Werewolf The Eater Of Names
- 1 Werewolf: the Forsaken - The Eater of Names
- 1.1 Hong Kong
- 1.2 The Blossom Society Pack
- 1.3 Cherry Gardens Market
- 1.4 Spirits and their Ilk
- 1.5 The Five Great Packs
- 1.6 Other Packs
- 1.7 Other Groups and Entities
- 1.8 Other Locations
- 1.9 Beyond Hong Kong
- 1.10 New Material
Werewolf: the Forsaken - The Eater of Names
A Werewolf: the Forsaken game set in Hong Kong.
Werewolf Oddities of Hong Kong
- Something steals the First Change of the majority of nusuzul. At the moment of the Change, they have their newfound nature torn out of them by an unknown force, leaving them as normal humans suffering a psychotic break – even former Wolf-Blooded have their inheritance stripped from them at this moment.
- The territories of Hong Kong are a complete patchwork between the different factions. There are no solid battle lines between Pure and Forsaken, and the vertical nature of the urban landscape means that even a small scrap of land can be more than enough to patrol for most packs. The Shadow reflection of the city sees a spiritual ecosystem that is just as confused and turbulent.
- Due to the sheer population density and the patchwork nature of the territories, Hong Kong packs have strong traditions about hospitality and allowances for crossing another pack's turf – even between Pure and Forsaken.
- There are no Protectorates in Hong Kong. The closest to any sort of formal structure are the Five Great Packs – the Wen, Hou, Peng, Tang and Liao, formed from amongst the Uratha of the mortal clans of the area in 1899. The Great Packs are probably the largest and most influential of the city, but with respect comes responsibility, and they are expected to provide aid and guidance to other werewolves. These expectations, again, cross factional lines.
- Tribes and allegiances to Pure and Forsaken are important, but Hong Kong also plays host to a number of strange packs allied to neither faction, packs amongst foreign immigrant populations with odd practices and traditions, and a focus on Lodges. The sheer density of the city can make the patchwork of territories confusing and Tribes rarely organise on a wide scale, but Lodge connections matter and underpin much of the social fabric of Hong Kong.
- With so much movement in and out of Hong Kong, its transitional position in the world (geographically, politically and symbolically) and its possession of so many layers and shadows that even the werewolves cannot plumb them all, the city is a hotbed for weirdness and occult conspiracies. Yao guai and jiang shi slither through the darkness, hungry ghosts and watery shades prowl at the fringes, and now the forces of the dreaded Cull are preparing to assault the borders of the territory – something that has both Pure and Forsaken alike on edge.
- Local Uratha lore has it that, in some past age, Hong Kong was the site of a meeting between the Nine Dragons – held to be the eight Firstborn of the Pure and the Forsaken, and a last figure of disputed nature. Some believe it was one of the first Chinese emperors. It was this gathering of beings of incredible power that, it is claimed, is responsible for the strong currents of Essence that pour through the region's Shadow even today.
- The chenghuanshen, the city-spirit of Hong Kong, definitely exists – but its nature is not entirely clear. It may actually be a consciousness split across a number of powerful urban spirits, and seems quite capable of fighting with itself as much as any other spirit nobles of the region. Furthermore, it has a long-running feud with the spirits of the mountains and the peaks.
The Blossom Society Pack
History is important to the packs of Hong Kong, although knowledge of the past of the Forsaken is usually rather patchy:
- Most Kowloon Forsaken hark back to the Salt Eaters, a pack that controlled much of the area in the middle of the second millenium.
- In the late 1800s, the third bubonic plague wracked China; as a result the Yellow-Feathered Owls, a pack of Bone Shadows and Hunters in Darkness, controlled what is now Sham Shui Po.
- In 1899, territorial unrest with the five Chinese clans in the area resulted in the creation of the Five Great Packs; the original Cherry Gardens themselves were held by a daughter pack of the Wen, the White Jade pack.
- After the Japanese occupation, the predecessors of the Blossom Society took over the area. They were not opposed in doing so; the sheer damage done by the occupation had resulted in the deportation or deaths of most of the White Jade and their extended pack.
Of the pack's previous Uratha, the existing pack members may know of the following:
- 'Red Shroud' – Bone Shadow, formed pack in aftermath of Japanese occupation – famous for dealing with a terrifying plague of restless ghosts and widely venerated by Uratha across Hong Kong for her accomplishments.
- Wen Liang – Iron Master, powerful figure amongst the packs in the 60's and 70's, infamous for his involvement in the 1967 riots and his killing of a number of communist ringleaders. A name both respected and feared.
- Melissa Tsang – Blood Talon, took control of the Cherry Garden Night Market in the 80s by driving out the Sung-Ti, a vicious yao guai and its Fire-Touched Pure followers.
The recent losses the pack has suffered are:
- James 'Steeljaw Trap' Liu – Hunter in Darkness Cahalith and member of the Lodge of Seven Venoms. Died five years ago fighting beshilu in the typhoon shelter; he sank a floating crane raft infested with Rat Hosts while he was still onboard.
