Rahu, Cahalith, Elodoth, Ithaeur, Irraka.

Where do these names - of the five auspices found in Werewolf: The Forsaken - come from, IRL? What real world words, terms, languages do they originate in, and why have the designers picked these?

What I'm looking for: I remember, for example, that the word "theurge" (used in the oWoD Werewolf, also an auspice) comes from "theurgy", which Google defines as

"the operation or effect of a supernatural or divine agency in human affairs"

and, still according to Google, has its roots in the Greek "theos" (god) and "-ergos" (working), which combine into "theourgia" (sorcery), which makes it pretty obvious why the designers of that game picked it.

So... what about the words Rahu, Cahalith, Elodoth, Ithaeur, and Irraka? :)


1 Answer 1


They're the Apocalypse auspice names run backward using Grimm's Law.

Developer Ethan Skemp says the following about the Uratha First Tongue:

The root of most First Tongue stuff is Sumerian, then run back through Grimm's Law. Step Three is where it gets really complicated, though, as many — and I mean many — a word is not at all literally the un-Grimmed Sumerian root. Messing around in WTF: Blasphemies, I had to come up with some weird poetic language — like "neighbor-desire" for Envy. Many of the words that you see in the core were assembled by the guy who first put this thing together (James Kiley) and then many more were done by Carl Bowen while I was working on other stuff. So I can't quote the exact etymology of some words. Hieing all the way back to that traffic light spirit, the Little Road Tyrant — yeah, its First Tongue name was derived from the Sumerian "red-yellow-green."

There are minor "rules" derived elsewhere, too. Like the lunar choirs — they all end in "-lunim" not because it's proper Sumerian derivation, but because it was evocative of old angel names (and thereby sort of evoked another really ancient culture).

Sometimes we went right for the in-joke, too. The Breath, Worm and Deep all have direct in-joke First Tongue names, two of them from W:tA (the Breath from an Elemental Urge, and the Worm... well, you probably know why we went with "Zmai").

In retrospect, I guess it wasn't a fair challenge. Rule Three is in its way the most important rule, and it seems to have gotten in the way of decoding the most. I apologize for that. But it is the most important rule, particularly when designing your own words. It's very, very easy to come up with the same not-so-intuitive word for three entirely different concepts, due to the many homonyms in Sumerian. Always keep that sucker in mind.

The same site answers your question directly: the auspice names are the names from Werewolf: The Apocalypse taken backward through Grimm's Law.

  • Ragabash: Irraka
  • Ahroun: Rahu
  • Galliard: Cahalith
  • Philodox: Elodoth
  • Theurge: Ithaeur
  • \$\begingroup\$ For us folk who have never played Werewolf, can you include those original auspice names, and how they match to these new ones? \$\endgroup\$
    – starwed
    Jun 2, 2014 at 7:43
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @starwed I can do that. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Jadasc
    Jun 2, 2014 at 13:40

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