The following article details a tribe of werewolves that regularly commit acts that may not be suitable for all readers. While World of Darkness is normally a game that would hold a PG to PG-13 rating, the Black Spiral Dancers would be rated R to say the least. As many topics contained within are dramatic, trigger warnings for rape, insanity, violence, torture and cannibalism are given. Reader discretion is advised.
If you wish to skip the vast majority of graphic content skip past the introduction story in italics.
The crack of a fist against my jaw is like thunder to match the drumming within my skull beat for beat. That hit, seventy third visited upon my body by my count, was lighter then the others. One of my assailants giggles with delight as I spit blood with a gargled strain. The last week, since I walked out of the alley with the Bone Gnawers in fact, I have been here. Well not here, at one point I was hanging from a wall, and another pressed between iron. That could have been good for my back if not for the fire beneath the rotating plates.
Another crack, this one a strong blow against my knee, precedes the next rant of the twisted individual before me. His arms deformed in the loose skin that hangs, a hint of the bat like wings he has in his Crinos form, rising to slap me to consciousness again. The crooked elongated ears of this pig nosed bastard chortles as he continues, “You see, you see, you see it all you do. Round and round and round and round like the spiral you cross this world. Caern to Caern you see you you see. Gnashes-on-Gaia’s-Bones break you and suck the marrow of truth I will. Suck the marrow from your bones and Gaia’s bones I will.”
He titters before cackling for a full minute before running a hot blade along my ribs. The pain mind blowing but somehow I still hear him asking again and again where the locations of all the tribes and caerns. Asking above the sizzle of my flesh and screams of a male no longer concerned with sounding manly about the numbers of defenders, of kinfolk locations, and most of all, the location of the Garou King, Jonas Albrecht.
Panting, breathing heavy, I look at him in silent determination. A determination met with a piece of glass dug into my flesh as he matches every single twist with a harsh, psychosis filled laugh that splashed my battered face with fetid spittle. Minutes, maybe hours, of twisting laughter are my dance partner from someone who takes the lead, trying to make me dance the spiral as he did. Though like the first day, as the present one, I will not break and live with the pain as the new normal.
The other assailant, a demure, calm voiced and pale monster with eyes as blood shot as the fires of Malfeas itself, had me pegged fairly early on, the defender and soft heart. This one was a monster unlike any other I had ever heard of, cold and calculating to the core. Funny, it reminded me of the Shadowlord Midnight. This monster visited upon me horrors the likes of which I had never dared to dream in my darkest nightmare have happened around me in efforts to push me to the breaking point, from the taking of a Black Fury bound in silver until her mind shattered, to the burning of a Fianna alive, and the latest was the slow castration of a Get Ahroun. With every torture the monster would offer them amnesty and release if I would just tell what I had learned.
A sudden sound, a call of the Whippoorwill cut short in a gurgling death rattle, calls the attentions of my torturers. Turning to me, the madman asks me amidst my own mad laughter, “What was that was that was that? Why are you laughing, you don’t get to laugh to laugh to laugh!”
Staring him in the eyes, I say through teeth red with blood, “You don’t seem to get it, I may know alot, but I learned it by making friends. Those friends are coming, and they are pissed. You may have madness on your side, but all the rage of Gaia is coming. You wanted to know where the King is? He is at your doorstep, at your throat. You think you are cruel, you have not seen anger until you have seen what Midnight will do to you. There is no where you can run from the Striders and no where you can hide from the Gnawers. The Get will beat your door down, the Furies will drag you through silver fed justice. Mercy has no place in the heart of Talon or Wendigo. Even the Umbra will reject you as the Uktena turn your nightmares against you. If you run to the city, the Glasswalkers will make you pay dearly for your hubris. No Child of Gaia will heal you, and only the Fianna will remember you as they speak of the day a Spiral Dancer thought he had won but only brought the tribes together against you. One Enemy! One Goal. Your destruction! And do you think they are going to stop with you!? No, tell the Wyrm, all of them, that the end is coming. The Apocalypse is coming!”