- Gwok Mei – Bone Shadow Rahu and member of the Lodge of Death. Left two years ago in response to the Lodge calling a pilgrimage against the Cull in northern China. She has not been heard from since.
- Mark Callahan-Cheung – Iron Master shaman, local landlord and member of the Yau Tsim Mong district council. Died under strange circumstances one month before the game's beginning, which the pack had difficulties investigating due to Mark's public position as a councilman and the police and press interest in the case.
The totem of the pack is the Eight Lanterns Minister, spirit of the Cherry Gardens Night Market. The minister appears in the form of a set of grandiose mandarin ministerial garb, threaded with lines of neon and jangling talismans of commerce, wrapped around a withered but strong frame. Its face is concealed behind a veil, but seems to emanate a gentle glow. Lanterns hang from a frame of lacquered wood that floats behind its shoulders; the colours of the lanterns often indicate the spirit's mood.
The Eight Lanterns Minister has served the pack as totem since the 1980s, its fortunes waxing and waning over that time. It is devious, smart and opportunistic. The Minister is a very lowly spirit noble, with a paltry court of lesser spirits of the market at its beck and call; it in turn is the vassal of the spirit noble of Temple Street Night Market, which has caused some friction with the Wen over the years.
- Red Lantern Widow, Bone Shadow Elodoth, formerly wife of an up and coming politician until she killed him during her First Change. She uses his skull as a focus in her rites.
- Lucky Rat, Hunter in Darkness Rahu, whose pest control company gives him an overwatch on Beshilu activity in the area. Possesses some anger issues.
- Wang Lee, Bone Shadow Irraka, the youngest of the pack members and something of a street rat. Son of Wang Jing.
- Lao Min, newly-Changed Ithaeur, straight-A's university student whose First Change was triggered by a manifestation of Death Wolf. Despite appearing as an embodiment of that Firstborn, she's leaning towards Red Wolf's Tribe.
- Zhongli Hu – 'Auntie' Hu is an elderly fortune-teller and seller of offerings and incense in the night market. She is also a Wolf-Blooded with the Piercing Eyes Tell. Hu was a little girl when Red Shroud ran these streets, claims to have been Wen Liang's mistress, and has certainly lived a storied life.
- Ko Lei runs the market's security, a sturdy man with a pock-marked face and a quick temper. Lei is a Wolf-Blooded with the Wolf's Meat Tell. He used to be a member of the 14K triad.
- Wang Jing – She owns and runs the Hive Bar, just outside the night market. She has the Skinner Tell, and has obviously been mentally scarred by some of what she has seen and done. The older pack members would only reference her past activities obliquely and refuse to give details. Some tension between her and her son.
- Zhao Bo – Widow's sister, who took a very different career path; she is a low-ranking financial auditor in Hong Kong's financial investigative body. Plagued by what she thought were psychiatric problems through her life, it was only since her sister Changed that she discovered the truth – the voices in her head were spirits. She is a Wolf-Blooded with the Waystone Tell.
- The exterminators of Yellow Kowloon Pest Control are the employees and associates of Arran's character. Working out of an office and storehouse in the territory, they're perhaps the most 'in the know' of all the humans about the supernatural, and they'd probably be hunters if they hadn't been brought under the wing of the pack. The company was briefly used as a front by a Rat Host, which is what drew the pack's attention.
- Several of the market's security guards, Ko Lei's colleagues, are pack members. They know enough to understand that the pack have their back in keeping control of the Night Market, and they like to hang out with pack members to absorb some of the respect and fear that the werewolves are accorded.
- A half-dozen of the stall vendors are, like the security guards, pack members; they form the Mutual Activity Committee of the market, and the other shopkeepers know they're an 'inner circle' separate from the actual management (who are not pack members).
- Zhongli Zhuang, or 'Uncle' Zhuang, is an old former Sun Yee On triad member and the husband of Auntie Hu. Despite his age, he still possesses a heavy frame; these days he sells occult tat and the like alongside his wife, but he also keeps an eye on the black market dealers in the area for the pack.
- Yi Kun, owner of the Yi Healthy Wu Kwan (martial club), is a martial artist trainer who knows enough about the Uratha to understand their role as guardians of the area; he's had a few unpleasant run-ins over the years.
- Michael Jin – a former manager of the Night Market, Michael died in the early 2000s in a horrific murder; a business rival with schemes on the property's future arranged for a construction 'accident' when a large block of concrete fell from scaffolding onto the man. Mister Jin was a client of the pack at the time, who were surprised by the lucidity his ghost retained after death. Michael is odd, fussy and obsessive, the broken remains of a personality clinging on to existence through his ties to the Night Market.
- Lao Min's mother - possesses the ability to understand and communicate with rats, apparently due to being a descendant of Mister Shu, the Lao family patron and possible rat-god. The pack remain uncertain as to what she actually is as a result of her dubious heritage.
