Rite of KeresEdit
The rite of Keres takes place on the night of the autumnal equinox. Keres was a Garou bitch who lived in ancient times. Her tribe is unknown, although the Black Furies readily claim Keres as their own. As legend has it, Keres was so fiercely protective of her packmates that when she was trapped in a cave, surrounded by the minions of the Wyrm, with only the bodies of her fallen companions for company, Keres consumed them rather than let Wyrm-creatures contaminate the noble bodies with their foul touch. Keres then charged into battle. Empowered by the spirits of her companions, she slew nine time nine great Wyrm beasts before she herself fell. Such was Keres' bravery that Gaia allowed her and the collected spirits of her packmates to run together in the Deep Umbra forever as spirit-Furies. To this day, certain Garou mystics report brief encounters with the fiercely beautiful spirit-pack.
The Rite of Keres is a solemn event in which the ritemaster leads the Garou in a howling dirge for all those who have died in the service of Gaia. At this time it is considered proper for even the bravest warriors to voice their anguish, loss, and fear, and to take comfort in those companions still alive. The gathered Garou sit in a large circle representing the neverending circle of Gaia's embrace. Each Garou in turn tells a tale of personal grief. As he finishes his story, the Garou flings a physical representation of his fear and grief, known as a Talisman of Keres, into the center of the circle. Before the ceremony, each Garou creates his own talisman out of some form of wood. A Black Fury might carve a representation of herself with bowed head, while a Silent Strider's talisman might consist of a paper wolf with broken legs. The talisman need be meaningful only to its creator.
The ritemaster is the last Garou to spin her tale and cast in her talisman. As she casts in her talisman, she focuses the anguish of the tribe through her body, calling out to the spirit of Keres to consume the talismans and grant strength to the Garou. If the rite succeeds, the Garou will sense the spirit of Keres as she consumes the talismans in a sudden blast of flames. After the talismans are consumed, the Garou each taste the remaining ashes, taking some small part of the strength of Keres into themselves. The ritemaster then leads the Garou in a revel to celebrate the purging of the Wyrm-taint they have cast forth.
Any Garou participating in a successful Rite of Keres may make a Stamina + Rituals roll (difficulty 7). If successful, the participant receives one permanent point of Willpower for casting forth her inner fears and pain. Failure causes the ritemaster to lose Honor in the eyes of the tribe; a botch may cause Keres to attack the sept instead of the bonfire, for she abides weakness in no Garou.