The Black Furies are one of the Tribes found in Werewolf: The Apocalypse. The matriarchs of the Garou, the Black Furies only accept women as members (save a few male Metis), and are known for their honor, wisdom, pride, and fierce skills in battle.
Furies mistrust written records, seeing them as tainted from the Weaver's webs. In turn, they trust solely oral records passed on from mother to daughter. This makes a lot of their history more myth than truth.
Early History Edit
The legend passed down from early times says that the Black Furies were originally gathered by the moon goddess Luna, in the incarnation of the Greek goddess Artemis, and appointed as the protectors of the Wyld. The first pack of the Black Furies, the Medusae, embodied the five Auspices and saw themselves as the unconscious "Hand" of Gaia. They settled the territories around the Aegan Sea.
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 used this knowledge to subjugate Women and Children as property. Many Furies protested against the Concord and formed the proto-Bacchantes to continue their work.
Much of their oral traditions is intertwined with Greek mythology: The Furies believe that the Titans of myth are 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, but the intercession of their Tribal Totem Artemis, who walked among the Olympians, convinced the Black Furies to coexist with them. The Furies saw (and continue to see) themselves as the Erinyes, the infernal goddesses of vengeance and hounders of those who transgress. In their stories, it were Black Furies that hunted Orestes after he had slain his mother and who continued to seize the administration of justice in Athens after Orestes had been pardoned by Athena (a figure that is regarded as a counterpart to Artemis). Athena also sought to subjugate Pegasus, the new 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. Her pawn, Bellerophon, had strife with the Red Talons and this inspired the story of the clash between the greek heros and the chimera. When Pegasus became old enough to rebel against him, Bellerophon gelded it, which outraged Pegasus and lead 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 Metis of Furies to be accepted into the tribe (though it would take centuries until the Furies actually consistently practiced it). The Black Furies also take credit for the destruction of Sodom described in the Bible.
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 nudge Christianity closer to a religion that venerated Gaia, sparked bloody strife within the Tribe until several Elders managed to mediate between the two groups. During the crusades, the Furies moved to end what they saw as the systematic oppression of women. The tribe isolated itself from the other 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 did not suffer during the Burning Times to the same extent of other supernaturals, like vampires, the damage was done 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, the 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 approvement 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 men's yoke, while others consider 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 their 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, 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 plague called the Metamorphic Plague is responsible for the growing number of Male non-Metis born to the Furies at large. The plague also affects the psyche of the person infected and is a far more likely outcome. The plague alters a fundamental principle within the person dramatically, i.e. turns a 180 degree arc on it. Also around the time of the appearance of the Metamorphic Plague, Medusa, one of the Gorgons, a pack of Garou who became the first Black Furies and are now totems, disappeared. Medusa was the longest living and the most powerful. 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 members that are chosen by chance (officially) and consist of thirteen members. These thirteen dictate Fury orthodoxy and set tribal customs. The Inner Calyx is much more secretive and comprised of five members, each mirroring one of the original Medusae. No one knows how the members of the Inner Calyx are chosen, some speculate that Luna herself has a hand in it.
Camps are referred to as kukloi, or "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 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 21th century and away from their pointless and archaic practice of pursuing criminals.
- Avenging Mother: The Avenging Mother is a very small subsect that works to bring the patriarchical structures of the Garou Nation and Tribes like the Silver Fangs down by exploiting their trust.
- Bacchantes: In contrast, the Bacchantes are a faction that pursues the purpose of avenging wrongs against women with fanatical zeal. They believe that in doing so, they fight the hold of the Wyrm over humanity.
- Freebooters: The Freebooters' mission is to find new Wyld places that can be consecrated to Gaia and made into caerns. The kuklos is shrinking because there are so few Wyld places 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 words through New Age paganism, and they push themselves to keep Gaia's spirit alive through change, embodying the force of the Wyld as best they can.
- Order of Our Merciful Mother: The Order of Our Merciful Mother is among the most derided kukloi within the Tribe. Acting subtle to bring dogma closer to a version that respects Gaia, the Order works to reform mortal society by utilizing their own tools against them.
- Sisterhood: The Sisterhood manages the various Kinfolk networks of the Tribe, offering succor to them and informing other Tribe members when a Kinfolk has been wronged by 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. 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 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 work through persuasion and compromise. The personal views of each Fury vary greatly from member to member; however, honor and their connection to the Wyld 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 occasionally born to a Fury. In past times they were ceremonally sacrificed, now however a few are given to other tribes, while the rest are secretly sacrified.
Furies can either be born into the tribe or recruited from other tribes, particularly ones that show little respect to women. 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 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".
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".
Although 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, viewing them as little more than tricksters and troublemakers; but are also among those Furies that are the first to point out that Man is half of the equation and should not be pushed away. 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.
Religious Culture Edit
As females, the Black Furies view themselves as having a closer connection with the Earth mother Gaia than other tribes. 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.
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 fulfills the role of the Moirai, with the Wyld personifying Klotho, who spins the thread; the Weaver (whom the Furies refer to as the "Namer") personifying Lachesis, who measures the thread; and the Wyrm as Atropos, who cuts the thread. The chief enemy of the Tribe is regarded as 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. In contrast, the Furies revere the Wyld as a force of femininity, of instinctual thought instead of intellectual abstractions that are 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.
- ↑ Tribebook: Black Furies, p.24
- , p.41-44
- , p.56-57
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