The Totem - Eight Lanterns Minister (Usufunsugal in the First Tongue)
Rank 2 night market spirit
Attributes: Power 2 Finesse 5 Resistance 2
Influences: Wealth 1, Light 1
Numina: Awe, Coin Curse*, Sign
Coin Curse – New Numina: The spirit may use this power on anyone it witnesses cheating in a trade, making a false deal or forcing a grievously unfair exchange, as long as money of some sort is involved. Coin Curse costs 1 Essence to use, and affects a coin, bank note, cheque or even money existing only as an electronic transfer. For as long as the character possesses that money in any way, they are affected by an increasingly unpleasant withering disease and the moderate Sick Tilt persistently; even if treated, it will return. Throwing or giving away the money ends the effect.
Manifestations: Twilight Form, Gauntlet Breach, Materialise
Ban: While the Cherry Gardens shrine of prosperity is damaged or desecrated, the Eight Lanterns Minister cannot leave the night market; if outside the market when the shrine is damaged, it is immediately called back.
Bane: Glass from broken lights.
Cherry Gardens Market
The pack's territory is centred around Cherry Gardens Night Market, a night market that lies on the border between Sham Shui Po district (poor, working-class, lots of public housing) and Yau Tsim Mong district (core urban area, very high population density, lots of commercial). Cherry Gardens isn't as large or well-known as Temple Street, but it is still a bustling, busy market through the night hours.
The night market is the beating heart of the territory, catering to the workers of the two districts – cheap tat, mobile phones, clothes, cooked food, incense and paper offerings, and plenty more besides. The pack also holds: - The surrounding residential blocks (shops on ground floors, cramped flats above, several with rooftop slums) up to two streets in each direction. These are mostly known by their block number - Lao Min's family lives in Tower 2, for example. - To the west, the ground under the motorway fly-overs and then the waterfront. As well as some storehouses and parks, there are black market dealers and fortune-tellers in the shadow of the motorway. - The waterfront is a typhoon shelter, protected by a sea wall and a mixture of industrial and private – floating crane platforms, piles of shipping containers and junk-yards.
Crime in Cherry Gardens Night Market is low – petty theft, shoplifting and pickpocketing are common, but the market security guards have been aligned with the pack for years and have a reputation for brutality when dealing with real threats. The local triad gang, led by a Red Pole of the 14K Triad called 'Emperor' Koi, wants control of the night market but has never been able to extend his influence over it.
Cherry Gardens characters
- Chen Jin, Spirit-Urged arsonist. Worker who lived in Tower 2 and was assembling some sort of occult explosive device that would use a summoned fire spirit to create an inferno. Appears to have been influenced by particular Wolf-Blooded, possibly tied to the Sung-Ti. Killed by Lao Min during her First Change.
- She Wanli, manager of Tower 7 and shop owner. Affable, overweight local man who had his guts ripped out by the rampaging Taotie.
- Kwo Tien, young tough. Lives in Cherry Gardens, claims to be part of the 14k Triad. Possibly Rage-Urged.
- Taesuk Weyen, patriarch of the Taesuk family. Lives in Cherry Gardens. Holds grudge against the Kwo family. Possibly Rage-Urged.
- Hua, minor tech criminal. Tattooed and hyperactive, Hua purveys petty illegalities - wiping stolen phones and computers, dealing in stolen data and the like.
Cherry Gardens locations
- The Blossom Society hall is a spacious basement subdivided into several smaller rooms, situated under a small laundry and bath-house on the night market shop-front. Once a triad gambling den, the basement includes a strong locus of prosperity and wealth (and, perhaps, greed) in the form of a shrine; the locus leads directly into the silken court of lanterns in the Shadow from which the Eight Lanterns Minister rules.
- One of the rooftop slums hangs precariously between towers 2 and 3, where the salvaged metal and wood bridge-way plays host to a minor locus of despair. The previous ithaeur, Mark, kept the insidious energies of the locus in check.
Spirits and their Ilk
Lesser Spirits & Independents
- The Crowdling, a spirit of crowds that lairs around the Old Olympic MTR station. Carved the City Gift into Lucky Rat after being hunted in a chase that it greatly enjoyed.
- Rotting Heart of Decay, a lesser Ensih of urban decay and rot that held power over the run-down district of Bedford Rise. Granted boons by its liege, Crimson and White Agony, to let it better control the fief. Destroyed by the Blossom Society in a challenge for power and territory.
- Eight Lanterns Minister, ruler of the Cherry Gardens Night Market.
- Elders of Naga, strange serpentine spirits of rock and bone. Follow in the wake of Death Wolf.
The Five Great Packs
The five pillars of Hong Kong Uratha society, born from agreements forged in 1899 alongside those made between the British colony and the local Chinese Punti clans, are called the Great Packs. Originally, each pack corresponded to the same mortal clan that it took the name of, but in the modern day there is no major link between the Punti clan families and the make-up of the pack in question. Most of the Great Packs are large, powerful and have two tiers amongst their Uratha members. The lower tier of 'nieces' and 'nephews' operate somewhat more like a conventional pack, but the upper tier of 'aunts' and 'uncles' are, oddly, less tightly bound together. The aunts and uncles are mentors, experts, revered elders and the like who focus more on their own matters, loosely connected to the other aunts and uncles but not necessarily very involved in the day-to-day running of the pack's assets. When an aunt or uncle asks for a service, the nephews and nieces are expected to snap to attention, but they are in turn expected not to abuse this authority to any great extent. Each Great Pack has a different system for providing more concrete leadership; the Hou select a single overall leader so that the other upper tier Uratha don't need to be bothered by petty concerns, while the Tang demand regular meetings of their aunts and uncles to ensure co-ordination.
