The Fianna are one of the Tribes found in Werewolf: The Apocalypse. Strongly based on Celtic and European traditions, they are known among the Garou for their passions for the pleasure of life, their skills and ferocity in battle, and as keepers of the music, stories, and lore of the Garou.
According to Tribal legends, the Fianna were born from the union of a passionate Gaillard and Danu, an aspect of Gaia which they see as the mother to both the Fianna and the Tuatha de Danaan. Other stories tell that the original Fianna were part of a Wyrm-corrupted people called the Fir Bolg. From one the Fir Bolg who repented and dedicated himself to the Morrigan, a house within the Fae folk was formed, until they left their home behind to protect their Kin. In turn, they lost their power to return to their homeland and would form the Changing Breeds as they are known. Only the Fianna, they tell, recall their origin accurately.
Early History Edit
The Fianna were once a fractured group of the smaller tribes or bands, following Stag but associated primarily with their own type of Celts (their Kinfolk). In Gaul, now known as France, were the Hounds of the Horned One, in the mountainous areas of Europe were the Skysingers, in the Balkans were the Night Claws, and, the most predominant of all, the Fierce Ones known also as the Fianna, who called the western isles of England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland home. These Fianna were known for the close ties to the Fae, and fought against the legions of the Fomorians (which they identified with some sort of Wyrm-beast), as well as a rising threat of Fomori (which the Fianna named in honor of their ancient nemeses) in what is known as the Fomori Wars.
It was during the rise of Rome that the Celtic Garou were finally unified; Ard Righ Elim ‘of the Red Claws,’ a warrior of the Fierce One’s brought all of Stag’s Children together under one banner. It was this, combined with the fact that the Fierce Ones of Erie have never lost their land (Ireland is still undisputedly Fianna), that made the Tribe known to the other Garou as the Fianna.
The Fianna have had a few good allies in their history; and yet it would seem they were destined to lose them all. The White Howlers, the Garou of Pictish descent who ruled Scotland the way the Fianna ruled Ireland. In an effort to “take the fight to the Wyrm” the Howlers marched down the Spiral Labyrinth and forever left Gaia behind as their minds were corrupted by the evil of the Wyrm’s domain. When they returned to the lands of mortals, they were twisted and malign versions of their former selves, they were the Black Spiral Dancers- the newest tool of the Wyrm.
As the Fianna mourned the loss of their brothers and sisters the White Howlers, one of their other tenuous allies turned against them. The Get of Fenris, seeing the weakness in the other Tribe, set their sights on the isles and began a war which would last for over 500 years, ending with the battle of Colntarf in 1014 when Brian led the Celtic armies in defeating the hordes of Vikings (Fenrir Kinfolk) and Irish Mercenaries. Brian Boroimhe united all the Celtic Tribes of Ireland under one ruler and became what human history knows as the first (and last) true Ard Righ of Ireland; he took the name Brian Boru (meaning Brian of the Tributes) when he became High King after his brother Mahon was murdered by Viking assassins; but he lived up to his elders brothers prowess and went on to produce one of the largest Clans still known today, the Clan O’Brian. To this day, the Fenrir have yet to succeed in claiming any of the Caerns in Ireland. A treaty with the Silver Fangs assured that no Fang would ever claim a Caern on Ireland, while the Fianna would in return accept the sovereignty of House Winter Snow in Britain.
Around the 14th century, the Fae left the world behind. As humanity encroached more and more on the world the magic that kept them alive lessened, and the Fae fled through the gateway to Arcadia in order to keep their immortal lives. The Fianna aided them in the best of their abilities, although they would retaliate against any Fae that would abuse their hospitality.
During the reign of Cromwell, the Fianna were hard pressed not to aid their Kin, as the English troops relocated many of them to Connaught. During the conflict, Tara came under assault, but the Fianna managed to defend it. When House Winter Snow lost its preeminence after disastrous defeats at the hand of Black Spiral Dancers, the Fianna returned to England and claimed multiple Caerns as their own.
Victorian Age and Modern Nights Edit
Many Fianna emigrated into the United States during the Great Potato Famine. Relations with local Pure Tribes were - and are - strained, with most Fianna taking any unprotected Caerns unapologetically. During the World Wars, the remaining Fianna fought to protect their homelands, which were often assaulted by servants of the Wyrm who used the war as cover for their activities.
In the early 20th Century Ireland split in two; the country of Ireland won its independence from the British, and Northern Ireland remains property of the Crown even now. The Kin of the Fianna in the northern most counties of Eireann now lead the vicious campaign between the Irish Republican Army and British Forces, as well as Protestant paramilitary groups still loyal to the Crown; and of course, the Garou of that area have also been dragged into the fight. At the turn of the 21st century, the Tribes said enough is enough mostly because the leader of the Brotherhood of Herne's death. When Malcom "Wyrm-mocker" Sutton died, the Brotherhood stopped playing in Kinfolk politics. The Troubles have died down as far as the Garou are concerned. Any involvement now is on a case by case basis.
