The Old Man

Last Update:  07 July 2005

A deep calm pervades this area of the forest.  The small clearing you are in has been used by men and animals alike.  Footprints and paw prints lay side by side in the dirt.  A bowl of ointment has been left on one side of the clearing, apparently for public use.  Out of the corner of your eye, you notice a small parchment posted on a tree, listing the <PACKS>. Your keen eyesight notices a small hole behind a stump.  The hole looks small enough for you to wriggle into it.

The old man sits here, waiting for people to <ASK> him about the garou. His white beard has been pushed to the side, and he makes odd grunting noises.  He appears to be meditating.

Things to ask the Old Man about

garou    packs         leader       adopt     keeper

bond     joining       council      lone      cave

gaea     philosophy    magic        spirit    alcohol

wolf     man           elements     powers    masule

eurus    spiritual     summon       communicate

skills   eat           scent        lunge     harry

blend    rage          transform


The old man chuckles slightly.

He says: So you want to know about the Garou, do ya?  You came to the right place ya know.  Not too many people even know we exist.  Those that guess our existance call us werewolves.  Fear and hatred consume them, so they do not see what is obvious.  But you see, don't you?   Of course you do!  If you didn't, you would not be here, speaking with an old man. 

The old man smiles gently.

He says: So, what do you want to know about us?  We're quite the diversified bunch, ya know.  We've got many <PACKS> within our domain.  Or, perhaps you'd like to know about our <POWERS>.  We've got quite a few.  Or perhaps you're more interested in talking about <PHILOSOPHY>.  The Garou, like the Holy Men of Nature, strive to protect the natural balance given to us by <GAEA>.

The old man coughs fitfully.

After he recovers, he smiles warmly at you.

He says: My apologies.  Where were we?  Oh yes, feel free to [ASK] me about anything.  If I can answer you, I shall. 

The old man grins evilly at you.

He says: So you want to be a Leader, huh?  Well, don't you worry; you'll be a Leader before ya know it.  When you get powerful enough, it is tradition to leave the Pack to start another one.  Then, my friend, it's your turn to be Leader.

He says: A Leader can <ADOPT> packless Garou into his or her pack.  She can also <DRIVE> members out and <APPOINT> a pack <KEEPER>.

The old man sighs.

He says: I only hope that you can wisely lead your Pack.  You will be in charge of not only yourself, but of your Pack.  Not only that, but you will be part of the <COUNCIL>.  This duty should not be underestimated.

With another sigh, he returns to his meditation.

He says: To join a pack is a privilege.  A new Garou will not start in one unless they are powerful enough to start their own.  Being a <LONE> wolf is a natural period for a Garou.  But when you feel the need to join a pack you must find a pack <LEADER> or <KEEPER> to allow in.  Don't always try for the big packs though as they must sacrifice more gold to <GAEA> in order to advance.

He says: I was once a pack Keeper.  A Keeper is both pack guardian and the acting Leader when the true Leader is absent.  The Keeper is <APPOINT>ed by the Leader and can then also <ADOPT> packless Garou into the pack or <DRIVE> members out.

He grins then continues:  The Keeper is also allowed in <COUNCIL>, both to voice his or her own option and to speak for a missing Leader.  Careful though.  A Keeper that speaks out of place will soon find herself packless or worse.

The old man points to the ointment bowl.

He says: To become one of the Garou, all you need to do is apply the ointment.  The Spirit of the Wolf will help you from there.  This is an important decision, and should not be made lightly, for the life of the Garou is not like the life of the others.   Much is gained and lost in the process.

He says: You will not start in a pack, but will be a <LONE> wolf.  You must ask for a pack <LEADER> or <KEEPER> to <ADOPT> you in.

The old man continues:  Of great importance is the <BOND> of a pack.

He then returns to his meditation.

The old man stands straight:

As the danger to <GAEA> increases, the packs have become more selective.  A Garou can no longer be tainted by lure of magic and power.  Thus, a Garou can no longer join other guilds except those that also fight for the same cause.  A pack can still bond with some other guilds and adopt members, but once the ointment is applied the path is choosen.