The Great Packs are heavily tied into the occult fabric of Hong Kong, and possess considerable knowledge, influence and stockpiles of materials. A Lodge's leadership usually comes from Great Pack members. Each possesses an incredibly powerful totem spirit, but the nature of that relationship between pack and totem is closely guarded and outsiders suspect whatever agreement was signed in 1899 plays a heavy part.
The Wen – Yau Tsim Mong
Forsaken, mostly Hunters in Darkness and Iron Masters; their totem is the Serpent of Dreams and Bile, a spirit of incense, drugs and pollution. Known for their influence in shipping, narcotics, and their deep occult knowledge. The Wen have long been obsessed with hunting down the source of the Scourge, as they call the phenomenon that blights First Changes, and are known to truck with jiang shi, yao guai and other, stranger entities in their search for the truth.
- Yeung He, 'Lightning Paper Fan' - Iron Master Ithaeur. Yeung He is one of the principle uncles of the Wen, a wealthy Hong Kong businessman who serves as the Great Pack's principle face of its occult side.
- Ten-Eyes Tsang - Storm Lord Ithaeur. Ten-Eyes is a drugs chemist and the principle responsible for the Wen drugs operation. Tsang is said to be a samzukwu or Three-Legged Crow, a member of the Lodge of Crows.
- Dantea Wen - Hunter in Darkness Elodoth. Dantea is one of the most trusted lower-rankers in the Wen, slated for promotion and thus access to the pack's extensive resources. She is the local representative of the Lodge of the Seven Venoms, and a trained doctor.
- "Tightrope" Lei - Iron Master Irraka. Named for her habit of garroting prey, not for acrobatics.
- "Hapless" Fung - Storm Lord Rahu. Possesses incredible luck and is said to be cursed.
- "Pup" Sau - Iron Master Cahalith. Optimistic and hyperactive.
- Inspector Hau Chen - HKPF Inspector and general police-force informant and contact for the Wen and affiliated packs. Tell is unknown.
- Zheng Fang - Full-time trusted gofer for the Wen. Immaculately dressed and presented but rumoured to be a very capable leg-breaker despite her appearance. Tell is rumoured to be very powerful for a Wolf-Blooded, possibly that she can summon spirit-wolves or turn into a spirit herself.
The Hou – Kwun Tong
Pure, Ivory Claws; their totem is Crimson and White Agony, a spirit of salt and pain. Known for their incredible ancestral and bloodline records, as well as their heavy involvement in Hong Kong politics and medical services. The Hou are seen as cruel, cold and clinical; few fates are worse than falling into the hands of a Hou torturer. The Hou claim to be the oldest and most legitimate of all the Five Great Packs, as unlike the other four the Hou already existed prior to 1899; Hou stories have it that they formed when the Punti migrated to Hong Kong in the 1200s, taking over the sacred mantle of an even older pack who were appointed by the Nine Dragons.
The Peng – Hongkong Island
Pure, mostly Ivory Claws; their totem is the Thousand Roaring Eyes and Mouths, a spirit of water and destruction. Known for their wealth and the role they play as financial agents for Pure across the world, their foreign contacts and also their martial traditions. The Peng claim that Hong Kong is actually the site on which Wolf was slain by its treacherous children. They are known for undertaking lavish, extravagant rituals offering sacrifices to the spirits and the waters in penance, to which werewolves of all stripes are invited. Despite their outwards expressions of wealth and openness, they're also said to be a hotbed of internal scheming due to the influence of rival spirit lords.
The Tang – Hongkong Island
Forsaken, mostly Bone Shadows and Storm Lords; their totem is the Pale Mandarin, a spirit of secrets, knowledge and fear. They are known for their information network and the dirt they're said to hold on every figure of note in Hong Kong, their knowledge of death and the Underworld, and their involvement in urban planning and development. Rumour has it that the Tang have successfully used occult geometries to create paths into the Deep Shadow. A few pieces of particularly bitter hearsay that refuse to die have it that the Tang take their marching orders from packs in Beijing.
- Makisig, Storm Lord Elodoth. A young Filipino from a relatively wealthy background, Makisig is tasked with keeping an eye on the younger parts of the population in Central & Western and Wan Chai. He's said to be involved in the city's music scene.
The Liao – New Territories
Forsaken, mostly Blood Talons; their totem is the Torn Banner, a spirit of change and violence. They are known for their fighting prowess, their trade and manufacture of spiritual goods (including fetishes and talens) and their connections to mainland China. The Liao are generally seen as the most traditionalist and conservative of the Five Great Packs, ironic given the nature of their totem and their own history; they were originally mostly Predator Kings, changing allegiance to the Forsaken via bloody infighting shortly after the Japanese occupation.
