Furies mistrust written records, seeing them as tainted from the Weaver's webs. Thus they trust solely oral records passed on from mother to daughter. This makes much of their history more myth than certainty.
Early History Edit
The legend passed down from early times says that the Black Furies were originally created by the moon goddess Luna, in the incarnation of the Greek goddess Artemis, and appointed as the protectors of the Wyld and avengers of the worst crimes against Gaia. The first pack of the Black Furies, the Medusae or Gorgons embodied the five Auspices and saw themselves as the unconscious "Hand" of Gaia. They settled the territories around the Aegean Sea. In time, this first pack became ancestors and then a collective totem for their descendants.
The Black Furies claim that they were the force behind the Impergium once they discovered that Man had learned how sex and childbirth correlated and reacted to this knowledge by subjugating Women and Children as property. Many Furies protested against the Concord and formed the proto-Bacchantes to continue their work of avenging crimes against women and children.
Much of their oral traditions is intertwined with Greek myths: The Furies believe that the Titans were the offspring of Gaia and a personification of the Weaver, and that their reign was an age of harmony and prosperity. The reign of the Twelve Olympians was seen as fall from this Golden Age corrupted by imbalance and patriarcy, but the intercession of their Tribal Totem Artemis, who walked among the Olympians, convinced the Black Furies to coexist with them. The Furies are the Erinyes, the infernal goddesses of vengeance and hounders of those who violate women, children, and the wilderness. In their stories, it was the Black Furies that hunted Orestes after he had slain his mother and seized the administration of justice in Athens after Orestes had been pardoned by Athena (a figure the Furies regard as a representation of patriarcy).
Athena also sought to subjugate Pegasus, the new spiritual patron of the Black Furies after the last of the Medusae had died and Artemis had no longer the necessary resources to continue to act as a Tribal Totem. Athene's pawn, Bellerophon, had strife with the Red Talons and this inspired the story of the clash between the Greek heroes and the Chimera. When Pegasus became old enough to rebel against him, Bellerophon gelded it, which outraged Pegasus and led it to throw him off its back over the Aegan Sea. Afterwards, Pegasus landed in a Fury Caern and proclaimed that it would never again kneel before a male, but also spoke the edict to allow the male metis of cubs Furies to be accepted into the tribe (though it would take centuries until the Furies actually consistently practiced this). The Black Furies also take credit for the destruction of Sodom described in the Bible, in retribution for the gang-rape of Lot's daughters.
Dark Ages Edit
Through much of the early Dark Ages, the Black Furies fought against Christianity and its persecution of wise women and faiths that were closer to their ideal of the Mother Goddess than their own. The rise of the Order of Our Merciful Mother, which sought to subtly nudge Christianity closer to venerating Gaia (disguised as Mary Mother of God) or at least respecting women and nature, sparked bloody strife within the Tribe until several Elders managed to mediate between the Order and the other camps. During the Crusades, the Furies moved to end what they saw as the systematic oppression of women. The Tribe isolated itself from the other Garou Tribes in this time, fearful of contracting the Flaying Plague.
The practices of the persecution of priests brought the Black Furies and their Kinfolk under the scrutiny of the Inquisition. The misogynistic worldview of the witch-hunters did much to set the Furies against them. While the Furies themselves did not suffer during the Burning Times to the same extent of more vulnera ble supernaturals, like vampires, damage was done to their Kinfolk nonetheless.
Victorian Age Edit
Multiple Furies fled from Europe when the Americas were discovered, hoping to find places untainted by Man to keep safe. Instead, they met the Pure Tribes. The Furies saw that multiple sacred sites, due to the low threat of the Wyrm, were defended by merely one or two packs and seized them for themselves. In contrast to other Tribes, the Furies were often content to use diplomacy to gain the approval of the Pure Tribes to safeguard their Caerns. Their non-aggressive style of negotiation ensured that the Black Furies were among those Tribes within the Garou Nation with amiable relations to the Pure. Other Furies tried to establish Caerns in the Amazon rainforest, but were met with heavy resistance from the local Fera that no amount of diplomacy could overcome.
As the Tribe was divided into two large territories, arguments between both factions began. The American Furies demanded more packs to hold the new Caerns and defend them against the ever-growing threat of Banes and other great threats like the Storm Eater, while the European Furies were unable to spare any warriors since the power of the Wyrm and the Weaver grew to disastrous heights in Europe following the Industrial Revolution and military conflicts.