This change was made (and explained in a subsection in Tribebook: Fianna Revised) due to the fact that, after the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, the writers decided that it would be tactless to trivialize the deaths that have occurred due to the very real conflict by heavily including it within the Fianna canon and "simplifying" the politics involved.
Tribal Culture Edit
Fianna tend to be among the more extroverted Garou, rarely turning down an invitation to let their hair down and indulge in their favorite pleasures. Creativity through music or craft is encouraged and prized among the Fianna, and they have created some of the most beautiful and fantastic treasures of the Garou. The Fianna are also hopeless romantics, falling for humans and Garou alike. The latter creates metis like any other forbidden werewolf encounter, but even though they were conceived through expressions of love, the Fianna are particularly hard on metis as they view their deformed bodies to be a direct reflection of their minds.
The Fianna are organized into different Septs under the leadership of a Righ. The Righ is advised by a Council of Song, usually comprised of Galliards and Theurges. Righs are independent, but usually acknowledge warleaders of more powerful septs as their betters. This spiral of leadership continues up to the most important sept at Tara, which is led by the Ard Righ, nominally the leader of the entire tribe. However, his claim doesn’t carry much weight outside Ireland anymore.
All Righs, with the approval of their Council of Song, select a Taniaste. If the Righ falls, then the Taniaste serves as her successor, if she can pass the tests of the Council of Song. This prevents conflicts within a sept during time of war. Sometimes, the Taniaste of one sept is Righ of a smaller sept.
- Sept of Luna's Forest Glory (shared with the Get of Fenris)
- Sept of the Tri-Spiral (Brugh Na Boinne near Leinster, Ireland)
- Sept of the White Water (Goat Island at Niagara Falls, shared ownership with the Uktena)
Political Culture Edit
An important part of Fianna culture is "Fostering". A young cub is put under the supervision of an older Fiann, usually a blood relative. The Fiann has to teach the cub everything he knows and how to properly conduct oneself in Garou society.
The Fianna divide themselves according to three lines: Warriors, in most cases Ahroun and Ragabash, Bards, comprised of Galliards and Ragabash; as well as Druids, who include Theurges, Philodox, Ragabash and Galliards.
- Brotherhood of Herne: Known by the Tribe as “the rapid reaction force,” this is Camp made up of predominantly Ahrouns with a few other Auspices mixed in. They started out as a means of sharing resources when the battle against the newly formed Black Spiral Dancers was at its worst. A few Ahrouns from each Sept would Moonbridge into a Caern in trouble and come to the rescue so to speak. Although the numbers aren’t the same in the 21st Century, the Brotherhood still serves the same purpose: to come to the rescue of Caerns in need.
- Children of Dire: The Children of Dire are the primary Fianna protectors and defenders of the wild places of the world. Made up entirely of Lupus Garou and Kinfolk they are sparse these days, when the influence of the Weaver has spread unhindered throughout Gaia; but in the farthest reaches of the world, where the Wyld still reigns supreme, there you will find the Children. They look after places where two legs could not traverse, and they seek out and protect the Lupus Kinfolk that are growing rarer in the world. They are much like the Whispering Rover Camp though, in that they never really have a place to call their own; and for Lupus, who feel the pull of territory more so than the other Breeds, it’s a hard life. But as many would say, someone’s gotta do it
- Grandchildren of Fionn: If there has to be one Camp that is the most famous of the Fianna, it is the Grandchildren of Fionn. Named for Fionn MacCumhail, Kinfolk and Warleader of the human Fianna; this Camp is the most popular to the younger members of the Tribe. They go out seeking adventure and battling the Wyrm wherever they can find it; they travel all around the world seeking glorious, honorable, and wise tales to tell about their exploits. Though in the end, even the mightiest warriors often leave the Camp in favor of a warm fire and a good Kinfolk at their side. Still, with the fame that this Camp often brings to any Garou who truly follows its tenants, it is easy to see why so many youngsters chose to gain their fame within the Ranks of the Grandchildren. These Garou seem to care more about fighting that the reasons why they’re doing it.
- Mother's Fundamentalists: The Fundies are the most unpopular Camp within the Fianna, not just to other Garou, but to the rest of the Tribe at large. They wish to bring back the Impergium, and it would seem as though no matter how many times they are put down by the world, the just keep coming back. They had their hand in the terrorism and wars in Northern Ireland, and dragged the Grandchildren and the Brotherhood in with them to boot; and now, with the makings of peace in Northern Ireland, it seems to be Scotland that they’ve set their claws into. New name, new face, old policies.
- Songkeepers: Of all the Camps of the Fianna, the Songkeepers have the right to claim legacy as the oldest with only the Grandchildren of Fionn who could possibly dispute that claim. They are what everyone thinks of when one speaks of the Fianna; they are the lore masters, the storytellers, and the ones who dedicate themselves to keeping the oral history alive, and not just their own Tribe, but the whole of the Garou Nation. But contrary to the way it sounds; this Camp is not just Galliards. The Theurges seek out and learn Rites, making sure that none are lost as the Apocalypse approaches; and the Philodox preserve the ancient wisdom of past Judgments. There are even Ragabash amongst the numbers of this Camp. The important thing is, the ability to learn and share that knowledge with all Garou, not just the Fianna, it is why the Camp is so well known to the other Tribes.
