Waltz of Flesh
A werewolf howl is not an inarticulate cry — it can
communicate a great deal of information. Many howls
incorporate the Garou language, although not all of them
are as “high-falutin’” as the High Tongue. Just as every
Philodox studies the Litany, any Galliard should be wellversed
in all the common howls.
Given the regional “accents” from sept to sept, an
attentive Galliard might even be able to recognize a performer’s
tribe or auspice, or possibly part of his personality.
Optionally, a Storyteller may allow a Galliard skilled in
expression or performance to convey further information.
Thirteen of the most commonly used howls are listed here,
though one is not a call of the Garou Nation.
Anthem of War — This howl is a call to battle.
Ahroun use it to lead an attack; Galliards use it to rally
the troops and boost morale. The howl can convey the
enemy’s rough location and numbers, as well as how soon
reinforcements are needed.
Call for Succor — A werewolf uses this howl to
summon his packmates if he is in great danger. Some
find it embarrassing, since it sounds like a puppy’s bark
for his mother. An expressive howl may include sensory
impressions of what danger is near.
Call to Hunt — A long, low ululation informs the
pack of the position of its prey. When performed properly,
it may also identify what the prey is, describe its wounds,
or even coordinate the tactics of the hunting pack.
Chant of Challenge — This howl begins like the Howl
of Introduction, then rolls into a vicious mockery of an
enemy’s deeds, ancestry and personal habits. The Fianna
invented this howl as a method of initiating duels, then
later elevated it to a satirical art form. Everyone hearing the
chant can discern exactly why the challenge is taking place.
Curse of Ignominy — This discordant, snarling
whine is used to insult violators of the Litany. As more
werewolves lend their voices to the whine, it becomes
increasingly painful to hear. The strain on a listener does
not subside until he joins in the cry. Garou who have
fallen into disfavor are subjected to this cacophony. The
sounds convey a mocking account of a villain’s failures
and shortcomings. An entire sept can memorize all of the
excruciating details by sharing in the chant.
Cry of Elation —This howl signals an impending act
of possible great glory. It essentially means “Look at me”
or “Watch this,” though it may convey further information,
such as the intended target of the forthcoming deed.
Dirge for the Fallen — This dirge is a somber, low-pitched
howl used as a requiem for the honored dead. Its
length depends on the status of the fallen.
Howl of Introduction — The Litany commands
werewolves to respect the territory of others; this howl is
the result. It details a Garou’s breed, tribe, and auspice.
Some werewolves include parts of their lineage.
Snarl of Precedence — This short, violent outburst
is directed against a chosen foe, marking them as the
werewolf’s prey. Packs use these snarls to coordinate their
tactics, establishing who is attacking whom. A higher ranking
Garou does not have to recognize this howl —
and he even has the right to “steal the kill” from a lesser
werewolf — but most react to a well-executed snarl.
Song of Mockery — Not a howl in its own right, this
is more of a pitch, a sort of “sarcastic tone” that Ragabash
add to other howls. It is the equivalent of an obscene
gesture given alongside a speech.
Symphony of the Abyss — The Black Spiral Dancers
whine this insane, reverberating howl as they stalk their
prey. Victims who listen too closely can identify the fate
that lies in store for them; not knowing that fate is nearly
Wail of Foreboding —The Anthem of War alerts
werewolves of an attack, but the Wail of Foreboding is
typically used for natural disasters, unusual phenomenon in
the Umbra, or anything strange that bears further investigation.
A practiced Galliard can give cryptic impressions
of what the danger may be.
Warning of the Wyrm’s Approach — A sharp-pitched
howl, followed by a series of brief staccato bursts,
announces the presence of the Wyrm’s minions. If a scout
can scent the true form of these creatures, he may be able
to describe it. All who hear the howl can see and feel the
foulness that surrounds them.