(Level 4)

Rite of the Opened ClawEdit

Two weeks following the Autumnal equinox, the Shadow Lords of Japan and the Far East observe the Rite of the Opened Claw. Western Shadow Lords may also observe this rite, but it is far more common among their Eastern Brethren.

The rite is a unique interpretation of a Japanese Tea Ceremony. The Ritemaster places bowls of a bitter brew, known as Ke-Chuin, upon the ground. The ingredients of the brew are known only to those Shadow Lords taught the Rite of Opened Claw. The ceremony itself is exacting, and the watching Garou of the sept are ever alert for a mistake or hesitation by the ritemaster. Although the sept's leader may designate as ritemaster any Shadow Lord in his domain who knows the rite, the leader almost always takes on the role himself, for the dangers of allowing another to make the brew are obvious to any Shadow Lord Leader worth the name.

After the pouring of the Ke-Chuin, the ritemaster searches the faces of the assembled Garou to determine whom Mother Gaia and Father Thunder have chosen to partake of the tea. Ke-Chuin is said to open the claw that surrounds the spirit, revealing it in its true glory or depravity. Those Shadow Lords who know this rite claim to see a burning halo or aura around the chosen. Those Garou chosen must step forward and drink deeply of the bitter brew. The ritemaster closely watches the imbiber's aura, claiming that any sign of Wyrm taint or corruption will immediately be revealed. This may indeed occur, as the Garou named corrupt inevitably die within minutes of drinking the Ke-Chuin. Members of other tribes have, perhaps uncharitably, remarked how often the ritemaster's enemies or those who have displeased him are among the Garou who die of their exposed taint. Those whose auras reflect purity after drinking of the Ke-Chuin often gain position in their sept.


If the rite is unsuccessful, the ritemaster will be unable to truly detect any sort of aura from the assembled Garou. A botch indicates that the ritemaster will have a fatal reaction to the Ke-Chuin tea.

Source: Werewolf Storyteller's Handbook

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