Gift of Sun

From Dark City

The Gift of the Sun is a rare mark among werewolves. Very few spirits other than helions possess the symbolic resonance necessary to carve its searing paths of Essence through the coursing soul of an uratha. The helions themselves rarely offer such a Gift willingly to the children of Luna, and crossing the Courts of the Sun by actually hunting one of their number to force the infliction of the Gift is not to be undertaken lightly given the likely consequences. All this would already serve to render the Gift a sign of unusual bravery or diplomacy among the People, but there’s another aspect of the spiritual power at work behind these scalding soul-brands.

The Gift of the Sun burns.

It’s not the simple heat of a fire, nor even the boiling annihilation of nuclear fission. The Gift of the Sun is a reflection of Helios, the awful and majestic world-god at the heart of the solar system, who brooks no authority beyond its own and bows to none, who stands in tyrant mastery over the mewling, ravening planetary divinities that cluster at its skirts. Some say Helios set the moon gods in stewardship over each nightmare planet-Shadow, or that it scorches reality around itself to keep the circling wolves ever at bay, or that the Great Predator carved this from that to keep Helios ever at a distance from the realms it desires to desperately to rule over; but the power that the sun spirit wields is undeniably so potent that it can demand its ideal even of werewolves who would dare steal brief reflections of its glory. And the fires of Helios burn what it considers to be impurity—a soul blaze of reality-charring purgation that sharply divides the worthy from the unworthy.

Werewolves stand in dominion over the Shadow, its symbols theirs to hunt and imprint into their very Essence—but Helios, only Helios, violates that mastery with the insistence that arrogant children of Moon must past the sun’s judgment as well.

Mechanics: The Gift of the Sun is a Shadow Gift, and can be learned in the usual ways, but has an additional step that a potential wielder must pass (and survive). When a spirit carves the Gift into the werewolf, the recipient’s brands begin to burn with spiritual flame which threatens to rapidly consume them and reduce them to a charred carcass if they are impure.

Overcoming the burning gaze of Helios is an extended action requiring 10 successes, with each interval taking one turn. The werewolf uses her Resolve + Purity as the dice pool, with the usual maximum number of dice rolls allowed equal to the unmodified number of dice in the pool. If the werewolf rolls at least one success on a roll, she takes one point of Aggravated damage; an exceptional success reduces this to no damage. On a failure, she takes two points of Aggravated damage as well as achieving no successes towards the total, unless she has a Purity of less than 3 in which case she suffers three points of Aggravated damage, rising to five points if she has no Purity dots at all. The werewolf may at any point choose to end the crucible of purifying fire raging in her Essence, but doing so denies her the ability to gain the Gift, gives her the Shadowlashed Condition, and causes her to be treated as having Purity 0 for any attempts to gain the Gift again—both in terms of building a dice pool and the amount of damage suffered on failing a roll—for the next solar year. She also likely earns the utter scorn of helions in whose eyes she has now been proven unworthy beyond doubt.

Burning Gaze (Cunning)

What is sight, but an echo of the great, staring sun? What is vision, but a parasite upon its bleeding rays of light? Tolerate not the worms who would feast upon the sun’s grandeur, unworthy of its notice. An eye for all eyes.

Cost:2 Essence

Dice Pool: Wits + Subterfuge + Cunning – prey’s Composure (if targeting single prey)

Duration: Scene, or 1 chapter

The Uratha may use this Facet on a single prey she can perceive, or on the scene.

Roll Results

Dramatic Failure: The Uratha’s eyes burn out, torching into ash in a brief blaze of nuclear flame. She suffers two points of aggravated damage, along with a persistent Blinded Tilt for both eyes.

Failure: The Facet fails to take effect.

Success: To those present in the scene, light becomes overwhelmingly, agonizingly bright and blinding. Exposure of the eyes to any level of moderate illumination—normal sunlight or electric indoor lighting, a flashlight pointed at the face, a roaring fire—inflicts the werewolf’s Cunning Renown as a penalty on all rolls that involve perception, sight, or concentration and focus, and prey gain no special attunement or capacity to see in the dark in compensation. If instead directed at a single prey, the Facet’s effects last for a full chapter. Characters suffering from the Blinded Tilt, or who cannot see due to other reasons (such as mundane blindness), are unaffected.

This aspect of the Facet has little effect on Uratha, whose other senses easily compensate. However, if used at night on werewolf prey whose Auspice matches the current phase of the moon, it also imposes the wielder’s Cunning Renown as a penalty on the prey’s activation rolls for their Auspice-linked Hunter’s Aspect and their Moon Gift Facets, and denies them access to their Auspice Ability for the duration. The moon shines with the sun’s reflected light, and Helios is nothing if not a jealous god.

Exceptional Success: As well as its normal effects, exposure of the eyes to direct sunlight for a minute inflicts both a single point of lethal damage and the Blinded Tilt on victims.

