Playing the Fera
These are some general roleplay themes and ideas for the non-Garou shifters in Warrington. For far more details about the Fera types, please see the various individual pages.
This is advice for the Fera as a whole, specifically aimed at the Corax, Ratkin, Bastet, and Ananasi, as the types that can currently be played in gaslight. (For ideas about the many other non-playable Fera types, please talk to the storytellers about your individual concepts.)
War of Rage
The thing that unifies the Fera, more than anything else, is their mutual loss via the War of Rage at the hands of Garou. Losses that cannot be corrected for and cannot be undone. This influences their purpose under Gaia (or someone else), in fundamental ways.
Living with the enemy
Fera must live with the society that exterminated so many of them, and each Fera finds different ways to do this.
Fera that may have been antagonistic or at cross purposes before the War of Rage can now personally unify in mutual dislike, distrust, or raw hatred of the Garou. This cultural scarring and reactions to this history is a major feature of playing a Fera.
You should not only figure out how you behave around the Garou,, but you should also know how you really feel, both as a character and as your breed. Being a Fera is living in the camp of those who have been proven untrustworthy and dangerous by history, but are a necessary risk for the sake of greater causes.
Loss and the Apocalypse
While the Garou have mixed tribal ideas about how their fight might be a losing battle against the Wyrm (or Weaver) and are preparing for that loss in various ways. The Fera have already faced that loss. The Fera have already faced, reacted, and changed due to their incredible losses, or the losses of their allies.
Fera have a cultural identity that has seen the extermination of friends, other Fera, entire auspices, and more - and it has changed them. You should know how your specific breed faced this loss, what they lost, and how your breed is handling the betrayal of the Garou. This is not simply a personal thing, as the War of Rage was a very long time ago. This is a primal part of the nature of each breed now, ingrained into your new purpose, survival, and how you confront your purpose under Gaia.
The Ratkin lost their storytellers, and forever the loss of the breed’s own history is a source of primal anger. Ratkin have developed entire cultural changes due to the impact of the War of Rage, facing these losses is a major part of playing a Ratkin, from simply withstanding (or culling) the Garou, to regaining lost numbers. Without the guidance of an aspect that keeps the breed history, this makes the Ratkin attempts to grow contained not within stories, but within the anger of cultural ignorance.
Ratkin also had their purpose under Gaia taken from them in the War, as humans are no longer controllable and cannot be contained. This has become a major source of Ratkin broken sanity, as they know already that they had any chance of ongoing victory taken from them by the Garou. Now, the Ratkin breed to prepare to complete their task in one fell swoop, eventually.
Corax are masters of playing both sides of the Fera / Garou conflict. They stayed out of the War of Rage as much as possible, selling out some groups of Fera to the Garou, and warning other Fera groups of approaching packs. Corax continue this behavior of information control to this day.
Separate from the rest of the Fera, the Corax had few losses in the War of Rage and are almost as numerous as they once were. They continue to work with both sides freely, though it is well known that Corax act as they will.
According to the stories of the Bastet, they were created to complement the other Changing Breeds in their various tasks. Many of them, however, refused their help, believing themselves capable of managing their tasks under Gaia alone. This lead to the Bastet pride leading to them to separate from the other breeds, and gave the Garou an excuse to accuse the Bastet of having fallen.
During the war, the Bastet further recoiled from the world, disappearing (or falling) as individuals or into their homelands territories. Garou and Bastet rarely share territories any longer, besides the tribal territories that did not participate in the war.
The War of Rage scarred the Bastet on a spiritual level. This spiritual damage inflicts Bastet with a deep-seated hatred against the Garou, similar to the Delirium that afflicts humans. Only with great restraint can a Bastet overcome this hatred and even then, it is only temporary.
The Ananasi are manipulators, and their actions during the War of Rage not only gave the surviving Fera enough time to hide by distracting the Garou, but also served the purposes of the spiders by tricking the Garou into cracking the Queen’s prison. Not that anyone but the Ananasi know that. Ananasi may have also started the war by not understanding (or caring) that their actions added to the aggressive emotions of the Garou.
In the end, Ananasi will say what they need to for their own mysterious purposes. If the war unifies and protects their needs with the Fera, then that is what they will do. If not, then they can claim separation from the rest of the Fera.
Unified by necessity, and common loss
When playing a Fera character, figuring out how to act around other Fera, including Garou, is key. Do you treat them as allies or opponents? Do your actions differ in different circumstances?
You must understand your purpose under Gaia, and if that purpose has changed for you as an individual. Sometimes, despite all Fera having different purposes, we must keep their tasks in mind and help each other out, as far as we know how. There are far less tools, but the tasks has only gotten harder.
I recommend that all Fera players go and read about the other Fera, including those that cannot be played in gaslight, and those who are extinct. This can give important stories and connections in the history of the Fera. These include: Ajaba, Apis, Camazota, Grondr, Gurahl, Kitsune, Nagah, Mokole, Nuwisha, and Rokea.
Perceiving the balance
Fera have a very different perception of what it means to be in balance under Gaia. The Garou are proponents of the Wyld (and Weaver, for some tribes). Fera have very different, and often oppositional, views of the Wyrm, Weaver, and Wyld.
Ratkin see the Wyld as the true ally, far more than even the Garou. They see the enemy as the Weaver, with the Wyrm as a sad, violent circumstance that also needs dealing with.
Bastet and Corax have similar ideas the the Garous of what the fight is all about, though their methods are varied as to what is needed in the conflict.
Ananasi have totally rewritten the entire concept of the Triad, and playing one of these mysterious shifters will involve a totally new understanding of the nature of reality from the Garou play.