The Sung-Ti – Mong Kok
The Sung-Ti are a largely Fire-Touched pack of Pure holding territory to the north-east of the pack – and they still nurse a grudge over the loss of Cherry Gardens to Melissa Tsang in the 80s. Pitching themselves as judges of certain sins, the Sung-Ti reputedly have significant involvement in both the criminal side of Kowloon and its charities.
- ? Ash Talon ? - Fire-Touched crafter, assumed to be a member of the Sung-Ti by the Blossom Society.
- ? Kanomi ? - Wolf-Blooded capable of overwhelming those who see her into believing she possesses incredible beauty, assumed to be a member of the Sung-Ti by the Blossom Society.
The Stone Lions – Various
The Stone Lions are mostly Hunters in Darkness who oversee the occult maintenance of Boundary Street, once the limit of Hong Kong. The Lions are a 'daughter pack' of the Liao; they are also rumoured to participate in various sinister rituals to maintain their power.
The Eyeless – Sham Shui Po
The Eyeless are a strange and esoteric pack, believed to be a reclusive and likely heretical group of Forsaken. They generally avoid outside contact, but it is known that they pluck their own eyes out for some cultic purpose. Rumour links the Eyeless to the Japanese occupation, and those who would mock them call them the 'Nopera-Bo'.
The Two Claw Society – Sham Shui Po
The Two Claw Society are a pack of Bone Shadows and Blood Talons known to be particularly vicious in defending their territory, but also respected as being highly honourable. The Two Claws was created to deal with a horrific Wound resulting from a Japanese concentration camp on their territory – a Wound that still exists despite the pack's best efforts.
- Fan Chau, 'Crimson Autumn' - Bone Shadow Rahu. Belligerent member of the Lodge of Voices. Appears to have one of her hands replaced with someone else's through unknown means.
The Tsen-Kuang – Tsim Sha Tsui
A Pure pack on the south of the peninsula, known to be largely made up of Fire-Touched. The Tsen-Kuang have their claws firmly dug into the flow of migrants moving through Hong Kong, and are rumoured to cavort with Beshilu and other, even fouler denizens of the waterfronts. They are reputed to venerate an entity that they believe is responsible for stealing the Changes of nusuzul in Hong Kong; the Tsen-Kuang believe it to be a judge that weeds out those who are not worthy.
Silver Horizon Futures - Various
SH Futures appears to be a strange fusion of pack and corporation operating in Hong Kong. A subsidiary of the globe-spanning Cheiron, SHF is best known for its work in the bio-sciences and innovative energy generation solutions. The pack certainly includes both werewolves and Wolf-Blooded; the latter appear to hold the administrative and executive positions within the arrangement.
The Old Dog-Walker's Club - Unknown
The 'old dog-walkers club' is more of a rumour than a pack - a tale told amongst the Uratha of Hong Kong. The 'dog-walkers' are said to be the human and Wolf-Blooded members of old lesser packs that have since been destroyed or fallen apart, left to their own devices without Uratha leadership. The stories have it that sometimes a werewolf finds herself stalked and watched by a group of these humans as they gather information about her every move. Often, the dog-walkers then vanish once more, and the Uratha doesn't seem them again. Sometimes, though, the werewolf vanishes too.
Other Groups and Entities
- Dachan Cuifen, curator of the Taotie exhibit at the museum and university archaeology lecturer.
- Alec & Rong, friends of Lao Min and fellow students at the university.
- Hom Wie, Hive-Claimed. Rumoured to be a Taoist sorcerer and feared by the lower ranks of the Triad for his brutality and twisted appearance. Hom Wie has some sort of link or connection to Wang Jing from the past, sufficiently strong to warn her of a forthcoming Triad war.
- 'Emperor' Koi, 14K Red Pole. An influential Red Pole in the Sham Shui Po and Yau Tsim Mong districts, with designs on drugs and prostitution rackets throughout the area. Has long attempted to extend his influence over Cherry Gardens but has been held back to the influence of the Blossom Society.
- Man Sie, 14K fence. Deals in technical and technological goods primarily, operating out of the Lamp House.
Wo Shing Wo Triad
- Mister Shu. Ancestor of Lao Min, but apparently still alive and well in San Hui in the New Territories. Some sort of spirit or petty divinity associated with rats that romanced a Lao woman in the early 1900s. Has Rat Hosts under his control. May actually be some sort of Rat Host of a previously unknown kind.
Jiang Shi/Goeng Si
The catch-all term for reanimated corpses; jiang shi are mostly thought to be unquiet dead who steal life force through drinking a victim's breath, but most other corporeal undead are referred to under the same label by the Uratha.
Also known as the 'gluttonous ogres', taotie are very powerful entities of hunger that have been bound into ceramic masks and pottery. The mortal wielder of a taotie gains monstrous physical strength, the ability to cross the Gauntlet, and the ability to take the internal organs of a victim and place them within his or her own body. In return for this power, the taotie demands the sacrifice of the mortal wielder's own internal organs to feed its hunger. Manifesting its powers causes the taotie to drain a vast amount of Essence from the nearby Hisil, often catastrophically for weaker spirits in the vicinity.