Blazing Power (Glory)

A touch, a kiss, a mere burning whisper of the eternal fire that screams endlessly into the void.

Cost: 2 Essence, or 3 Essence

Action: Reflexive

Duration: 1 scene, or 1 turn

Upon activating this Facet, the werewolf adds her Glory Renown to her Defence for the duration of the scene, and she may apply her Defence against firearms even in forms that would not normally grant it. Additionally, while the Facet is active, she may spend 3 Essence as a reflexive action to vent out heat and light with equivalence to a bonfire in size and a Bunsen burner in intensity in an area of her Glory Renown in yards around her for a turn; doing so immediately ends the scene-long effects of the Facet, and likely sets anything flammable on fire as well.

If the Uratha falls into Basu-Im, she will instinctively activate this Facet at no cost.

Solar Flare (Honor)

To be a lighthouse, burning in lambent mimicry of the sun. No more than a pale ember by comparison but oh, to be such a lighthouse.

Cost:1 Essence, 2 Essence, and permanent


Duration:1 scene, and permanent

When she flares the brands of any of her Renown categories, the werewolf may use this Facet to encompass up to her Honor Renown in other willing werewolves present, causing their relevant brands to also flare. The resulting Condition and the specific bonus it grants to others acting against her only applies to her, but once she resolves it and reaps the resulting bonus successes, each other werewolf affected by Solar Flare can also apply the same number of bonus successes on one of the skills indicated by the Condition a single time before the end of the scene.

Alternately, she may use this Facet at its heightened cost when another werewolf present flares a Renown in which they have a lower dot rating than her Honor Renown. Doing so may either grant them bonus successes derived from her Honor rather than their lower Renown rating if they successfully resolve the resulting Condition, or reduce the same by her Honor if it is their Auspice Renown.

Finally, the Renown brands that writhe through the Uratha’s flesh and soul burgeon with such solar immanence that her spirit and Essence scorch those foolish enough to pry at them. Whenever prey would use a supernatural ability to steal Essence from the werewolf or to tamper with her soul, they suffer her Honor Renown in points of aggravated damage; successfully prying out her soul then continues to inflict a point of aggravated damage on the thief every scene until it is returned or destroyed.

Arrogance (Purity)

Unrivaled pride. Unending hubris. Ceaseless illumination against the tide of the dark. Whole worlds nestle in the bosom of that mad pomposity.

Cost: 1 Essence

Action: Reflexive

Whenever the werewolf is the target of a supernatural power with an activation roll, she may activate this Facet to apply her Purity Renown as an additional penalty to that roll. The werewolf does not need to be consciously aware that she is a target, or even be present anywhere near the wielder; using this power does not make her aware she is a target either, or of the nature of the power, although she will notice her Essence burning away. Should the power’s activation roll fail, it is automatically aggravated into a dramatic failure.

If the Uratha falls into Basu-Im or is the target of a Moon Gift Facet with an activation roll, she can instinctively activate this Facet at no cost.

Oppression (Wisdom)

The weight of a gaze older than the world, putting all things in their place. How heavy it is, to bear a star upon one’s back.

Cost: 2 Essence

Dice Pool: Presence + Survival + Wisdom – prey’s Strength (if targeting single prey)


Duration:1 scene, or 1 chapter

The Uratha may use this Facet either on a single prey she can perceive, or on the scene.

Roll Results

Dramatic Failure: Helios strikes the werewolf down for her pretensions, inflicting two points of aggravated damage, the Knocked Down Tilt, and two Leg Wrack Tilts upon her.

Failure: The Facet fails to take effect.

Success: If used on the scene, this Facet adds the werewolf’s Wisdom Renown to the number of points of damage inflicted by any fall, inflicts the same as a dice penalty on any Athletics rolls that involve climbing or moving heavy objects, and reduces the flying, jumping, or climbing Speed of any character by twice her Wisdom Renown. Furthermore, it cancels any other supernatural forms of altered gravity present in the scene, aligning everything solely to the Sun’s gaze crashing down from above.

If used on a single prey, the Facet lasts for a chapter, applies all of the scene-wide effects to the prey, and increases the initial distance that the prey must drop to trigger falling damage to just one yard, although the intervals for further increases to falling damage remain as normal. Furthermore, unless a spirit, they cannot fly via any means, mundane or occult; planes will strain and fail to lift off, while magic incantations will unravel. A spirit can still fly if such is part of its innate capabilities, although it suffers the same penalties to its flying Speed as the scene-wide Facet would inflict; however, it also incurs the Uratha’s Wisdom Renown as a penalty to all dice pools while airborne.

Exceptional Success: The Facet immediately applies the Knocked Down Tilt to the prey; or imposes the werewolf’s Wisdom Renown as an Initiative penalty to anyone other than the werewolf and her packmates present in the scene.

(c) Chris Allen