Here we are. We came to the dark side, to the fallen and corrupted. The Black Spiral Dancers are different then any other tribe. They are monsters, there is nothing good or noble about them. They are wholly of the Wyrm and irreparably insane. They are more homicidal than the Talons, more berserk than the Get, and more numerous than the Bone Gnawers by far. Worse yet, they know the ways and weaknesses of the Garou. They have all their strengths and more, but all this power comes at a cost.
Black Spiral Dancers were a tribe of the fiercest warriors Gaia had to offer known as the White Howlers. Known for their grace and ferocity, they delighted in physical trials against increasingly dangerous foes. Hunting the Wyrm by land, Umbra, and even into the pits of Malfeas itself. The White Howlers, and even their Scottish kin the Pics, were the boogeymen that haunted the dreams of the corrupted within first century Scotland and Western Europe North of Hadrian’s wall.
The thing is, these crazy werewolves thought it was a good idea to fight the Wyrm all the way back to it’s home. Well it worked like swimming in stagnant water. Dipping your toe can be exhilarating on a hot day, but going swimming is going to have you covered in leaches. Well they went skinny dipping and came back twisted, maddened, and corrupted by their time dancing the spiral into Malfeas. It was not a slow creep, but a spilling flood of corruption that sprang forth in wild insane frenzy. Only one Howler made it out intact enough to see a warning to the neighboring Fianna. Before a rescue could be mounted, the Howler’s were gone as a tribe and kin alike. The tribe’s totem, the ferocious lion, all but lost and now full of rage as a part of Griffin. Truly, the White Howlers are lost in every sense of the word.
Now, as was stated before, the Black Spiral Dancers outnumber their brethren in every single way. Though their Lupus numbers are low, due in part to the wolf kin being kept as breeding stock in captivity, they more than make up for this in Metis numbers. In fact the Metis are treated as equals if not as scions, so much so that many were born among other tribes and defected to the Black Spiral Dancers. The Metis, be they native or otherwise, account for as much as fifty percent of the tribe’s numbers overall. Though that would make any tribe a bit out of sorts, that is only the start.
The Black Spiral Dancers make their own versions of caerns, known as Hives, within tunnels and other hidden places that are not hospitable to others. Be these toxic waste dumps, radioactive sites, or just the places forgotten by even the most decrepit of homeless. This may be a reason they are so mutated in both physical and mental capacities. These sites are home to the spirits and banes that the Black Spiral Dancers ally with. Though they gather in numbers for packs and septs like their Gaian Cousins, they are very different. Between the orgiastic moots and rites, the dance of insanity done as initiation, and their absolute loyalty to the Triatic Wyrm, the Black Spiral Dancers are a whole new dark world within themselves.
Now the other feature of the Black Spiral Dancers that demonstrates the cost of playing with darkness is that the tribe is irrevocably insane. This may take the form of various manias, psychosis, or phobias. There is no telling what a newborn Black Spiral Dancer will crawl out of the black spiral with, the possibilities are as endless as the horde that is this tribe. The one thing that all of the Black Spiral Dancer have in common is the all encompassing hatred of the Gaian werewolves.
The Black Spiral Dancers are everywhere, and though many are the detritus of society that no one is surprised flip out, some are very prim and proper. No one can ever tell where they will be but one thing is for certain, where the Wyrm goes, the Black Spiral Dancers are sure to be found. Within the trailer park drunkenly beating his family, in the city selling drugs to school kids, or in the Pentex company providing muscle and ferocity at every level. Even if you avoid these places, the Black Spiral Dancers will delight in coming for the Garou Nation at every chance they can. Both as suicidal shock troops and as cunning generals, this is a war they aim to win.
