Rage Across Baltimore
While Fetishes are rare items requiring great effort to create, Talens are far more common. Even a fairly inexperienced Garou can create a Talen. Unlike Fetishes, which are permanent until either the Garou releases the spirit or it somehow breaks free, a Talen is a temporary item, usually good for one use only.
Since talens can be produced through the Rite of Binding, a relatively simple Level One Rite, the pack may become familiar with the creation and use of talens before they gain a great number of more powerful fetishes, much less create any of those (which requires a different, higher level Rite).
Rite of Binding
This rite binds a spirit to a Garou, making it his servant. The more powerful the spirit is, the more difficult the process is. Although any encountered spirit is subject to binding, the Garou generally feel that spirits should be bound only when needed.
They do not feel good about binding spirits for great lengths of time. This point does not go uncontested, however, particularly by the mystics of the Uktena tribe. Spirits trapped through this rite may be bound into temporary service or into objects to create talens.
So spirit allows itself to be bound unless it is friendly to the binding character’s totem. Spirits can be bound into objects, places and people, although the Garou generally don’t perform the last feat unless the need is great. Failing this rite can be dangerous, for the spirit is very likely to become hostile and attempt to harm the mystic.
A Garou can attempt this rite only in the presence of a spirit, and it is usually performed in the Umbra.
These obsidian-headed arrows seek out and home in on Banes, whether or not they are visible. They hit Banes automatically and inflict three dice of aggravated damage. Furthermore, the bite of a Bane arrow is so painful that no Bane can resist howling in agony. Wyrm spirits can sometimes sense the presence of these Talens, and they may not wait for the archer to fire before acting.
To create a Bane arrow, one must bind a spirit of war, air or pain into the arrow.
When broken open, activated, and sprinkled over the body of a recently (within a day) dead creature, this small jar of dust allows the wielder to communicate with the spirit of the corpse. The Silent Striders sometimes give these Talens to their pups to help them discover knowledge.
To create death dust, one must bind a spirit of death, communication or divination into the jar.
This Talen is a single moonbeam caught within a small crystal. Upon embarking on a journey into the Umbra, the wielder may activate this Talen from Luna. As long as it is carried continually, the journey should be a safe one. The crystal shatters once the Garou reaches his destination. This Talen keeps away only incidental danger. If a powerful and hostile spirit hunts the werewolf actively, she has more problems than this Talen can solve.
Only a Lune can empower a moon glow Talen.
This small waxen seal bears the sign of the full moon. When activated and thrown down before any werewolf, the werewolf’s player must succeed on a Willpower roll (difficulty 7), or the character changes immediately to Lupus form. This Talen works on Black Spiral Dancers and other shapechangers as well, making them shift to their animal form.
To create a moon sign, one must bind a Lune into the seal. One may also use a spririt of the Wyld, a spirit of change or a wolf spirit.
This Talen is distilled from the very essence of night. When quaffed, one fluid ounce of this liquid turns the imbiber’s body into shadow, rendering her virtually invisible in darkness. Only a watcher searching actively for the user can make a roll to spot her. This effect lasts only an hour. Weaker versions of this Talen exist that last only until the change of the next hour.
To create nightshade, a spirit of night or darkness must be bound into a vial.
This sigil possesses some protection against the power of the Wyrm. Servants of the Wyrm revert to their true forms if the sigil activates in their presence. Some believe that this action alerts the Wyrm to the existence of the sigil, but in any event, the sigil combusts in a greenish fire immediately after use, and it is incinerated completely.
To create a Wyrm scale, a Wyrm spirit must be bound into the sigil.
This useful talen allows a character to determine whether a person is Garou or Kinfolk — assuming the character can obtain a fecal or blood sample. It looks like a simple test tube with a stopper. The tester drops or pours her sample into the vial, seals it, shakes it, spends a Willpower point and within five seconds, she has a thick crimson glop (Garou), a small amount of brownish powder (Kinfolk) or nothing (anybody else, no matter what other supernatural associations the person might have).
Any of the following spirits must be bound into a normal test tube to create the fetish: Ancestor, Divination or Crow.
This talen is a dry, herbal mixture in a small bottle or bag. The user adds water, mixes and drinks while making a Gnosis roll or spending a Gnosis point. If successful, she finds herself with twice as much physical strength as before (up to a maximum of five dots). The additional strength lasts for one scene (one fight, for example).
To make the talen, the creator must mix special herbs in a container, then bind a Thunder-spirit to them.
No matter where a recipient might be, he can receive a brief written message (a paragraph or about five full sentences) via this talen; he can read the note even while in the Umbra. The talen itself looks like a sheet of smooth, blank vellum. The user writes down the message, addresses (by name only) the note, then activates the talen with Gnosis. The notepaper blows out of her hand as if by an unseen wind. After one scene, it comes into the recipient’s possession in much the same way.
To create this talen, a Dove-spirit or Pigeon-spirit must be bound into high-quality vellum paper.
This talen looks like a slender white stick, perhaps as long as a soda straw. When the user snaps the stick in two and spends his Gnosis, a call goes out to the nearest single Garou. This talen differs from the fetish Horn of Distress in that the werewolf must come when the talen is activated. It’s risky, though, because the talen’s power doesn’t distinguish between tribes or breeds. A Kinfolk could break the stick and summon an enraged Red Talon or a Black Spiral Dancer! In any case, he should have a damn good reason to call on the Garou.
A Lune must be bound into a birch stick to make this talen.
This talen, which takes the form of a small pouch of ashes, is an effective charm against mundane projectiles. The user must spread the ashes in a line before him while activating the talen; the line cannot be longer than ten feet, or it becomes ineffective. While the talen is in effect (for half an hour), no mundane missile weapon, thrown or fired, may cross the line of ashes. Hurled rocks, arrows and bullets all bounce off as if hitting a stone wall. However, fetish weapons and Gift effects (such as Bane Arrows and Call the Breeze) can cross the line as normal; this makes the talen excellent protection for a suitably armed sniper. The ashes are abnormally heavy while the effect lasts, and cannot be easily scuffed or blown away; it takes an entire turn to make a break in the line and therefore spoil the talen’s effects.
To create this talen, a Garou must bind an Earth-spirit into the pouch of ashes.
This talen takes the form of a small bead of amber or clay. A Garou must swallow it in order to activate it; when he does so, he and all his dedicated equipment meld with a portion of the earth around him — he may sink into the earth, be absorbed by a rock outcropping, or even blend into a brick wall. He may remain in this state, aware of his surroundings, for up to a scene; otherwise, he can emerge into the physical world whenever he likes. If the section of earth he inhabits is damaged, the Garou takes unaggravated wounds to match the severity of the damage; this is usually enough to bring a werewolf out fighting.
This talen requires that the spirit of a trapdoor spider be bound within.
This patch sends streams of Nanospiders into the body to correct any “aberrations” found there. This has three effects on Garou. First, a Garou automatically shifts into her natural form. Second, any foreign spirits possessing her must make an opposed Gnosis roll against the Patch’s Gnosis plus the Garou’s Gnosis to retain possession (10 maximum). Third, the Garou must make an opposed Gnosis roll against the talen. If she succeeds, nothing happens. If she fails, she takes one aggravated wound for each success the talen beats her by. This attack also works against creatures of the Wyld and Wyrm.
These patches increase a physical attribute from one to three points. The effects last an entire scene. At the end of the scene, the user must make a Willpower roll against the Gnosis of the patch. If he fails, he becomes addicted to the patch and must have more.