The old man sits back down.

The old man says: The Council is made up of all the Leaders of all the Packs.  There is a special Council room in the <CAVE>, dedicated for just this purpose. 

He points at himself.

Hesays: I used to take part in the debates myself, before I became too old to effectively intimidate my peers.

The old man grins.

He says: The stories I could tell you.

He sighs wistfully.

He says: No matter.  What's important for you to know, is that the Council's decision on matters is final.  Only the Diety known as Malcolm can override it.  Great fights have occurred over silly issues; it is up to the Council to make sure that such destructive splits do not occur again.

He smiles.

The old man looks tired.

He says: A lone wolf is simple a packless Garou.  They may be this way because they are young and no one has <ADOPT>ed them in a pack.  Or, like many, they prefer the solo life.  Once in a pack, a Garou can always leave and become lone again.

The old man says: The Cave, eh?  Heh heh, yes, is a mystery.  Only the Garou can see it.  Only the Garou enter it.

He points towards a stump.

He says: Odd.  I can physically show a non-Garou right where it is, and still, he cannot see it.  Well, no matter.  It is all the better for us, I suppose. 

He smiles widely.

He says: The surprises of the Cave are not only on the outside.  Inside, the stone has been carved and polished, so that it shines in the dimmest  light.  Walls and Blocks are used as Bulletin Boards, so that the many members can speak with each other, even if they never see each other.  There's even a place inside, where only the Garou may dine.  Even as a wolf.

He points at himself.

He says: I go there myself sometimes, when times are slow.

He thinks for a moment.

The old man says: You'll have to go in to see for yourself.  There is no more I can tell you from here.

He returns to his meditation. 

The old man spreads his arms wide.

He says: Gaea is around us, in us, above us, below us.  She keeps us sane, and she keeps us healthy.  We came from Gaea, and when we die, we shall return.  Hers is the unending cycle of life.  She makes the wind cool and the sun warm.  Nothing is beyond her, but us.  Her body is the very <ELEMENTS>.  Our howls reflect her song.   We, as the sentient life here on this planet, must defend her from ourselves.  We cannot afford to destroy our cradle, no more than the bird can destroy his nest, or the baby its womb.  This is our task then: to protect Gaea from the Evil and the Corrupt.

He smiles warmly.

He says: This is important to me.  Take this to heart; without Gaea, we are like dust.

With that, he turns back to his meditation.

The old man rubs his hands together.

He says: Philosophy, philosophy, philosophy.  Where to begin?  Where to end?  These are questions that also belong under Philosophy.

The old man thinks for a moment.

He says: I'll just tell ya the basics.  What more is to tell, right?  We are the Garou, different by our very nature.  We are split between two worlds, and have little desire of reconciliation.  We are the <WOLF> and the <MAN>, striving to protect <GAEA> at all costs. 

He pauses for a moment.

He continues: <MAGIC> is corrupt and unclean.  Only the <SPIRIT> is truly clean.  We must listen to our Spirit in all we do.  Even as the Wolf, we are guided by our Spirit.  Do not fall prey to the evil influences of the Magic Users, or the Undead.  They strive to bend you to their evil purposes.  And lastly, the individual philosophies of the Packs are to be adhered to, without exception.

He takes a deep breath.

He turns to you and says: Magic?  Is that what you're interested in?

He turns away in disgust.

He says: I'll tell you about Magic.

He spits on the ground.

He says: It destroys.  Every spell takes away from Gaea, and does not return.  Burning and destruction; that is all the users of Magic know.  They bind creatures to their will, and force them to do their evil bidding.  It is magic that keeps the undead from their rightful graves.  We must destroy these evils, or at least be wary of them.  Be careful, for they desire nothing but power and destruction!

He points his finger at you.

He says: Do you do magic?  Are you the servant of evil?  Do you drink the water of evil?  If you do, then beware, for the path is short, and the way is narrow.  Death and doom are all that await the servants of evil!

