As a friend spins up a play-by-post Werewolf/Changing Breed game set in Hawaii, it was time to start stretching out my WoD memories and try applying it to the modern era. I think it’s been at least a decade since I made any World of Darkness character, much less a Garou.
One of my goals was to have the character be relatively new to Oahu, so the challenge was to plan where she came from and why she had uprooted herself with such completeness, so that she would be starting over.
Born: Vikki Villalobos
Garou Name: Shards of Spirit
Tribe: Children of Gaia
Breed: Homid (Parents both CoG Kinfolk)
Originally from: Napa Valley, California
Current Age: 22
For generations the Wolf’s Head Vineyards in Calistoga, California has been a refuge, a safe space for those in the Garou community that need a place to recover or a shelter for their first steps on the path to being part of the greater community. Many a young metis had been fostered there, free of the prying eyes their local pack would scrutinize them with. It straddled the precarious border between urban development and the natural wilds, schooling Homid children in the ways of the wolf and letting the Lupus born learn the life of man. The local packs defended the kinfolk owners through hard times and prospered in return when things were well. The Villalobos family rarely produced a Garou in their line, but they remained treasured community members for the care they showed those who needed a hand up in hard times, and the support they were always ready to provide to their family that did become true Garou. Delmar and his wife Marissa were no exception to this tradition, always ready to foster, nurture, donate, and dedicate themselves to the good of their Garou family.
It was a surprise to everyone when Marissa and Delmar’s only daughter, Viktoria (Vikki, to her friends) underwent the First Change at age sixteen. In a fortunate turn it was the actions of another Kinfolk that brought her rage boiling over the first time. The fire was already close to the surface, a feeling of being bothered as she was required to spend the day tending to the littlest cubs – those children thought most likely to become Garou in a few years – instead of with the glassblowing art and solitude that she craved that day. When she returned to the little workshop she had been granted it was to discover one of the older children, a mischievous prankster known for trying to upset her, holding her most involved piece to date. Without thinking about it she barked at him to leave it alone – and his hands pulled away from the piece without a thought to it’s balance. Gravity had its way with the glass tree and the sculpture became a shattered mess on the floor. The adults that were called to aid found her destroying the very valuable works she had stored there in a tantrum that would be talked about for months to come.
Her Rite of Passage hunt, turning her and a few other younglings loose in the woods blindfolded with no tools at their disposal to make their way back to the caern, did not cause her much distress. The soil of Napa was rife with obsidian remnants of previous generations, so she was able to make the weapons that would ensure her group’s success. Even outside her workshop the glass edge was the source of her strength, and she would come to be known to her fellow Children of Gaia as Shards of Spirit.
A theurge, she began to see and speak with the spirits around her – and her affinity for glassblowing as an art form showed her a natural draw to spirits of air and fire. She was able to find success in the human world as an artist over the next three years, and still have the freedom to aid the family and tribe she was loyal to. Everything seemed to have settled, even after her parents passed at relatively young ages in 2016 – Marissa to cancer and Delmar to a heart attack in the month after, though there were whispers that it was simply his heart was still broken from the loss of his wife. Still, Vikki was able to find help in the community to keep Wolf’s Head running as both a Garou sanctuary and a busy winery.
When the entire vineyard was lost to the October 2017 Wine Country fires, everyone assumed the insurance money would be collected, the rebuild would begin, and the cycle would continue – Wolf’s Head was eternal in their eyes – ever with the Villalobos family in charge. Yet something had changed that week for Vikki – seeing the fire spirits she trusted so much rush with rage over her safest places, she could no longer view the valley as home. The need to find a new measure of safety, in a place that would support her art, led her to seek out someplace a world away from Napa’s cooler weather and forested depths, but still sourcing the volcanic sand that made her art glass readily available.
A friend mentioned a North Shore gallery in Hawaii that was looking to fill an opening, and she began shipping pieces to them. It was the logical step away from Napa for her. With her growing name there over the next year, she began to look into a chance to relocate, using the funds from the fire to both carry her over the ocean but also leave enough to help the family and tribe in Napa in comfort while they made their plans for a new Wolf’s Head, this time minus the Villalobos legacy. By the beginning of 2019 Vikki was forming new roots in a land far from home, while still supporting from afar the efforts of her kin on rebuilding the burnt legacy.
Now in Hawaii for a year, she’s starting to see the islands as home, and has yet to return to Calistoga in person. Wolf’s Head is well on it’s way to a new crop even while she plants a very different seed in Oahu’s volcanic soil.