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A Garou's First Change is the event in which they shift for the first time by entering a state of Frenzy. In homid- and lupus-born Garou, this is usually a shift to Crinos, but for metis-born Garou this can be a shift to any of the non-Crinos forms. Cubs have also been known to Fox Frenzy in their First Change rather than Berserker Frenzy, in which case a homid- or metis-born cub might shift to lupus and flee. The First Change is often excruciatingly painful and very traumatic for the cub, both in and of itself and because any Garou overseeing the Change will need to stop the Cub's Frenzy--in most cases, with their fists or claws.

If everyone involved is lucky, this all occurs somewhere free of witnesses (and possible victims), but as the number of urban-born Garou increases so does the number of urban First Changes. In an attempt to prevent possible Veil breaches and identify the nascent Cub, a Kinfetch is attached to it using the Baptism of Fire ritual. This will (hopefully) facilitate their kidnapping before the initial Frenzy (informally referred to as a 'cubnapping'). Septs, Tribes, and Garou families will have their own traditions on how to deal with a cub's First Change when they are lucky enough to find them (or already knew about them from the start) before they Frenzy and get them under wraps.

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