Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Totems: Wolf, Part V

Wolf Divinities & Folk Variations
"Geri and Freki the war-wont sates, the triumphant sire of hosts; but on wine only the famed in arms, Odin, ever lives." - Grímnismál, Poetic Edda

The wolf totem is a well-known attendant of various divinities and groups. Reflecting this, clerics and fighter-types of those folk can opt to substitute specific wolf totem abilities, side-effects, tests, and/or spells for ones they would normally have, reflecting how the wolf aspect can come more to the fore with them.

Select or roll 1d8
1. Odin: Ulfhednar (see Volume I) focus on ferocity, and can substitute such wolf aspects at later levels for uses of their unique, Odin-granted Wolf Fury, though such Norse always select that at first level due to its reliability (it, like other divinity-granted abilities can be reliably selected and requires no Totemic Side-Effect to use). Odin's clerics can do the same with certain magical side-effects and spells too if they have a particular bond with Freki & Geri, though the Fury of Freki and Geri magical side-effect would be naturally maintained.

2. Fenrir: its fell followers can focus more on swapping certain frightening wolf abilities, side-effects, tests, and spells, though doing so might make them somewhat less murderous and demonic. All keep the Fenris Curse ability at 1st level, of course, though afterwards, others might do.

3. Apollo & Artemis: harkening to Apollo Lykaios, their followers' powers would often wane in the sun and wax under the moon (or vice verse). Otherwise, such Greeks would wear only belts (many being Koryos) and at times even eat the occasional human flesh that happens to turn up in order to be turned to wolves for extended times.

4. The Morrighan & Cernunnos: Celts who follow these divinities can focus on summoning wolves, whether to terrify those upon the moor in the former case) or have a more mystical communion in the later. Morrighan goes further with opting to turn her faithful more often into full wolves, while those who follow Cern tend more to wolf-hybrids.
5. Mars: dutiful always, his Roman clerics might not substitute much in the way of wolfishness. Still, velites are wolfish peltasts (link), paying special homage to the she-wolf who nursed young Romulus and Remus by coordinating attacks to take down prey, and his other followers may do the same. 
6. Veles & Dazbog: focus more on being able to move well and having wolfish senses, Slavs who follow these gods might substitute wolf powers, whether to ultimately be cunning or to discover truth. Furthermore, those who follow Veles tend to gain wolf heads, while those who follow Dazbog instead tend towards having full wolf forms, especially amongst the southern Slavs. 

7. Dacians: known as wolves themselves, they focus on wolf aspects in defending their lands, having wolfish heads, and, when turning completely, being great white wolves. Until their divinities can be examined more at a later date, they would fit closely with full wolf shamans and barbarians.

8. Scythians: like the Gteeks, they have Neuroi that are known to be turned to wolves for long periods of time. And being horse archers, they can get a wolf's speed and sensing ability too.

Next week: Totems, Bear!