Corax Kin Guide
Shifters have Kin, including the Corax. The inheritance of the shapeshifting gene for most Shifters isn’t a physical phenomenon so much as a spiritual one, with mystical odds and some mumbo jumbo about heroic, special bloodlines. But the thing is… Coraxes aren’t born as a result of chance and good fortune. They’re made. Each and every Corax is chosen by his or her spiritual parent (sometimes called the Egg Parent around the MUX), and most Coraxes say they just instinctively know whether or not a human infant or a raven hatchling will make a good future Corax.
The books written by White Wolf/Onyx Path have declared that any human or raven (Kin or not) can be made into a Corax, except the biological children of two Corax parents. In the books, Kin supposedly make better Coraxes, but there are no systems to determine why that might be so.
It has been house ruled that this pretty much renders Kin obsolete and useless, therefore, that rule is going in the trash. In order for the Rite of the Fetish Egg to be successful and create a new Corax, the Corax parent MUST choose a raven Kin or a human Kin to take the Egg. This infant or hatchling may not be the biological offspring of two Corax parents. The offspring must be the child of a Corax/Kin or a Kin/Kin pairing. No Metis Coraxes allowed. Any attempts to deviate from this set formula means that the Corax attempting the Rite fails. The Egg will not attach itself to the soul of the offspring, and the parent will lose his three permanent Gnosis for nothing. (Yes, the Rite of the Fetish Egg requires the sacrifice of three permanent Gnosis on the part of the parent. It’s potent stuff, reshaping little souls.)
What are Corax Kin, exactly?
Corax Kin are pretty much normal people or normal ravens. They will never shapeshift. If they were born human, they will stay human their entire lives. If they were hatched raven, they will stay raven. But they are distinguished from the norm by three things:
One, they are immune to the Delirium, which is a temporary insanity brought about from the days of the cavemen, when the shapeshifters used to hunt down and kill humans. This period in time was called the Impergium. Humanity, as a defense mechanism, developed the Delirium for whenever they see a shapeshifter in their war form (Crinos). It’s especially bad with the Garou, who were mainly responsible for these atrocities, and it happens to a lesser degree with the Corax. But you don’t need to worry about that, really. You can look at a Corax in his war form all you like, if you’re playing a Kin. You’ll likely laugh your ass off before you go running.
Two, Kinfolk carry the genetics to give birth to future shapeshifters. This is especially important to the Garou, who absolutely must mate with their Kin in order to have more baby Garou. With Coraxes, it’s a somewhat different story. As mentioned above, a new Corax is created through a special, sacred Rite (the Rite of the Fetish Egg) rather than born. Each Corax is chosen, not brought into the world through a stroke of seemingly random luck.
Three, there is a very slim chance that a Kin can be granted Gnosis by a spirit or develop Gnosis on her own, allowing her to use some low-level Gifts that the Shifters also use. It’s exceedingly rare, however, but when it happens, it’s a great honour. Many Shifters regard such a Kin as being especially blessed by Gaia (the great Earth goddess spirit who is mother to all).
The genetics of the Corax are getting passed down somewhere along the line, to varying degrees, so most Corax Kin are going to have dark hair and have more delicate musculature and bone structure. However, the Coraxes are not picky about bloodlines in the least, so their Kin can come from just about any ethnic group and from every walk of life. It’s entirely possible that Kin will have fairer hair and lighter eyes than a Corax, depending on who all’s been thrown into the mix along the branches of the family tree.
Other than these tendencies? Anything goes, really. Normal people, normal ravens.
The curiosity of the Corax comes directly from Raven, and to some extent, this will get passed along the bloodlines. Corax Kin are generally going to be quite intelligent and quite inquisitive. Careers in journalism or careers that involve a lot of travelling or talking will be common choices, but again… this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Corax Kin can certainly pick other careers.
One thing to note is that Corax will frequently form information networks with their Kin. It’s one way the Coraxes tend to appear to know everything that’s going on at once all across the world. You don’t need to have fancy, spiritual gifts to keep your eyes and ears open for trouble. Family helps!
While they do need their Kin, Corax just don’t need their Kin in the same, desperate way that the Garou do. They don’t absolutely have to mate with their Kin in order to birth a new Corax, because Coraxes are chosen and created through the Rite of the Fetish Egg rather than birthed. In fact, Coraxes are most frequently NOT the biological parents of their Egg-Children. Why? The Rite of the Fetish Egg demands that the Corax choose a Kin recipient who is of the ‘’opposite breed’’ to him or her.
In other words, a Corax who was born a human must make a Corax who was hatched from ravens. A raven-hatched Corax may only ever attach a Fetish Egg to the soul of an infant human Kin.
Furthermore, Coraxes are notably resourceful and independent. They have low amounts of Rage that would make normal humans uncomfortable around them, so they can hold jobs of their own, if need be. Therefore, Coraxes do not often need to rely on their Kin for money or shelter.
Lastly, because the Coraxes are so terrible in combat, a strong and sturdy Kin (or one who is at least well-equipped) certainly could kick their butts if they got too uppity.
This results in a much more egalitarian relationship between Corax and their Kin, one that is usually based on mutual respect for each other.
Things to Note
If you’re thinking of making a Corax Kin, then in addition to the above information, remember the following:
- Lost Kin would be a very, very rare occurrence. The very nature of a Corax is to find that which is lost or hidden and bring it to light. There would have to be some effort made to actively hide a Corax Kin from the Coraxes, and even then, eventually, that Kin is very likely to be found anyway.
- You can purchase the Gnosis Merit and be a Kin with Gnosis, and later, you could buy low-level Gifts with your XP. This is not recommended for newbie players, though.
- Just because you’re a Corax Kin doesn’t mean you can’t have ties to other shapeshifters. Feel free to branch out! Have contacts and allies all over the place.
- In case it wasn’t obvious, your Kin character is going to be a human. Raven Kin are definitely around on the game, but they are NPCs only. If you want to play a Corax who has a raven Kin mate, feel free to NPC it. Just be aware that Coraxes will instinctively want to mate for life with their chosen one, although they needn’t be monogamous about it. The life-pairing has more to do with raising young than copulation. Information about raven behaviour and physiology can be found at the bottom of the Corax Guide