The Litany

Garou Shall Not Mate with Garou
Because of the deformities and psychoses displayed by metis werewolves (and the age-old prejudice correspondingly levied against metis), Garou are forbidden to mate with their own kind. Werewolves must instead seek mates amound either human or wolf society. This tenet embodies one of the great Garou tragedies; Moon Dancers often move audiences to tears with ballads of Garou who fell in love and could not express their passion - or who did and were torn to pieces by their outraged tribe.

Combat the Wyrm Wherever It Dwells and Whenever It Breeds
The Garou were spawned, say the bards, to fight the Wyrm, and much of their early history comprises battles between their heroes and the Wyrm's minions. Most Garou pay at least lip service to this tradtion.

Respect the Territory of Another
The practice of this portion of the Litany has changed over the last few centuries; humans have spread to the extent that urinating one's territorial marking has become impractical. Instead, a Garou visitor or immigrant must first ask permission by singing the Howl of Introduction, reciting name, sept, lineage, totem and tribe.

Accept an Honorable Surrender
The Garou realize that they are a dwindling race and that intraspecies duels commonly occur. Realizing that continuous battles to the deat would only advance the Wyrm's cause the Children of Gaia and Fianna incorporated this element into the Litany. In theory, a Garou combatant may end a duel by exposing her throat; the opponent is honor-bound to accept the surrender. The loser suffers no reduction in Renown, although the winner may certainly gain Renown.

Submission to Those of Higher Station
Garou's wolf nature practically enforces a hierarchical structure within their society. Thus the Garou have implemented the concepts of Renown and Rank. Within reason, any request by a Garou of higher Rank is to be obeyed.

The First Share of the Kill for the Greatest of Station
This portion of the Litany is much favored by the Garou elders, as well as such tribes as the Silver Fangs and Shadow Lords; it is grudgingly acquiesced to by the rest. The "kill clause" also applies to the spoils of war - thus, in theory, the prey's most powerful fetishes and the like may be garnered by the Garou with the highest renown.

Ye Shall Not Eat the Flesh of Humans
This portion of the Litany was first sung in the post-Impergium days; the Stargazers are believed to be responsible for its insertion. They noticed that Garou who routinely sonsumed human flesh often grew Wyrm-tainted; furthermore, cannibals had a hard time stalking and killing more challenging prey, such as woolly rhinos or Banes. Additionally, in these modern times, this rules serves a funtion similar to the "kosher" laws of the Hebrews; modern humans' chemical-laden diet makes their flesh bitter and unhealthy.

Respect for Those beneath Ye - All Are of Gaia
Garou tend to think of themselves in communal terms, and they thus realize that most creatures have some sort of contribution to make toward the whole. When all is said and done, Garou were created to be the world's protectors. The chivalric ideal is much in vogue amoung some septs, and Garou who display a great deal of noblesse oblige may get Renown.

The Veil Shall Not Be Lifted
This is perhaps the most inviolate portion of the Litany. There is no "reality" here - Garou are aware that both the Wyrm and the Inquisition hunt for them. Garou who disobey this edict die at the claws of their brethren.

Do Not Suffer Thy People to Tend Thy Sickness
In ancient days, an injured, infirm or aged Garou was simply torn to pieces by his peers. As time went on, however, it came to be considered more dignified to let such a Garou end his own life.

The Leader May Be Challenged at Any Time during Peace
Though Garou are known for their pack mentality, this does not mean they must slavishly obey their leaders. If no immediate threat is pending, Garou of sufficient standing may challenge another's position of leadership. A contest of some sort is usually staged. If the challenger wins, she assumes the mantle of leadership; if she loses, she must accept the leader's dictates with good grace.

The Leader May Not Be Challenged during Wartime
Certain creatures of the Wyrm are monstrous in size and power, and no one Garou can best them. Pack tactics are vital to the Garou's success against such creatures, and obedience is vital to successful pack tactics. In battle, the word of the leader is immutable law. A Garou who disobeys a superior will be destroyed as soon as circumstances permit.

Ye Shall Take No Action That Causes a Cearn to Be Violated
Like the preceding clause about the Veil, this rule is fairly ironclad. The cearns are Gaia's lifeblood and if they are destroyed, the Garou will cease to exist. Even a Garou who accidently leads an enemy to a cearn is often severely punished.

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