Almost all living things have a spiritual representation in the Shadow Realm. There are untold types of nature-spirits, and countless choirs and descants within which they converge. Below are listed some of the largest and most common nature choirs, but they should not be thought to be anything but the smallest and most simple designations thereof.
Though nature-spirits reflect the living things of our own world, they are not a perfect reflection. The Shadow is a vicious place, and if anything, Nature is far redder in tooth and claw there. The lion does not lay down with the lamb; the lion devours both lamb and lioness, and the lamb will consume another lamb if it can. Many of humanity’s folkloric beliefs about the “personalities” of animals have their root in the ways of the Shadow, or perhaps the nature of certain animal-spirits is rooted in the beliefs of humanity. Whatever the actual origin, some nature-spirits have much in common with conceptuals or other spirits outside the nature choirs. A raven-spirit may gather in a brood with death-spirits, or even take on aspects of a death-spirit itself without becoming magath or falling too far from the concept of what it is to be the spirit of “raven.” Such is the nature of the Shadow.
Animal-spirits have great diversity of choirs, perhaps more than any other large grouping of spirits. There is a Reptile Choir, for instance, but there is also a Scaled Choir that claims the allegiance of many reptile- and fish-spirits, and a Predator Choir that draws the loyalty of many others. However, the tangled mess of spirit politics is somehow simpler when dealing with animal-spirits than with a more alien class such as the conceptuals. Although it might be tricky to tell whether a crocodile-spirit owes its first loyalty to the Reptile, Scaled or Predator Choir, at least werewolves can understand those basic divisions and even predict how they might influence a spirit’s behavior. It’s common practice among werewolves, particularly those of a more traditional bent, to lump mammals and reptiles together when speaking of “animal-spirits” or “beast-spirits,” while excluding birds and fish. The classic division of “beasts of the land, birds of the sky and fish of the sea” isn’t particularly scientific, but the spirit-world hasn’t abandoned it yet.
- Bear Descant: Bruin, Rank 2 bear spirit
- Cats Descant: Malkin, Rank 1 cat spirit
- Dogs Descant: Mongrel, Rank 3 dog spirit
- Raccoon Descant: Cunning Mask, Rank 2 raccoon spirit
- Rats Descant: Vermin, Rank 1 rat spirit
- Vipers Descant: Disagreeable Serpent, Rank 2 viper spirit
- Wolf Descant: Wolf-Brother, Rank 2 wolf spirit
- Mako Descant: X
- Salmon Descant: X
- Stickleback Descant: X
Even as clear-cut a spirit choir as “Birds” is not at all simple. While scientists in the material world classify birds as any creature with feathers, the spirits do not define things so clearly. Many wild-bird-spirits disdain domestic-fowl-spirits. Penguin-, emu- and ostrich-spirits may be ostracized by avian-spirits that do not claim non-flying birds within their ranks.
- Eagle Descant: Sun-Hunter, Rank 2 golden eagle spirit
- Owl Descant: Omen Bird, Rank 2 owl spirit
- Raven Descant: Eye Eater, Rank 1 raven spirit
Slow moving and often among the oldest of the spirits of living things, tree-spirits have the time to witness much and potentially could serve as a great source of wisdom and knowledge for the Uratha. Unfortunately for the werewolves, the spirits of a forest are as hostile to the half-flesh wolf-children as any other spirit.
While plant-spirits tend to be less mobile than their animal counterparts, they still provide significant challenge for the Uratha who does not approach encounters with them with care. Some possess poisons or irritants that can make life very uncomfortable for the unwary werewolf pack. Other plant-spirits voraciously spread throughout any given territory and are notoriously difficult to eliminate entirely.
- Kudzu Descant: Land Eater, Rank 3 kudzu spirit
With four times more insect species than any other type of animal, it is not surprising that the number of insect-spirits in the Shadow is equally vast. Most, however never reach the point of sentience. The exceptions, when encountered, can be some of the most alien animal-spirits that Uratha will encounter. Werewolves tend to group the spirits of various arthropods together, whether they be insect, arachnid or something else entirely. Though some Uratha separate them technically along scientific lines, most pay heed to the First Tongue concept: Sigusuma, the Shell-Crawlers.
- Molds Descant: X
- Toadstools Descant: X
- Yeasts Descant: X
- Any Infectious Descant: Wasteling, Rank 3 spirit (type varies)