Kinfolk

The Kinfolk are, by and large, human beings. They are related by varying degrees to the Garou by blood, but do not possess the spiritual component necessary to undergo the First Change.

Characteristics

Kinfolk are divided into two breeds, human or wolf (or appropriate animal species for Kinfolk of Fera), which are not to be confused with the homid or lupus breeds that are specific to Gaia’s chosen. No Kinfolk possess Rage, nor are they blessed by Luna or Helios with an Auspice. This lack of favor also means that they’re immune to the effects that silver (or gold for some fera) has on their true breed kin. Gaia does favor Kinfolk above normal humans (and animals), thus a very small minority of Kinfolk whom aren’t also Awakened beings may possess small degrees of Gnosis. A very rare Kin learned rudimentary Gifts. The Children of Gaia are exceptional to the rest of the tribes for their general endorsement of their Kinfolk learning healing and social gifts.

Once identified as Kin, a Kinfolk is considered to be a part of (or property of) a Tribe and owe loyalty to that Tribe above all else. The most common extra-normal ability, inherent to all kinfolk is that they’re immune to effects of the Delirium, although they’re still appropriately prone to fear of an enraged being in Crinos.

Though opinions of and attitudes toward Kinfolk vary by individual Garou, Septs, and Tribes, Kinfolk are recognized as members of the Garou Nation. Under no circumstance may Kin hold rank, regardless of how renowned, respected, or beloved they may be to their Garou masters. As rank is everything in Garou society, Kinfolk (of both genders) have traditionally been regulated to a general status in the Garou Nation perhaps best described as “valuable second class citizens” as women are considered in chauvinistic cultures.

The primary role of Kinfolk to their Tribe was breeding stock. Gaia needed warriors for the impending Apocalypse and matings between Kinfolk increased the slim odds of offspring breeding true or, more likely, being Kinfolk themselves. Garou-Kinfolk pairings greatly increased the still-slim odds of offspring breeding true and leaving the remainder likely to be Kinfolk. A Kinsman or Kinswoman’s degree of Pure Breed also raised these odds, making the purity of tribal blood in a Kinfolk an important commodity and giving those more refined in the Tribes inherited features greater stock as it did with their true breed kin. An individual Kinfolks Renown (particularly within the Tribe) was greatly impacted by his or her fertility, particularly by how many offspring of her/him breed true, and to a lesser degree by how long the Kinfolk had been honorably mated and breed offspring. Refusal to breed was generally viewed as dishonorable within the Garou Nation and sterility made Kinfolk far less valuable to that community.

Kinfolk held other roles and responsibilities within their Tribes, Septs, and the overall Garou Nation however. Childcare was of course an obvious role. Financing, politicking, and bureaucratic maneuvering on behalf of the Garou, directly or in their interests, made certain Kinfolk indispensable to their true-breed kin, spirit-warriors with whom Rage separated from humanity and it’s world. Since silver had no impairment to Kinfolk, certain rare individuals acted as Fetish-crafters, particularly klaives. Whatever their calling, Kinfolk where expected to care for and provide services for and to their true breed relatives.

Many Kinfolk, at some point in their lives, joined Fellowships, groups of Kin allied either because of family/social bonds or more often, specific goals such as a communication network for the Garou Nation or genealogical research and data storage.

The Changing Breeds, particularly the Garou, mingled blood with the Fae many times throughout history. Changelings and werewolves being both creatures of the Wyld, found much in common to celebrate or unite for. The Fianna in particular have had the most contact with and mated with Changelings. The Noble (Sidhe kith) House Fiona holds a shared history the Fianna. The Noble House Gwydion held ancient pacts with the Silver Fangs and interbreed with them. Most fae found some common ground with Garou in reverence of nature, particularly pooka, satyrs, and trolls. A slim majority of kithain-Kinfolk where of kith that shared an ethnic tie to their tribe, such as troll Get of Fenris, sluagh Silver Fangs, eshu Silent Striders (especially those of Rom blood), etc. The Wendigo and most especially, the Uktena shared caerns and sometimes genes with Nunnehi, a Garou-fae connection only rivaled by the Fianna’s history with the kithain.

Differences

Despite being far better able to interact with their breed (species) then Garou of the same breed, neither human or wolf Kinfolk where purely of their respective species. Human Kinfolk generally had a bit more spirituality and connection to nature, being slightly of the wolf, then did the masses of humanity. Wolf Kinfolk had more cognizance then their non-Kin fellows and thus had a bit of human in them, separating them from other wolves to a degree.

Kinfolk

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