The Black Spiral Dancers have their own pack totems, many of which used to be Gaian, but these are now twisted to the evils of the Wyrm. They don’t have children, they have bastards. They treat them as such, teaching them the greatest of powers at the greatest of costs.
Now, as a final bit I should describe how to roleplay the Black Spiral Dancer. The ones who come into my mind are the Joker of DC comics for a Ragabash, Vaas of Farcry for a Theurge, Norman Osborn of DC comics for a Philodox, Deadpool of Marvel as a Galliard, and Carnage of Marvel or Trevor Phillips of Grand Theft Auto Five as an Ahroun. The prevailing theme is, be insane. Give in to every urge that comes along. Let your inner beast run amok. Let nothing stand in between you and your goals. If your rage is higher than your willpower, be the temperamental beast everyone pictures. Do alil research and choose a derangement that will be fun to play and make sure it is one you can role play. Reddit is not the place to learn about mental disorders.
Now the Black Spiral Dancers have access to all the gifts of Garou at out of tribe/breed/auspice costs same as other Garou. Like Garou they have a breed and auspice they are tied to, like the Garou they have specific tribe gifts that make them unique. Their tribe gifts are all taught by banes though, so as such are ripe with corruption. Here is the highlights of the kings of slaughter, torture, and mayhem.
Bane Protector allows the Dancer to form pacts with Banes for mutual reliance and protection.
Resist Pain is borrowed from the Ahroun but is also used for pleasure among the Dancers.
Resist Toxin is the same as the Bone Gnawers. The Dancer uses this as a way to survive where others would be warped and twisted.
Sense Wyrm as the metis do, this helps prevent the Garou from infiltrating the Dancers.
Smell Fear is a Wyrm powered auspice gift. As such, the Dancer Philodox can sense who is afraid enough to employ various gifts that would reveal them.
Ears of the Bat allow echolocation and such from the Dancer. It does cause physical mutations.
Wyrm Hide grants the dancer incredible defence and ability to take a beating.
A Thousand Voices is a wyrm tainted Theurge gift able to convince the masses that all hell has broken loose with the intent of coming after them.
Allies Below is a wyrm tainted Galliard gift that allows you to make localized earth quakes.
Horns of the Impaler Give the wyrm tainted Ahroun a set of horns with which to impale their enemies. Nice source of aggravated damage here.
Patagia grants the dancer bat like wings, these are like Ears of the Bat where it causes a physical mutation. Both are likely visible in some way regardless of form.
Foaming Frenzy lets your spit transmit frenzy to any and all that are capable of it. If I was the storyteller I would say it was a form of rabies.
Beautiful Lie allows the dancer to use the very veil to cover up the most horrendous of crimes. This allows the Dancer with this gift floating around their pack to act with near Impunity.
Touch of the Eel allows the Wyrm tainted Ragabash to discharge electricity as a hostile attack. I am sure we can all think of multiple uses for this bad boy. Please note, this is harder to soak than normal and cannot be parried.
Crawling Poison is a game changer. You can stop the regeneration of other shapechangers. This is amazing and deadly.
Bale Fire is the big daddy of them all. The ultimate, the nasty, the ability to hurl the fires of hell themselves. This flame, often greenish, is able to not only do aggravated damage on a massive scale, it also mutates and warps the pour son of a gun that is the victim.
That wraps up the last of the living tribes and the darkest, most terribly sick bastards out there. I cannot express how bad these guys are, not without comparing them to the most zealot filled cult. That being said, I do apologize for the graphic imagery in this article but I felt it was necessary to portray this tribe on a personal and artistic level. I encourage you all to contact me and let me know where you want me to cover next. I was thinking the other Fera or the Vampire clans. What do you think?
Nubz hails from the American Pacific Northwest where he has spent the last 24 years living the gamer life and running campaigns of all kinds. Through this he has managed to sate his acting bug and entertain many. Now a father, he wishes to pursue writing to leave a legacy in Nerd culture for his offspring to enjoy.