- Chua Chuo, Sham Shui Po businessman and Taotie wielder - murdered Mark Callaghan-Cheung and She Wanli over property scheme using the power of the taotie. Killed by the Blossom Society. Apparently found the mask amongst some family belongings passed down to him.
The yaksha are werewolves Changed amongst the Thai immigrant population. Although very similar to Chinese werewolves in many ways, the Hong Kong Uratha see the yaksha as more like close cousins than brothers and sisters - yaksha are attributed with being much closer to the Shadow than the Flesh, born from mortal shamanism and spirit-magic rather than from the blood of the Wolf.
The catch-all term for shapeshifting creatures, but yao guai are particularly associated with a few traits. Yao Guai are often thought to be following Taoist sorcerous practices and to be seeking immortality. Some yao guai are fusions of spirit and flesh like the Uratha, but others are outright demonic and hellish in their nature. Yao guai are commonly cannibalistic, eating humans of particularly great virtue or spiritual excellence as part of their search for eternal life.
Sham Shui Po
- The Lamp House, a 14K-patronised club and meeting space for transactions of stolen goods and the like.
- Bedford Rise, a run-down neighbourhood influenced by the Rotting Heart of Decay. Bedford Rise centres around a pedestrianised central street, crammed full of cheap stores, dive clubs and massage parlours. The 14K operate in the area under the auspices of the Red Pole Koi.
- Tung Chau Battery is an old historical military building in Bedford Rise, now dilapidated and crumbling. Inhabited by the homeless and drug users in the Flesh, it served the Rotting Heart of Decay as a lair in the Shadow.
Kowloon City District
- Sung Wong Toi, a significant landmark marking the end of the Southern Song Dynasty. Control over Sung Wong Toi is a matter of significant dispute between the Wen and the Hou.
- Little Thailand, an area of Kowloon City District that has a large ethnically Thai population. A pack of mostly Thai werewolves called yaksha holds the area as their territory.
Beyond Hong Kong
Macau – The Zealous Warlord's Domain
Often referred to as the 'darker sibling' by Hong Kong Uratha, Macau has a sinister reputation amongst werewolves – even despite it being a Forsaken stronghold. Beneath its seemingly placid surface, Macau is a place of nightmares. From 1966 onwards, the notorious Blood Talon warlord 'Silver Claw' Yin fought a sustained and bloody campaign against the Pure, claiming to have been given divine visions by the Moon and instructions from the Lunes. After just ten years, the last Pure were annihilated or driven out of the city. In 1987, however, the Pure attempted to return. In the three decades since, Macau has seen repeated attacks by the Pure, particularly under the leadership of the Fire-Touched sibling Elders Sheu-Fuh and Shunyan, although they have not yet regained a foothold for more than a few months at a time. Its occult landscape is a mess, scarred by brutality, madness and the mostly-unchecked spiritual off-flow of the mass of humanity crammed into the region. Other things have also been drawn in or caught up by the violence; it is said there is an alchemist amongst the Iron Masters of Macau who knows how to render sorcerers down for their power, while both Bone Shadows and Ivory Claws are said to have some means of producing vampires which they use as disposable agents and killers in their shadow war. Both Destroyer Wolf and Red Wolf are said to have taken an active interest in events in Macau since the 60s, but there is a much, much older shrine to Red Wolf in the city that the Forsaken defend fanatically – some rumours allege it is Pangaean in origin. For now, Yin continues to rule her Protectorate with an iron fist.
Characters of Macau:
- Adao - Iron Master Elodoth. Portuguese smuggler.
- Red Mask - Iron Master ?. Revered as the high priest of Red Wolf's shrine in Macau.
Shenzen – The City Without History
Shenzen is a mirror of Hong Kong's success story – a busy port, major financial centre and huge city butting against its northern border. Shenzen exploded from a small town in the 80s to the urban behemoth of today, and the the Uratha of the province know full well its growth was down to more than just the PRC labelling it a Special Economic Zone. Something has long been awry with the very fabric of reality in Shenzen and someone, or something, caused the expansion of the city by stealing it from a history that never happened, a Shenzen that never was, and overlaying it into this world. The layout of the city possesses innumerable minor pieces of occult geometry, coming together into some sort of vast chronal siphon that forces this reality to match the Other Shenzen. For years, the 'city without history' and the time spirits that flock there served as a major attraction for Uratha seers and secret-seekers of both Pure and Forsaken, with bitter fighting breaking out across its prime territories, but the Cull have moved in in recent years – and established a major Deep Shadow monastery as a bastion. Now this major land route into Hong Kong is threatened, the Cull bringing in more adherents as the months progress and the Uratha of the City of Nine Dragons watching uneasily from over the border. Word has it that the Thousand Steel Teeth are gathering their own war parties, determined to defend their supply lines that run through Hong Kong and Shenzen out into the wider world. The new city of Shenzen may be about to become a battleground for a particularly vicious phase of the war with the Cull.
