Sands of Sleep — Card Notes

Sands of SleepSands of Sleep

You may discard this card when you encounter a character or a creature Waylay. This causes the target to fall into a deep sleep and cannot move [be unable to move] or be encountered for 3 Days.

A Fianna Garou equipped with the Sands of Sleep only has to exhaust it to use it, instead of discarding it.

To explain why I like this card I’ll have to give a bit of background.

I love Werewolf: The Apocalypse. A little more, I think, than I like Changeling, but maybe that is only because I have played it more. In Werewolf you play (generally) a Garou, which is, well, a werewolf, but not one as you know it. Garou were created by Gaia, the Earth Goddess, to protect herself from evil (represented by the Wyrm). They fight the pollution, corruption, and spiritual decay that is caused by the Wyrm, whilst they also fighting themselves, because they are prone to violence themselves and, often to their own dismay, far from virtuous heroes. I’ll spare you the details, but I recommend you check it out, if you are not familiar with it. The world of the Garou is immensely rich and perhaps more consistently developed than that of Changeling. (A good introduction, as always, is the free Introductory Kit).

What I particularly like is that of all the World of Darkness games, Werewolf and Changeling are quite alike, in some ways. Both Garou and Fae fight, in their own ways, against the onslaught of some form of corruption that threatens not just this world, but also their spirit world—the Dreaming in Changeling, and the Umbra in Werewolf. But there are real connections between the two as well. Many Garou have ties to the noble houses of the Fae, and often work with them. This means it is not difficult to have a role playing campaign with both Garou and changelings, as I have participated in a few times. Good times!

 

There are different tribes of Garou, and of all these, the tribe of Fianna is particularly close to the fae. The Fianna tribe originated in the British Isles, and are said to descend from Danu, from whom also descended the Tuatha de Danaan, from whom all the fae are said to descend (though this is not entirely true; for more on this, see Immortal Eyes: Court of All Kings, page 25-26 and 30). Here is section from the Book of Lost Dreams (page 15) about the ties between the Fianna and Fae:

The greatest allies the Kithain have among the Garou are the Fianna. Bred primarily from Hibernian stock, the Fianna’s network of Kinfolk [their human relatives] is so intertwined with changeling blood that it has been know, though exceedingly rare, for Garou and Kithain (or at least kinain [human relatives of changelings with faerie blood]) children to be born of the same parents. The Fianna know more about fae society than any other Prodigals, with perhaps the exception of some mages. Fianna bards are often welcomed into fae freeholds, and Kithain are often in attendance at Fianna moots. This closeness of kin and attitudes have led some Kithain scholars to believe that the Fianna are the last Prodigals to leave the fold of fae to join the Garou.

fiannagarou

It is thus no surprise that of all the Garou, it is a Fianna that is included in Arcadia. In The Wyld Hunt a Fianna (a Galliard, to be specific, who is a guardian of sacred lore) appears as a Waylay, and there is a Fianna Character in King Ironheart’s Madness. In the Changeling: The Dreaming handbook (page 284) we read that “werewolves can enter the spirit world and travel to strange spirit realms [i.e. the Umbra]. It’s rumored that some of their elders can even travel to Arcadia, although this has never been proven.” I suppose this is proven in Arcadia. The Character card for the Fianna in King Ironheart’s Madness states:

I found my way to Arcadia years ago and have lived among my fae friends enjoying the pleasures of the fur. Now the time has come to fight, and seek out my place in legend.

The Fianna Character from King Ironheart's Madness

The Fianna Character from King Ironheart’s Madness

But now, back to Sands of Sleep! This is a good example of the cross-over between the game lines of the World of Darkness. Why do Fianna Garou only have exhaust this Treasure when they use it? Because Sands of Sleep is one of their “fetishes”. A fetish is an artefact that is imbued with the power of a spirit. When making a fetish, a Garou makes a pact with the spirit, and as long as the Garou does not violate that pact, the spirit remains in the artefact. Sands of Sleep is such a fetish. From the Werewolf Players Guide (page 125):

This fetish takes the form of a small bag made from a black material and filled with a fine powder that is absorbed when it comes into contact with liquids and solids. When activated, the bag must be swung open-end-first toward the target, striking him with the “sand”. […] To create this fetish, one of the following spirit types must be bound into the bag: Sleep, Dream, Calm or Night.

Since the Garou can create fetishes, like Sands of Sleep, this Treasure is not lost when used by a Fianna, but only exhausted. Any other kith may have acquired a little pouch of this, but once they use it, they have lost it.

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