The animal you share kinship with and can shift into is your species. Hengeyokai fera are specific to the animals native to their homelands. In general, all shifters stay close to their animal kinfolk. It is said the fates between the animal species and their fera are linked. And so, if all tigers die out, it will be the end of the Khan whether they are of the Emerald Courts or otherwise.. For this reason it's extremely rare to see Simba outside of Africa where their lion kin are from. As such, some fera presented in the books will not be playable in our setting. Others will require a strong concept and backstory that wouldn't be satisfied by choosing something more local. Ideally, it's best to pick from the hengeyokai most likely to follow their kinfolk to the West, or to pick from garou/fera more likely to be found locally.
Western garou/fera will be at a disadvantage to start. They will need to earn the trust of the Court to be accepted. If they wish to join a wave sentai, they will need to join the court officially which may sour their relations with their own kind. If this is your first time playing a Werewolf the Apocalypse game, I highly suggest picking a Hengeyokai for your first character. If you still wish to play western garou/fera, it's recommended you start the character from the point they have asked to join the Emerald Courts.
Hakken (Wolf) - Asian Garou who spurn the Garou Nation for refusing to work with the other changing breeds. The Hakken are warriors who follow a warrior code derived from Bushido and are rarely found outside of Japan. Long ago they infiltrated the nobility as samurai and have maintained their ties with mortals and Japanese culture ever since. While they consider it their duty to support the Emerald Courts, few will join a sentai preferring instead to form packs within their clan. As we are not in Japan, Hakken simply don't have the numbers and are more likely to join a sentai to offer their skills and better support their kinfolk.
Khan (Tiger) - Khan believe it their sacred duty to serve as guardians for the Emerald Mother and her Courts. They are exceedingly proud, though perhaps somewhat justified as they are fierce warriors. While the Hakken rarely leave Japan, it is the Khan who serve as the front line of defense throughout the rest of Asia. The Khan care little for honour or discipline however, and seek a quick and decisive victory. Because of their differences Hakken and Khan are often at odds with one another even as allies.
Kitsune (Fox) [Limited] - Kitsune serve Gaia by aiding the other changing breeds and so will often fill a void left by those who cannot, or will not. Their unique perspective makes them well suited to serving as ambassadors, or any other role as needed. Make no mistake, every kistune is a trickster at their core. But whether serving as assassins, mystics, or warriors, each Kitsune is guided by the Laws of Heaven.
Kumo (Spider) [Restricted] - Among the Emerald Courts, it is believed the Kumo abandoned the Emerald Mother and their duties entirely in the aftermath of the War of Shame. It is assumed all serve the Wyrm and cannot be trusted, and most of those who have returned have turned out to be double agents. In fact, any Kumo who shows an interest in the Courts or the Emerald Mother is branded a traitor and devoured. Only when a shared threat is so great, has a Kumo returned under diplomatic immunity to share what they have learned. Even these warnings are viewed with caution and distrust. * For this reason most Kumo concepts are likely to be denied. Speak with an ST before spending too much time on the idea.
Nagah (Snake) [Restricted] - Western Fera and Garou believe all Nagah perished in the War of Rage. The Emerald Courts know better and protect their secret as if it were their own. While most Nagah prefer to work among their own they are still fiercely loyal to the Courts. The Nagah are Gaia's judge and remain ever watchful, preferring to remain outside of politics. Not even the hengeyokai realize the Nagah are also the Emerald Mother's assassins, but no one can begrudge the snakes for keeping that secret to themselves.
Nezumi (Rat) - The Emerald Mother tasked the Nezumi to keep the human populations under control, and so they tend to distrust the connections the other hengeyokai keep with mortals. Even homid Nezumi feel no connection to humans, generally coming from among the poor and downtrodden. Having little use for honour, Nezumi are masters of Low War, excelling in using dirty tricks to achieve their goals. Assassinations, bribery, poisons, and sabotage are all within their arsenal.
Same-Bito (Shark) [Limited] - All of the Same-Bito follow the six sacred precepts their legendary hero brought back from his epic journey onto the land, taught to him by the Zhong Lung. Western Rokea are said to have rejected these teachings and the Same-Bito regard them as little more than murderous animals. Because of this history they have strong ties with the Zhong Lung and work closely with the other changing breeds in the name of the Emerald Mother. They are the only Rokea to protect and value human Kinfolk. Make no mistake, most Same-Bito are happiest when hunting Bakemono/Banes on land and at sea.
Tengu (Raven) - Tengu are the intelligence masters of the Emerald Courts, serving as scouts, messengers, and even advisors. They are fascinated by mundane humans and enjoy speaking with any who will give them time. As master manipulators, they are not above tricking the mundane to serve their cause without the human ever being the wiser. If folklore is riddled with false information in how to protect against the Changing Breeds, it was a Tengu who propagated such strong beliefs.
Zhong Lung (Great Lizard/Croc) [Limited] - When there is no immediate threat to their allies or themselves, Zhong Lung prefer to lose themselves in the dreams of Mnesis as with most Mokole. It is in this shared dream that all Mokole preserve the memory of the Emerald Mother/Gaia. Even if imperfect or clouded by the fog of time, such memory of the past can offer insight and wisdom. Their willingness to shared with the Emerald Courts has earned them gr2eat respect and a reputation of enlightenment.
*Other bastet are possible, but only if you're familiar with Werewolf the Apocalypse. They will require a solid concept as to how they will interact with the local Dragon Nest and why they bother to stick around.
Children of Gaia
* Other tribes possible, but only if you are familiar with Werewolf the Apocalypse. They will require a solid concept as to how they will interact with the local Dragon Nest and why they bother to stick around.