Guangdong – Riches Worth Fighting For
The province of Guangdong may be a large and prosperous region, but for the Forsaken of the area it is perhaps most characterised by its river spirits. Threading down to the Pearl River Delta, these spirits are probably the most organised, widespread and outright hostile court of Guangdong; the feud dates back to the battle of Yamen in 1279. Defeating and subjugating the local river spirits is an ongoing struggle, not at all helped by the Pure's own alliance with the River King. Despite this hostility, there is much for the Forsaken to covet here – the wealth of the human population and the uncommonly high number of wellsprings of Essence. Guangdong has a great abundance of sites that naturally form talens, rich loci of rare Resonances, and unusual qualities to the Shadow that make certain rites – such as those that craft fetishes – easier to work than elsewhere. The Claimed are a particular threat across the province, and the Storm Lords have traditionally been very powerful here; there are several Tribal bastions where the Iminir protect ancient artefacts and relics that are the destination of pilgrims from across the globe. The Storm Lords of Guangdong have a highly organised Tribal structure that crosses throughout the packs and Protectorates of the province, leading up to an elected gong whose task is to tend to the ancient, revered Tribal elder known as the Zongshi – a near-mythical figure amongst the Forsaken, said to alternate between sleeping in a Storm Lord fastness and prowling the Deep Shadow for the most terrifying of prey. Guangdong regularly sees the conflict between Forsaken and Pure flare into open and brutal warfare, but these periods are almost always short – usually a year or two at most before things lapse once again, agreements are made and lines redrawn. The recent arrival of sects of the Cull from the west and north, however, threatens to upset that balance.
Taiwan – Tyrants of the Earth
Taiwan's Shadow was once ruled by the spirits of the mountains and the grumbling, shifting earth – but around two centuries ago, the Forsaken of the island undertook a great and mighty binding on the lords of rock and stone to chain them with fetters of symbolism. This caused a great rift amongst the Taiwanese Tribes, with the Bone Shadows breaking off to form their own separate faction, condemning the act as one of hubris that would only serve to harm Shadow and Flesh alike. For two centuries now, the bindings have mostly held – but when they weaken or shift, the furious spirits of the earth vent their rage on the world. Even today, the Bone Shadows remain separate to the other Forsaken and have, as the years turn, formed a distinct identity from Hirfathra Hissu elsewhere as well. The Predator Kings have long sought to unmake the chains that bind the mountain spirits and once formed the bulk of the Pure numbers in Taiwan, but since the Chinese Civil War the other two Pure Tribes have made significant inroads into what was once almost entirely under Forsaken control. Today, Taiwanese Uratha are renowned for their mastery of rites and the binding of spirits, but often considered prideful and arrogant in their disdain for other werewolves who do not have the strength to chain the Shadow to their will. Taiwanese packs commonly include spirits enslaved to the pack's will, and even totems are treated less as respected equals and more as vassals or servants. The Bone Shadows continue to warn that a reckoning will yet come; but as each decade passes without sign of their forecast apocalypse, so does the scorn for the fifth Tribe rise amongst the Taiwanese.
Philippines – The Spinner Hag's Bastion
In many ways, Uratha in the Philippines have lives similar to werewolves elsewhere – though the boundaries of territories in the archipelago are often delineated by coastline and travel between islands can be tricky. The rising prosperity and development of the country has left Uratha with many of the same challenges and opportunities as in other nations. The Shadow across the Philippines, however, is in a ruinous state – and has been for millennia. By local lore, the Great Predator fought much of its battle with the Spinner Hag over what became these islands, and in many places the Gauntlet is still torn asunder by the mere echo of Wolf's claws and teeth. Worse, other patches of Gauntlet are thick and distended, shrouded in Azlo webs and said to contain oozing gobbets of the Hag's carcass. The Azlu are numerous and powerful here, and are no mere monstrous beasts – the Host spider-witches of the Philippines think and plan with an alien but clinically precise approach, their schemes spanning centuries. The poor state of the Gauntlet has also resulted in a much higher number of spirits crossing over into the Flesh, bizarre and unique forms of Claimed, and other entities born by the fusion of the two worlds. Repeated rumours bubble up that there are actually still areas of Pangaea itself hidden away, somehow saved from the Great Predator's death-howl. Unsurprisingly, the Hunters in Darkness lead the Forsaken here, and Filipino werewolves are said to be both particularly vigilant – or paranoid, by the less charitable – and particularly talented in the matter of wards and occult protections. The Philippines have long served as a destination for Hunter in Darkness pilgrimages – old and veteran Meninna from other countries, even far-off continents, have been known to 'retire' to this heart of Azlu power, and werewolves seeking lore and insights into the spider Hosts often seek out Filipino brethren for aid.
