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Rite of the Winter WindsEdit

The night of the winter solstice is the longest night of the year. It is the time of birth pangs as Helios is reborn and the days begin to lengthen. Even in the depths of Winter, the Garou, children of the moon, ritually celebrate the time of life-in-death. Certain Garou believe that if this rite is not performed, the nights will continue to lengthen until Gaia has fallen into a terrible twilight state of perpetual pain. Most modern Garou consider this mere superstition, but even such skeptics participate enthusiastically in the rite.

The Rite of the Winter Winds has many variants. In the most common version, the ritemaster gathers the Garou in a circle around a small bonfire. She then leads the group in an extended howl that begins as a low, rumbling growl and eventually rises to an ululating crescendo. When the ritemaster feel the tension is at its height, she leaps forward, snatches up a burning brand (or in some cases an electric lantern) and runs into the woods. The other Garou follow her, grabbing branches as they go. Running as swiftly as they can, the Garou make as many frightening and strange noises as possible. This rite is performed both to encourage Gaia's labour in giving birth to the sun, and to frighten off any minions of the Wyrm that might be lurking about, ready to snatch the newborn sun or harm Gaia as she turns her attention away from the surface world.

The ritemaster finally leads the howling pack back to the bonfire, where they hurl their branches into the conflagration. Once the fire is raging, the Garou celebrate with a revel that lasts until dawn, at which time they greet the newborn sun with one last, triumphant howl.

Source: Werewolf the Apocalypse

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