World of Darkness - Alpha Network
“Special quotation regarding Character Examples..”
One of the things that gets very muddled with statments that any of the splats “Serve” the Wyld. The Wyld is impersonal random change for the sake of change. It’s not particularly friendly and it does not have servants like the Weaver or the Wyrm. The things it has are essentially loci of madness and spontaneous change. I’m not even sure it has any agenda or goals, because it just is.
I am assuming this came from the problem that some of the writers saw Weaver and Wyrm as “bad” and conculuded the Wyld must be good. The truth is that none of the triat gives a damn about good or bad (ok, a part of the Wyrm wants to drag the world down screaming). The only real difference is that the Weaver and the Wyrm are more organised about pursuing their core principles.
It’s important to understand the inspirations for the Wyld when you consider the problem with the Wyld-as-it-is. It’s fairly clear that the Exalted Wyld was heavily influenced by the OWoD Werewolf Wyld. However, there, the Wyld is both chaos and the natural, random, generative aspect of the universe; it’s also weak and dying due to the double threat of Stasis and Corruption. The Garou revere facets of the Wyld, mainly those aspects focusing on nature (the cycle of life is both of the Wyld and of Gaia) and generation (and thus femininity as women give birth to new beings – this is why the Black Furies are arguably the most Wyld-focused Tribe).
But it’s also important to remember that the true “chosen of the Wyld” in OWoD are Ratkin and arguably Awakened Marauders, both of whom are presented as insane anarchists who worship or spread all the worst things about Chaos. Like, Ratkin are genocidal disease-bags who want to tear down all Order (think about what that means, it should be terrifying) and most Marauders fit the definition for sociopathy, though they don’t approach it out of malice, more that they fundamentally have trouble recognizing the world as anything but their own magic hallucination that they can shape like a lucid dream. The Wyld itself wasn’t portrayed much, in part because it’s not a place like it is in Exalted (it’s more of a shinmaic concept in Exalted parlance) and in part because it’s dying – you reference the Wyld through things like caerns, pure untouched mountain glens that man has never seen, purity of feeling untrammeled by reason, and the weird things that pursue chaos (who are not your friends, as a reminder and a general rule). And Changelings, of course – though I know little enough about OWoD Changeling that I won’t try to get into the details and will leave someone else to that; I will say that Dark Ages Fae was never as interested in the Wyld as much as it was about the power of Myth and Oath; I think Changeling the Dreaming had more to do with the Wyld, but again I never played it so I can’t discuss it in depth.
So, those were the roots of the Wyld, and the most-directly-relevant existing game lore that was used in Exalted. Now transplant those notions into a setting where the Wyld is not being killed by technological advancement and the Stasis that derives from stable human civilization, but rather that all stable existence is basically a small island in the middle of an ocean of Chaos, that only has linear time because of the existence of that island. It’s a place and not merely a universal concept, it’s more akin to Darkest Africa and the OWoD “Wyld as generative spark” notion is more a theme of Cytherea than Exalted’s Wyld. So, what do we have? Infinite chaos – where pretty much all rules are fluid and up for grabs. Infinite chaos being a thing that the human mind has trouble fathoming beyond a large-scale application of the Infinite Improbability Drive from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, hence that’s kind of the portrayal we get. And it’s as muddled as it sounds – the problem with that is having such a confused notion being such a large and seemingly-important location makes it hard to describe why that location is so important.
Creation begins with the Wyld. The Wyld is pure change. It is not so much undifferentiated chaos as it is elemental transmutation. It swirls constantly with change, adaptation and change again. The Wyld is alive with possibility: The Wyld is possibility. Every ant and tree contains a particle of this chaos of possibility within its spirit. No Garou Theurge or human mage or caretaker spirit has ever been able to quantify that tiny drop of eternity. Gaia draws the power of potential from the Wyld. Indeed, some say that she could not exist without it.
The Wyld is a complete entity, but without the Weaver, the Wyld loses all the forms it spawns. They return to the primal forge at the very moment of birth. To be all forms at all times is to be formless. Life without bounds cannot know itself in all parts. Therefore, the Wyld is the least personified of the three. Its constant mutability precludes true form or nature. The Wyrm is also essential to the Wyld, because the Wyrm destroys select aspects of the Weaver’s Web and returns the uncreated matter to the Wyld.
In the Deep Umbra, the Wyld has the potential to be the most powerful member of the Triat — almost as powerful as Gaia. In the physical Realm, however, the Wyld is the least powerful of the Triat. Its very essence, limitless possibility, is forced from the physical world daily by humanity’s focus upon “logic” and “reason.” As lope is forced upon an illogical world, there is less and less room for the magic of uncaused change. Only a few scattered sites of pure Wyld energy still exist, and the Garou guard them with their blood and the blood of their offspring. Although the Wyld loses sway in the physical world steadily, it is .unassailable in its home in the Deep Umbra. No danger can threaten it there, for any enemy is dissolved into primordial protoplasm upon coming into contact with the Wyld. The Weaver or Wyrm must win victory in the physical world if they are to gain the power to assail the Wyld at its heart. To some Garou, this hope is all they have as a promise that they might yet win the war.
Werewolves venerate the Wyld, seeing it as a symbol of their struggle against the Apocalypse and a promise of a brighter day. Its Realms teem with countless forms of life. In the world that grows from the Wyld, anything can happen.
Outnumbered, outfought, outmaneuvered Garou may even be able to prevail against the forces that threaten to devout Gaia. The Wyld is a bright hope, a promise of change from a wicked world of entropic destruction.
Although the Garou can expect no direct aid from this unfathomable force, for it knows no compass as or loyalty the Wyld may prove to be their greatest ally.