and Central America. Among the Pure Ones, Wendigo, is still known as "Younger Brother" and Uktena as "Older Brother."

     In their travels, packs of Uktena communed with creatures and spirits unknown to other werewolves, trading mystical knowledge and stories. Wereravens watched over them; Coyote's children led them on, mocking and laughing; Pumonca and Qualmi werecats taught them secret wonders. It is regrettable that the War of Rage cut them off from these former allies, yet the knowledge they learned still survives, if only in a bastardized diminished form. The tribe has handed down its mystical secrets carefully for generations. The Uktena have become wise in the ways that other werewolves can never understand.. and perhaps never should.

     Natural wonders have since been conquered by unnatural horrors. Across the centuries, the Uktena have found powerful Banes sleeping in the Earth, and they have conducted epic rites to bind them. For generations, tribal "Bane Tenders" watched over unholy grounds, often gaining a thorough understanding of evil as a result. The tribe became unusually knowledgeable about the Wyrm -- suspiciously so, some say. They have also been renowned for their talent at scouting out Wyrm taint where no one else could find it. Many of the greatest Uktena heros gained honor and glory by finding blights and horrors in the spirit world, usually by using ancient knowledge hoarded by the tribe.

     Despite their wisdom and vigilance, the Uktena couldn't predict that Europeans would settle in the New World. Bitter tribal storytellers still descrive the arrivals as "Wyrmcomers," for disease and suffering followed in their wake. When white settlers also brought African and Asian slaves with them, merciful werewolves took pity on these slaves and treated them as brothers. As the tribe's Kinfolk were enslaved, punished or wiped out, many Garou found solace in the spirit world, seeking answers beyond the veil of reality. Some turned to visionaries and prophets for aid, incorporating their dreams and nightmares into Uktena lore. As their power in the physical world waned, their mastery of the spirit world increased.

     After centuries of supernatural exploration, the tribe's mystics have gained a legendary knowledge of spirits and a staunch respect for prophecy. Uktena cliath are encouraged to share in some of these teachings, more so than in most other tribes. From the moment a cub completes her Rite of Passage, elders praise her driving need to understand spiritual mysteries and encourage her boundless curiosity. While Uktena Theurges are often the most adept at investigating the occult and resolving enigmas, such talents are common within the tribe.

     But the tribe's pursuits can be risky. Uktena are often tempted by forbidden knowledge during the course of their travels. Since their ancestors have lived among primitive peoples from all over the world, they have also gathered occult secrets from every place their forebears have lived. The modern world has forgotten the secrets of the ancient world, but lost magical arts are still passed from generation to generation. The Uktena's mystics and occultists are among the most powerful in the Garou Nation. Many claim rightful ownership of powerful fetishes, insisting that no other tribe could guard them properly. As a result, even their Wendigo brothers fear them... or at least demand to know what they are hiding. As long as the secrets of the past are kept alive, the Uktena will continue to confront the Wyrm as they have for thousands of years.

Appearance

     In Lupus form, most Uktena have reddish-black fur; many skulk as though they are stalking unseen spirits. In Homid form, they project an aura of mystery and menace, with a disconcerting habit of staring intently at everything around them. Many adapt the clothing and appearance of their ancestors. Some "adopted" tribalists are very eclectic, gathering fragments of the cultures that interest them most. While many pure-bred Uktena are Native American, the tribe includes indigenous peoples from throughout the world. Maori warriors and Cherokee mystics work side-by-side with African shamans. When in meditation, an Uktena acts as cryptically as any Umbral spirit, but when angered she radiates a cold ferocity as fiercefly as the balefires of Hell.

Kinfolk

     The Uktena are guardians of the dispossessed, of tribes and peoples who have lost their lands to foreign conquest. Uktena Kinfolk belong to a wide spectrum of oppressed ethnic groups. From Native American reservations to urban 'hoods, from the depths of the Amazon to the islands of the South Pacific, Uktena Kinfolk build strong communities that preserve their heritage. Adversity forces strength. Even lupus Kinfolk gather in tightly knit packs.

Territory

     In the depths of the wilderness, beneath the open sky, and Uktena practice ancient crafts. Only a few secret places have withstood Wyrmcomer assaults. Uktena will do nearly anything to punish intruders who find them. Many of the tribe's most sacred lands have been seized by other supernatural societies. As the End Times approach, the tribe's elders are increasingly willing to summon up mighty magic and retake those sites by force.

Tribal Totem: The Uktena take their name from their tribal totem, a Native American water spirit with the features of a serpent, deer and cougar. The Uktena totem is famous for disguising its appeance, and it grants this talent to packs who follow him.

Initial Willpower: 3

Background Restrictions: None. Some things cannot be stolen, even by Wyrmcomers.

Beginning Gifs: Sense Magic, Shroud, Spirit Speech

Quote: You worry about fighting what you can see. I sense something very powerful here that you cannot. It is an ancient evil lurking in the shadows, a spirit my people have encountered before. Listen very carefully to what I am chanting. If I fall, I expect you to continue where I left off....

Stereotypes

Black Furies: As divisive as they are, they work together in their tribal rituals. If only I knew what they were doing there....
Bone Gnawers: They have a talent for walking unnoticed in the midst of mankin. While they may not seem sane, they see things even we do not notice. Their understanding of the cities' spirt worlds is impressive.
Children of Gaia: The Children's skill as healers and nurturers is unsurpassed. A pity that their approach to the sacred arts it so limited.
Fianna: They should take life a bit more seriously. Such reckless behavior will destroy them.
Get of Fenris: They are so proud of their strengths that they do nsee their weaknesses.
Glass Walkers: This tribe's urban magic is most curious. When they are in their element, they are truly formidable.
Red Talons: A Talon's keen senses and sharper instincts are amazing. No one knows the natural world as well as they do.... especially its mysteries.
Shadow Lords: Listen very carefully to what they say. Half of it will be useful, and half of it will deceive you. If you're wise, you'll pick the right half.
Silent Striders: What a marvelous job they do of exploring the spirit world. They get into all sorts of places I've only dreamt of seeing.
Silver Fangs: Play up to their need for respect. We need all the allies we can get.
Wendigo: Younger Brother, you and I are the one two I really trust. We walk different paths, yet we still follow the same sacred ways.
Stargazers: We could easily have been as the Stargazers -- but we have a brother to stand beside. The Stargazers had family here, too, but I do not think they knew that.

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