Modern Nights Edit
The growing movement of emancipation again split the Tribe. Some Furies believe that women are still not liberated from the patriarchal yoke, while others contend that Woman has been liberated to the extent that modern woman prefer to act like men rather than actual women. Other points of contention are the issues of abortion, which some Furies condemn as the worst kind of crime a woman can commit against Gaia, while others see it merely as a symbol of woman's right of control over her own body. Ever strengthening these schisms are the influx of young Garou who see the Black Furies as merely excuses to swagger like the males of other Tribes, or an excuse to stomp on and abuse men, instead of preservers of the Mother's mysteries.
The European Furies have recently entered an alliance with Yuri Konietzko of the Shadow Lords to police the Balkans for Wyrm Taint. Multiple Furies were also involved in the battle against Baba Yaga and her servants in Russia.
The Central American and Southern North American, i.e. South of Oklahoma, Furies are experiencing a curious Wyld Plague. The Metamorphic Plague is responsible for a growing number of male non-metis in Furies at large. The disease is far more likely to affect the infected's psyche. The plague alters a fundamental principle within the person dramatically, i.e. turns a 180 degree arc on it. Personalities, memories, and even gender can change. Also around the time of the appearance of the Metamorphic Plague, Medusa, one of five Gorgons, disappeared. Medusa was the longest living and the most powerful of the Gorgons. The other four Gorgons have separated and become four distinct totems. What this means for the tribe at large remains to be seen.
The Black Furies are ruled by the Inner Calyx and the Outer Calyx, composed of the oldest and most renowned Furies of the Tribe. The Outer Calyx is comprised of thirteen members who dictate Fury orthodoxy and set tribal customs. Officially, the Outer Calyx are chosen randomly by lot every year, but some Furies point out that metis are never chosen, and one incumbent has remained in the Calyx for several consecutive years. The Inner Calyx is much more secretive and comprised of five members, each mirroring one of the original Medusae as the epitomy of their respective auspices. No one knows how the members of the Inner Calyx are chosen; however, some claim that Luna herself has a hand in it. Their identities are absolutely secret.
Camps are referred to as kukloi, Greek for "circles", among Black Furies.
- Amazons of Diana: The Amazons of Diana are a group of Furies that are more concerned with being brash, unstoppable warrior women than sacred avengers. This camp is rarely seen as a formal group, and is more a catch-all for those more dedicated to rightly proving themselves the equal of any man in combat against the Wyrm. Some within the camp see it as necessary to bring the Furies into the 21st century and away from their pointless and archaic practice of pursuing criminals, but Garou who simply hate all males tend to gravitate to the Amazons as well. Some Furies outside the camp consider Amazons to be immature, overly violent, and misandrist. (1st Edition references to "Maenads" probably are the same camp.)
- Avenging Mother: The Avenging Mother is a very small subsect that works to bring down the patriarchal structures of the Garou Nation and Tribes like the Silver Fangs by exploiting their trust.
- Bacchantes: In contrast to the Amazons, the Bacchantes are a conservative faction that pursues the Furies' original sacred purpose: avenging wrongs against women and children with fanatical zeal and merciless violence. They believe that in doing so, they fight the Wyrm's hold over humanity and avenge Gaia herself.
- Freebooters: The Freebooters' mission is to find new Wyld places that can be consecrated to Gaia and opened as caerns. The kuklos is shrinking because there are so few Wyld places left in the world. A fraction of Freebooters believe they need to find a new body for Gaia elsewhere in the Umbra, somewhere the Wyrm has not yet found.
- Moon-Daughter: Moon-Daughters seek to spread Gaia's worship through New Age neo-paganism, and they push themselves to keep Gaia's spirit alive through change, embodying the force of the Wyld as best they can. Their ritual methods change as quickly as New Age fashions change.
- Order of Our Merciful Mother: The Order of Our Merciful Mother is among the most derided kuklos within the Tribe. Acting subtly to bring others' dogma closer to a version that respects Gaia and women, the Order works to reform human society and Christianity by utilizing their own tools against them. They take credit for the rising popularity of the Virgin Mary.
- Sisterhood: The Sisterhood began as a network to protect Kinfolk, women, and Garou from the Inquisition and get them to safety. Today they manage the various Kinfolk networks of the Tribe, offering succor to them and informing other Tribe members when a Kinfolk has been wronged by a man's hands. They are also adept at gathering resources for the Tribe to use.
- Temple of Artemis: The Temple of Artemis is among the oldest kukloi, and one of the most conservative. They counsel a withdrawal from the Garou Nation, and rededicating the Furies to their original purpose as the avengers of women. They also act as judges to Furies who have broken tribal customs.