- Tuatha De Fionn: The Tuatha De Fionn- or Children of Finn are the Camp of the Fianna that has made it their trade to bolster good relations with the fae that are left in the world. They are the diplomats between the two groups of beings that otherwise probably would not get along. If the fae have a problem with Garou, these are the Fianna that they are like to go to; and if the Garou have a problem with the fae, well, more often then not they try to handle it themselves and these are the Fianna that have to pick up the pieces. It’s a hard job, Changelings are a tricky lot; they do not think like humans most of the time and they seem to exist in a world that is very different from the one the Garou know. But if anyone can bridge that gap, it’s the Tuatha De Fionn
- Whispering Rovers: The Whispering Rovers are a Camp made up primarily of Homid Garou, and some Metis, you’ll find very few Lupus in this group for the Lupus Garou tend towards the Children of Dire, who are very similar to the Rovers. These Garou give up house and Kin to travel the world. Much like the Silent Striders of Egypt, the Fianna of this Camp are not always well received by other Garou, primarily because they tend to show up unannounced within spitting distance of Bawns; though they seem to do better in the United States than they do in Europe. They are spies, scouts, and messengers; they are the eyes and ears of the Tribe. These Garou report back to Tara every so often to report to the Ard Righ himself and keep him filled in on the details of what everyone is doing… not just the Fianna, everyone
Religious Culture Edit
The Fianna acknowledge three virtues: Hospitality, Generosity and Bravery. All three are traits that, according to the Tribe, set them apart from the rest of the Nation.
The Fianna believe that deformities mirror some spiritual corruption. For this reason, they shun their metis and a Fiann that finds himself maimed beyond even a Garou's healing powers is avoided. Their desire to be free of flaws and to live free is mirrored in this rejection of those that are different.
Festivals of the Fianna Edit
The Fianna (both the Garou and their Kin) celebrate four major “holidays” or festivals every year. Very few multi-tribal Septs as a whole celebrate these days, though the Fianna may get together and do them privately; or if the Alpha of the Sept is Fianna these festivals may very well be Sept wide. They go by different names for different individual practices, but this is how they are commonly known by the Tribe.
Known lovingly by the Tribe as the “thank the **** it’s over” celebration, this festival honors the change of seasons from Winter into Spring. In the old days, when much of the land was undeveloped and Caerns were still surrounded by vast areas of wilderness Winters were hard for the Caerns and those that lived in them. With the coming of Imbolc signs of life return to the world; both in the plants and animals of Mother Nature, and in the birthing of new Kin into the world. Nine months after the Beltane celebration both Garou and Kinfolk give birth to new Generations of the Tribe.
Also known as May Day by many, with Spring becoming Summer the passions of the Tribe are in full deluge. The last of the old years brew is shared, and the first of the new years as well. More children and puppies are conceived at Beltane than any other time of the year as the ardor of the Tribe turns to love and mating. Beltane is also the traditional time of year for Challenge; for Righ of a Sept or for any other position within it, this is the night where they can make their challenge freely. The Fianna never feel more alive than they do at Beltane; good fights, good drinks, and good lovers. Hell, sometimes they even invite the Fair Folk along for the Celebration – the friendly Seelie ones only of course – and really, if you think the Fianna know how to throw a party, you should see it when the Satyrs get involved.
In Garou One World by Night Canon the Fey and the Fianna have a stronger relationship then even the Tribebook: Fianna describes; and so this practice is even more common.
Of all the festivals of the Fianna, Lughnassa is the most... sedate of the parties. It is a party mind you because the Fianna as a whole will take most any excuse to throw a good party; but where as the Beltane festival is full of wild passion, and Imbolc is a time of refreshing joy; the turning of the season from Summer to Autumn has a tendency to make many a Fianna sorrowful, and so the party happens to keep spirits up. This celebration is a time to make ready for the coming Winter; food and drink is shared as the Tribe talks about what it has done and what it has yet to do. Many younger packs take a more direct route to “keeping their spirits up,” and they turn Lughnassa into a Wild Hunt, taking out as many Wyrm creatures in one night as possible, honoring their Ancestors with every blow they strike against their enemies.
Samhain, All Hallows Eve, Halloween… don’t let last the name fool you, the Fianna do not celebrate Halloween like the humans do. To the Tribe, the turning of the season from Autumn into Winter is the last real chance to party hard before the snow blankets the world and Gaia’s creatures begin their slumber. Samhain is also known to the Fianna as the real feast of battle, for it is on this night that the tribe is most often called to fight. The Gauntlet thins greatly on Samhain, but the things that come through are not the type of thing any Garou in their right mind would ever want in the Realm. Story has it that once the Fianna fought against the fae on Samhain Night; standing guard over the fairy mounds of the Seelie as Unseelie forces tried to destroy them... nowadays though, it’s more likely Banes or Wyrm Spirits that they fight, or even the servants of the Weaver trying to fortify the Gauntlet.
see Category: Fianna
Version Differences Edit
- , p.64-65
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