OverviewEditThese noble and honorable warriors encompass stunning examples of what Garou Philodox should be, and what their Ahroun should be. They see themselves as the bulwarks against the darkness, who are Gaia's most perfect creations and as such obliged to protect all who are lesser. While usually independent and unsocial as any werecat, many Khan are allied to the Beast Courts, seeing them as the best chance to save their dying race.
As regal warriors of their kind, Khan tend to be large, broad-shouldered, brawny individuals in all forms. Although males of all breeds are noticeably larger than female counterparts, both genders can be pretty impressive. While many Khan tend to be bad-tempered and aggressive, others love company of all kinds (and are powerful enough to demand respect). Weretigers bred with English men and women during the 1800s, largely out of respect for their ferocity. Thus, modern Khan are either white, Chinese, or Indian.
An honorable folk, the Khan prefer to gather lore about forgotten cities, remote enclaves, bustling metropolitan cities, and the day-to-day life of the places they live in. Recently, they have also been seeking secrets that could save their kin (in truth, such rites if learned could be a boon to all shapechangers).
The Simba may declare themselves nobility, but the weretigers fit the title. Regal hunters and warriors, these Bastet evoke the respect the lions demand. From the snowy mountains of Asia to the cities of India, the weretigers hunt the spawn of Asura and defend the last of their Kin. They are solid, dependable, smart, and strong. Their weaknesses, such as they are, come from being too trusting or too sure of themselves. Khan are straightforward and action-oriented, not clever schemers. Whatever one of these Bastet do, they do it with full-tilt vigor, whether it be fighting, romancing, hunting, studying, or even contemplating. They throw themselves into all tasks with a mighty passion, and their bodies, in any from, bristle with vitality.
Most Khan love company, but the tigers' territorial nature comes out if another Khan is around for long. But they do often enjoy companions. And who would deny a tiger's friendship? It is said that they were brought forth to battle demons, and many of them take that charge literally. Vampires, Asura, and fomori have few enemies as relentless as a tiger. Perhaps that is why the Khan have been brought to the verge of extinction: they made too many of the wrong kind of enemies.
In the mountains of Tibet, Siberia, and China, they learned subtle magicks and martial arts; many a mountain tiger can quote Taoist philosophy at length. Shape-shifters as passionate as the Khan, the idea of harmony through non-action is an appealing one (that, for them, works better in theory than in practice). Technology is a wonder that Khan strive to understand, and despite this, some become quite good with computer programming and heavy equipment operation. Still, the majority of the surviving weretigers prefer an archaic existence, favoring clothing, weapons, and behavior that is best suited from a more romantic time period.
In ages past, the tiger tribe wandered through emperors' courts and hermits' caves. They walked mountain roads with Buddhist monks and peasant girls, and chased the ghosts from temple ruins. Most preferred to remain in their powerful cat forms, but spoke with the tongues of sages. The powers of the elements burned in their paws, and they kept the hated werewolves at bay. The Silver Fangs and Shadow Lords struck pacts with the sultans, but no such deals kept the tigers and vampires apart. That hatred, which simmered for five thousand years, proved the Khan's undoing.
Once, the Khan enforced the Impergium with glee. Time, however, showed what wonders the people offered. Khan left the jungles, entered the cities, and were ensnared by their own curiosity. The glories of India, China, Tibet, and Korea called the tigers out of hiding, and the Khan were amazed. Soon Bright Kings studied philosophy, learned wu shu, guarded wizards and knelt before monks. Some traveled with the Mongols and brought back stories of the West. In time, the West came to them, and the tribe's decline began.
A warrior's rage is his curse. That curse has nearly undone the Khan four times, and the most recent was nearly the last. Four great wars between Khan kings have decimated the race:
- The Marudikleh War of Prehistory.
- The Tàg War between Mongol and Hindu tigers.
- The bloody Clouster's Purge of the 1800s.
- The near-fatal Nagda-Rackbur Feud of the 1950s that dissolved the Tiger Sultanate.
The slaughter of the true tigers hasn't helped matters. Human hunters killed them in such numbers that the great cats themselves court extinction. Between the loss of their Kinfolk and the wars with the vampires, Asura, and their own kind, the Khan are an endangered breed. To avoid further risks, most weretigers scattered themselves around the world. Moving targets are harder to kill. After the fall of the ancient sultanate, the Khan have no true leaders, so each fends for themselves.
Bastet presents Tribal weaknesses in the form of Yava for each of the nine Tribes.
- The Khan belong to the tribe of the sun; when he sleeps, they sleep. During an eclipse, all Khan slumber for one day, then awaken hungry.
- Khan cannot resist the meat of an innocent child, though it violates their laws to eat it.
- A tiger cannot resist a direct challenge. To turn one away costs them their rage for a fortnight.
Since their genesis, the Khan have enjoyed the best, bravest, and most beautiful Kinfolk in their regions. They've bred into noble lines throughout Asia and sired kittens in the healthiest tiger bloodlines. Many of those noble families have fallen to poachers, vampires, and other enemies over the last hundred years, and the Khan's fortunes are not what they used to be. Still, each weretiger has an impressive pedigree and a savage noble hearth.
The tribe's traditional cultures stress honor and obedience. The treachery of Nagda was worsened by the stain it put on the tigers' pride. While solitary in nature, most Khan establish protectorates where they defend a given family or land against corruption. The fact that "defense" occasionally includes killing certain people doesn't detract from the tribal purpose. The Khan were created to war against demons. Those who court the darkness must die.
For nearly a thousand years, the Khan enjoyed a sultanate, with one Rank Six Bon Bhat, a court of advisers (Khan and Kinfolk), and a small army of spirits, tigers, and humans to enforce their will. This system tottered during the English occupation and crumbled to pieces when the last sultan betrayed his own kind. They currently have no organization; each Khan declares their territory and makes the rules within.
Although the caliah places the tribe's beginnings in India, they range as far north as Siberia and as far east as Japan. In the last two centuries, many of them have gone west, or have sired European children. The latter branch of the family has fared better in recent years than the Asian tigers. The decimation of their tribe has hit the Khan hard, and they've fled the hunting grounds for safer quarters.