- Sept of Artemis
- Sept of the Black Pegasus
- Blessed Home Caern (Congo, Africa)
- Blood of the Sea Sept (Black Sea, Russia)
- Sept of the Bloodied Stair (Kom ash-Shuqqafa catacombs, Alexandria, Egypt)
- Sept of Bygone Visions (Ecube, Greece)
- Dark River Caern (Congo, Africa)
- Sept of the Moon's Blessing (Cumberland Falls, Appalachia, United States)
Tribal Culture Edit
While many outsiders claim them to be the ultimate feminists and men-hating Amazons, the Black Furies think of themselves as providing opportunities to females who would have otherwise been oppressed. Instead of working through intimidation, the Furies are usually content to help women and children through persuasion and compromise. To those who offend them or hurt their charges, however, the Furies are merciless avengers and punishers of whatever they consider crimes. The personal views of each Fury vary greatly from member to member; however honor, their connection to the Wyld, and opposition to the Weaver tend to be constants for all members.
While the Black Furies present the face of a women-only club, they count a surprising number of male metis among their ranks. In spite of legends that say Black Furies only give birth to females, male cubs are born to Furies just as often as female cubs. They ceremonially sacrificed all male cubs in the past. Now, however, most are given to other tribes, while the rest are secretly sacrificed. Most often, male homid and lupus cubs are given to the Children of Gaia.
Furies can either be born into the tribe or recruited from other tribes, particularly ones that show little respect to women such as the Get of Fenris. In part, the exchange of their newborn male cubs allows them to take away female cubs that are in dangerous circumstances.
Political Culture Edit
The Black Furies divide their roles and spiritual positions within the Tribe according to their age. Young Furies are considered "Maidens", as long as they have not birthed a child. The Black Furies believe that breeding is a sacred duty and gift, and carefully choose the fathers of their children. After that event, they are regarded as "Mothers". When a mother becomes too old to bear children, they are referred to as "Crones". Metis do not count for any of these roles.
The Black Furies have added several additional tenets to the Litany: "Suffer no abuse of Woman", "Keep the Wyld Places Pure", "Train the Weak, Protect the Helpless", and "Remember your parents". The last is a reminder that fatherhood and fathers are just as important as motherhood and mothers, and that Gaia demands equality between the sexes, not a matriarchy.
Although all Furies tend to operate with similar methods, there are lines of division in how much men are to be shunned. All Furies, no matter their view, will avenge a crime against a female. Older Furies tend to regard men more lowly than others in their tribe, viewing them as little more than oppressors and troublemakers. Despite this, they are among those Furies that are the first to point out that Man is half of the equation and should not be pushed away or denied. Younger Furies tend to have more liberal views regarding Garou in general and men in particular, and many are willing to work with males for the benefit of everyone; but there are several who have taken up rather misandric views and begin to lose themselves to their own Rage. These divisions are even present in the Gorgons, ranging from the man-hating Medusa and Isthmene to the egalitarian Helena.
Religious Culture Edit
As females, the Black Furies view themselves as having a closer connection with the Earth mother Gaia than any males. In exchange for their Gifts, private moots are held regularly as recognitions of these Gifts, and also to acknowledge the Tribe as a whole. Some Rites are open to Kinfolk and humans, but others, particularly the physically and emotionally exhausting Ulaka magelis, are exclusively for Black Furies. Some Moots also exclude male metis Furies.
While the main focus of veneration of the Black Furies is directed to Gaia and Luna (always in three aspects, Maiden, Mother and Crone, respectively), they recognize the power of the Triptych (their name for the Triat). To them, the Triat are the Moirai, with the Wyld personified as Klotho, who spins the thread; the Weaver (whom the Furies refer to as the "Namer") personified as Lachesis, who measures the thread; and the Wyrm as Atropos, who cuts the thread. The chief enemy of the Tribe is considered an entity known as the "Patriarch". Some Furies equate the Patriarch with the Wyrm, others with the Weaver, and some even with the Abrahamic God. They consider it not an embodiment of fatherhood or manhood in general, but an incarnation of sexism and the abuse and oppression of women. In contrast, the Furies revere the Wyld as a force of femininity, of instinct instead of the intellectual abstractions of the Weaver (and regarded as masculine by the Tribe). The Wyld is the force that keeps the cycles of Gaia and Luna moving and complements them.
Individual Black FuriesEdit
Version Differences Edit
- ↑ Tribebook: Black Furies, p.24
- , p.41-44
- , p.56-57
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