Totem of Respect Background Cost: 6

Swan is an ancient Totem associated with fidelity, light, transformation and purity. She spans the Gauntlet with her wide, white wings as easily as she passes between air and water, and she travels far and tirelessly across the world. Even though humans have poisoned the waters with their filth she has remained untainted by the modern world, and she is revered by Garou and human alike for possessing grace with power and serenity with courage.

Although she is a Totem of Respect, Swan's long association with transformation and change for the better means that she will not disregard any Garou who seek her out, no matter what their past. She is known, in fact, for helping many an ugly duckling grow into a new set of feathers.


  • In the Umbra Swan's children glow with a faint white light, not enough to reliably travel by but sufficient to see a reflection in the dark (and thus cross the Gauntlet).
  • Swan is known and respected by other animal spirits and by spirits of air and water. Because of her bans, her children will usually find such spirits willing to believe their promises and to enter into fair bargains with them (providing the garou are in good standing with their pack totem).
  • Swan supports and encourages her children in undertaking actions that are focused on transformation or change for the better. This includes Gifts of healing and Rites of cleansing and balance, as well as attempts to overcome their own physical and psychological problems. Children of Swan may always make an immediate second attempt at such tasks if the first attempt fails, even if they would not normally be able to do so per the rules, unless this makes no sense at all (where the failure also removes the opportunity to try the task again, for example). GMs may also tilt the balance in the PCs favour when on the borderline between success and failure, or reduce the Willpower required for a task, or grant other similar minor benefits, in order to reflect this boon.
  • Swan's children are consummate travelers. All pack members have an effective +1 to Stamina for all movement, whether running, swimming, or using any form of self-powered transport (skates, skis, etc).
  • Swan teaches her children the Gift: Water Conning.


  • Due to their faint glow in the Umbra, pack members there are at -1 to Stealth when in shadow or darkness unless they mask the glow with clothing, mud or some other barrier.
  • Swan asks that all her children constantly attempt to improve themselves physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Pack members often first make an effort to overcome a flaw or to resolve the effects of a past failure. The spirit of this ban is that Swan would like her children to grow more like her, able to shelter others under their wings: to protect them and ultimately to guide them towards their own improvement and growth. Thus her children may not seek their own improvement at the expense of others, and she considers the teaching of others to be beneficial to personal growth (a character may keep this ban by teaching as well as by learning).
  • Swan greatly values loyalty and integrity. No pack members may ever break their word, nor abandon- for any reason- those who depend on them, nor work against the interests of anyone or any group to which they owe loyalty or have stated their loyalty for any reason (even as an act of deception). Swan does recognise that some actions are necessary for the long-term benefit of others, and as such does not ban the reasonable disciplining of cubs, the carrying out of just and fair punishment, formal Challenges and so on.
  • For the same reason, children of Swan must remain loyal to their fellow pack members no matter what, even if one fails to keep the Bans or even falls to the Wyrm. That loyalty may, of course, include finding some way to help them towards improvement, balance, and Gaia's favour.
  • Swan's bans are known by other spirits, and some spirits may use that knowledge to take advantage of her children, for example by tricking them into making a promise that they are then obliged to keep.

NB: Despite the ban concerning loyalty, there is no penalty to those who leave a pack with good reason to do so if they depart in good order and with the agreement of all. A pack may disband without penalty if it no longer has a good reason to remain packed and all agree that it would be beneficial to go on to other things. Former pack members and their Totem spirit often remain fast friends afterwards.

Totems of the Garou
Totems of cunning: Alley Cat | Coyote | Cuckoo | Fox | Lady Luck | Magpie | Opossum | Rabbit | Raccoon | Whitewater
Totems of respect: Bison | Eagle | Falcon | Grandfather Thunder | Ice Wolf | Lion | Merlin | Moose | Mule | Osprey | Pegasus | Sphinx | Stag | Stallion | Swan
Totems of war: Bear | Black Unicorn | Bull | Cougar | Dog | Fenris | Flea | Griffin | Hummingbird | Panther | Rat | Triune Goddess | Weasel | Wendigo | Winter Manitous | Wolverine | Wyvern
Totems of wisdom: Centaur | Chimera | City Father | Cockroach | Dana | Dragonfly | Fog | Frog | Grandmother Tree | Otter | Owl | Peregrine | Phoebe | Salmon | Trout | Uktena | Unicorn | Wind Incarna | Winter Wolf
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