Vietnam – The Harmonious Kings
Early in the 20th Century, the Pure of Vietnam began to tip the scales against their Forsaken counterparts; they took advantage of the disruption and conflict that plagued the country until, after the US-Vietnam war and the fall of the South, the Fire-Touched and Predator Kings had near total domination of the unified country. The Forsaken of today, though, are having a comparatively easy time of it; the Pure are far more focused on warring with each other, and there are a number of powerful spirit nobles that have sided with the Forsaken in the wake of the Pure calling down horrific spirit-horrors from beyond Luna's orbit. The Predator Kings have split into two factions that battle one another with brutal ferocity, mainly due to the emergence of a radical, heretical Ninna Farakh Lodge called the Lan that has rapidly surged in converts. The Lan adhere to portions of Dire Wolf's philosophy, but are far more connected to humanity than their erstwhile comrades; the totem's ban makes it difficult for the Lan to work within society so they instead use a large cult of human and Wolf-Blooded go-betweens to sink their claws into Vietnam. Espousing a creed that the Predator Kings should adapt to the changing world and shepherd humanity to a harmonious union with the wild and the hunt, the Lan are largely uninterested in pursuing the Forsaken compared to destroying the Fire-Touched and converting or killing the rest of their Tribe. To the Forsaken, it all looks very much like the Predator Kings' penchant for savagery has finally turned inwards while the real Vietnam moves beyond their outmoded ways – but there are those who worry that the Harmonious Kings of the Lan are winning, and fear what may happen once they have done so. Some wonder if the Lan might be converted in turn to the Forsaken, but the Lodge has shown little interest in any Urdaga Creeds.
Vex (Wolf Rite ●)
This petty curse calls upon spirits of misfortune and malevolence to plague whoever has drawn the werewolf's ire.
Symbols: Fire, venom, violence, the skill that is to be targeted.
Cost: 1 Essence
Action: Extended (5 successes; each roll represents 1 minute); resisted by the target's Composure.
Duration: 1 month
Success: The Essence used to fuel this rite must come from a locus of hatred, pain, despair or decay. Additionally, the ritemaster must have a possession of the target, a nail clipping, a lock of hair or some other bodily substance from the intended victim. The ritemaster selects a single skill that will be cursed; thereafter, the first time the victim uses that skill in the following month, her result becomes a dramatic failure regardless of what she rolls. The ritemaster immediately knows when this happens. A character may only be the subject of a single vex at a time, and cannot be subjected again until the rite's month of duration has passed.
Drain the Well (Pack Rite ●●●)
This rite uses a locus to draw in its Resonance from the surrounding ar
ea, draining the Shadow of Essence attuned to its nature. Paradoxically, this ensures the locus surges deep with Essence of that kind; if left untended, it will wash back out again stronger than before. Symbols: Water, pain, piercing or draining, the Resonance type.
Action: Extended (20 successes; each roll represents 10 minutes)
Duration: 1 month
Success: The rite must be performed at the site of a locus, draining Resonance into it. This has several effects: spirits and Uratha within 100 yards per dot of the rating of the Locus, or within the entire territory (whichever is larger), take the locus's rating as a penalty to all rolls for Influences that match its Resonance when outside its direct area. The Resonance is reduced in general, removing many incidents of the Resonant Condition across the affected region; draining a locus of pain would cause injuries and aches to inflict less pain, humans and animals will recover faster from harm and may simply not notice minor damage. This will have long-term effects on the Shadow and the material world.
The ritemaster gains a persistent Ban Condition for the duration of the rite's effect, reflecting the Resonance of the locus; this Condition lifts when the rite ends. If the ritemaster ever violates the ban, the effects of the rite immediately end. If ended via ban violation, or if this rite is not performed on the locus again within a week of its duration ending, the locus becomes empowered for one month as if it were the subject of the Wellspring rite.
Shadow Signs (Pack Rite ●●●●)
This rite may only be invoked on a territory that the ritemaster's pack has already sanctified with the Hunting Ground rite. It draws upon the secrets, the names and the flows of Essence that thread between the spirits of the territory's Shadow, revealing truths to the Uratha.
Symbols: Writing or tattooing, wounds, whispers, the wind.
Action: Extended (10 successes; each roll represents 1 minute)
Duration: 1 month.
Success: The rite must be performed in the Shadow, within territory that the ritemaster's pack has placed the Hunting Ground rite upon. This causes that spot to become a nexus of information about the territory's Shadow. Over roughly a day, words and glyphs will carve themselves into the Shadow-stuff of an area roughly ten feet in radius, often oozing blood or ichor; these words spell out the names of powerful spirits in the area (Rank 3 and higher, as well as spirit nobles), indicate significant Shadow phenomena (like barrens, shoals, or an impending emotion-storm), and may also indicate other threats in the Shadow (such as warning of the warping spells that a Mage is using on the Hisil, or of a non-native monstrosity that has somehow breached the Gauntlet and is now marauding the spirits). The words update roughly every day, with old, bleeding warnings squirming aside for eruptions of fresh and oozing names as new, powerful spirits move in or a threat manifests itself. Any Uratha who reads the shadow signs gains a +3 bonus to locate or perceive spirits, entities or phenomena that they have seen the warnings or names of, while the rite lasts. However, picking key information out of the mass of glyphs and sigils is not necessarily straightforward.