He turns away from you.

He says: Now this is a subject I love to talk about.  The Spirit of the <WOLF>.  We are not totally <MAN> anymore.  We have sworn allegiance to the Spirit of the Wolf, and accepted the pledge to protect <GAEA> at all costs.  Do not forget this, for it is the cornerstone of our <PHILOSOPHY>.  Beware the evils of <ALCOHOL> and <MAGIC>.  They strip you of your Spirit and leave you with but a shell.

The old man grunts.

He says: If you do not understand the Spirit, then you will never succeed in understanding yourself.  This is the truth, and the only way of full understanding.

He turns back toward his meditation.

The old man says: I was an alcoholic once.  I do not know why.  Or even how it began.  But I remember this: my life was led from day to day, moment to moment.  All thoughts were on how  to get the next drink.  I didn't even careif it was good.  This was my low point in life. 

He pauses for a moment, staring at the sky.

He continues: Were in it not for the kindly tendings of my first Leader, I would still be living in the bottom of bottles.  Keep away from Alcohol; it will poison and destroy you.

The old man says: Ah, the Wolf part of us is the strong part of us.  It is the side we use to exact Justice on those who destroy Gaea.  The power of the wolf is determined by a Garou's <MASULE>.

He smiles.

The old man points to you and says: Do not underestimate that part of us.

He grins.

He says: As human, we may not have the strongest attacks, but we can think.  And talk.  And our arms can carry.  We can purposely move towards saving Gaea, instead of reacting like an animal.  We can call for others, or direct our comrades.  This part of us can not be underestimated.

He says: The man form is more in touch with one's <EURUS> and the powers gained through the <SPIRITUAL> path.

He returns to his meditation.

The old man looks up.

He says:  As we follow <GAEA>, so do we draw our power from the elements of the Earth.  The flaming Chauf, the blowing Bise, the solid Terre, and the flowing Seros.  These are the bases and source of all things.  For the Garou, our feral strength comes from Chauf and Terre to make the <MASULE>.  While our power of spirit comes from Bise and Seros to make the inner <EURUS>.

He says: This may take a bit, so relax for a moment.

He begins to chant and sudden realization hits his face. 

He says: Much better.  Now let's see:  Well we can split the powers up into three distinct groups: The ones our <WOLF> side can use, the one out <MAN> side can use, and the ones that both sides can use.  Let's see now...

He thinks for a moment.

He says: As a human, we can talk freely, and take as much as we can carry.  We can carry weapons and armor to protect ourselves, but only those that Gaea provides.  We can <SUMMON> wolves to help protect us, and and <COMMUNICATE> with our fellow pack members.  There is also a <SPIRITUAL> path that brings many sacred abilities.

He says: As a wolf, we have natural fighting <SKILLS>.  We resist <MAGIC> without even thinking.  We cannot carry or speak well, but we can destroy the foes of <GAEA> with ease.  We can find the <SCENT> of prey, and <EAT> the corpses of our fallen enemies to regain strength.  We can <LUNGE> at our opponents and tear them apart!  We can also <HARRY> our prey or <RAGE> against them. 

The old man smiles.

The old man growls.

He says:  As the Garou is both wolf and man, we are also Masule and <EURUS>.  Masule comes from the <ELEMENTS> of Chauf and Terre.  It is the source of our feral strength and determines our fighting ability as a wolf.  It is the path of Garou warriors.

The old man thinks deeply.

He starts to speak then stops.  Then starts...

He says:  Eurus is hard to explain.  It is more than wisdom or knowlege.  It is an inner awareness of one's own spirit.  The power of Eurus comes from the <ELEMENTS> of Bise and Seros.  For the Garou, it is the compliment and opposite of <MASULE>.  A Garou warrior needs little Eurus, but to follow the <SPIRITUAL> path, much is required.

The old man looks at you.

He says:  There are many who think the Garou nothing but fierce warriors.  But that is only half, for we are far more.

The old man looks away.

He says:  Beyond the power of the wolf is the inner power of the spirit.  We call this <EURUS> and consider it sacred and powerful.  A Garou that chooses to follow this path is always treated with respect.  Many powerful rites and rituals allow these choosen to do anything from summon the winds to enter a mystical dream world.  Like most warriors, I have only learned the most basic rites as there are many sacrifices to pursue this role.

The old man smiles.

He says: It takes time to master the art of calling the <WOLF> to our side, but once mastered, the power is quite useful.  Even after we <TRANSFORM>, they stay by our side to fight the enemies of <GAEA>.  After time, though, they revert back to their animal instincts and run back to the wild.

He smiles again.

The old man sighs.

He says: Wolves are masters of communication.  At least for animals.  Their body language and howls can carry quite a bit of information.  Butnot nearly as much as human speech.  Put simply, we cannot communicate as well as wolves.  Wolves can still speak but only another Garou or maybe a Druid can understand their jumbled language.

The old man smiles.

He continues: Of course, when we're human, we can tell our Pack members almost anything through our <SPIRIT>.  We also know where our comrades are at any time.  Not too shabby, eh?

He grins, and returns to his meditation.

The old man grins widely.

He says: Let me give you a brief list of our skills.  We can <SCENT>, <HARRY>, <BLEND>, resist <MAGIC>, <LUNGE>, <EAT>, and have natural AC and WC.  This is what is nice for me.

He stretches.

He says: Even at my old age, the natural weapons and armor kick butt.  And it's nice not having to lug around a heavy weapon.  I don't think I could do it at my age.

He smiles.

He says: Even with the natural Healing, I won't live forever, but at leastI can take a few more Undead with me.

He winks at you.

The old man licks his lips.

He says: Yeah, nothing like a freshly killed steak!

He grins evilly.

He says: Seriously, eating gives Garou some of their power back.  As <WOLF>, we do not regenerate our <SPIRIT>.  Our healing does continue to rise quickly, but our Spirit stands still.  Thus, we need to eat. The more powerful the foe, the better we feel after consuming its corpse; this is the wish of <GAEA>. 

He grins again.

The old man lifts his heads and inhales deeply.

He says:  A wolf can tell much from the odors in the air and on the ground.  In that form, a Garou can find the scent of nearby prey.  With experience, the scent path can be quite long.  Even as a human, a Garou can smell into an adjoining area to determine what is there.

The old man says: Lunge is just one of our <SKILLS>.  It is one of the maneuvers that allows us to tear our opponents apart.  Although we expose ourselves to enemies in this attack, we also do incredible damage when we strike. 

He pounds his fist into his other palm.

He grins.

He says: And then we squash them like grapes.

The old man says: Harry is another one of our <SKILLS>.  It is a defensive maneuver consisting of circling and making feinting attacks.  It is most useful to draw the enemy into attacking you while your allies do the damage.

The old man says: Good tactic in pack hunting.

The old man suddenly seems to disappear.

Then he speaks, and you can see him once more.

He says: Blending in is an old technique.  We all have done it at one time or another.  However, Gaea helps us along, and helps us disappear into the surroundings.  It's not perfect, and the less experienced of us can only do it right half the time.  To make things even more disturbing, once we act, or do anything, except look around, we are visible.  On one hand, it's a great ability, but it is only useful in defense.

The old man lifts back his head, but then coughs loudly.

He says:  The raging howl is one of our most difficult <SKILLS>.  The very sound of it will paralyse our foes making it impossible for them to fight back.  It is an outlet for all one's feral rage, but is not as difficult as the slamming attack of our greatest warriors.

The old man grins evilly.

He says: Well well well.  It is certainly the most distinctive power we have.  It takes both time and willpower to transform from <MAN> to <WOLF> and back.  It can prove difficult to quickly move between your forms.  But it is not impossible.  While you are transforming, you are completely vulnerable, so be careful.  Only the most brave or stupid will be caught by an enemy while transforming.

He smiles at you, and returns to his meditations.