Fireteam Argent and the Tusk Battalion

Ruthless Ivory Fang pack leading a US Marine battalion

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In better days, it would be impossible for an entire pack of any werewolves — let alone the Pure — to take over a US Marine battalion. But in the era of constant warfare, failing oversight, and whatever-it-takes ruthlessness, exactly such a fate has befallen the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, now called Tusk Battalion. Their key command personnel are either Ivory Fangs or Ivory Fang kinfolk, with more wolf-blooded sprinkled liberally through the ranks. Battle-hardened, highly decorated, and fearless, the Third of the Third always seem to find assignments where the enemy combatants include a Forsaken pack or two, and always end up with silver bullets in their M-16s, all thanks to their leaders, the Tzuumfin of Fireteam Argent.

Colonel K. Miller Wincott

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Kyle “Killer” Miller Wincott graduated top of his class at West Point, earning the nickname by breaking another boy’s neck in a sparring accident. He Changed during his first deployment, First Iraq, what they used to call Desert Storm. Kyle had wanted to escape the Wincott family’s monstrous legacy, but it hunted him down nonetheless.

Rather than leave the service and find a pack, he built a pack within the service. Wincott spent the years between wars sniffing out every hint of ivory blood he could in the Corps, getting them transfered under what aggression and cunning made his increasingly expanding command. By the time Second Iraq broke out, enough of his Wolf-Blooded recruits had Changed to form a pack that doubled as a command squad, and Fireteam Argent was born.

Wincott is unusual for an Ivory Fang, preferring victory over family. His willingness to run with Tzuumfin of any bloodline has made him a black wolf among the blue-blooded Wincotts, but his success at the head of the Third Third makes him impossible to condemn. He comports himself as every inch the gentleman-officer, but is a vicious beast to the core. Enemies are often surprised to see him act with honor or mercy, only to find he needs them alive for a time to serve some greater goal.

Master Gunnery Sergeant Judah Stern

Americans often think awful old families only come in WASPy flavors, but there are Ivory Fangs in every corner of the world, and they judge blood by its quality, not its point of origin. So there are African Tzuumfin bloodlines, and Asian, and Pacific Islander, Indian. The Stern family is Jewish, and about as old as that ancient people.

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Judah Stern is the result of careful breeding stretching back to the days of ancient Ur, and it shows. Six-foot-four and two-hundred and sixty-six pounds of muscle and hate, his squaddies in Force Recon use to joke that WW2 would’ve been over quicker if there’d been guys like him in Warsaw.

“There were,” he’d say. “And they didn’t give a fuck what happened to any weeping cunts.”

Judah was in his thirties when he Changed, recently mustered out after a particularly vicious slaughter of enemy insurgents. Being who they are, many Tzuumfin cleave to the petty hatreds of their bloodlines’ ethnicities. Wincott bore no such prejudices. He sought out Judah Stern and convinced him to reenlist in the Third Third.

Stern is not among the founding members of Fireteam Argent, but he is one of the most terrifying. He was already in the top two percent of deadly human beings on the planet when he Changed. Walking murder with any firearm — his favorite is a chaingun he ripped from a fallen Apache — he nonetheless prefers it when a bold Uratha gets within punching distance. Nothing like skulls and spines he can break more than once per fight.

If Judah Stern has a truly redeeming quality, it’s his loyalty to his men. Anyone strong enough who serves in the Third Third is worthy of his undying devotion. What Judah considers strong enough is a painfully high standard, but that threshold keeps the Marines of the battalion always striving to earn the approval of “Big Gunny.”

Major Rebecca Collarde

Dylan Collarde was an Ivory Fang alpha with three sons, each weaker and gentler than the last. He was close to killing them in a rage when his daughter Rebecca ended up every bit the badass he’d always wanted. After that, the “Pussy Patrol” could whistle Dixie for all Dylan cared.

He doted on Becks with all the considerable affection of his kind, teaching her everything he knew about competition, killing, and cruelty. She was bare-knuckle fighting the sons of his packmates into bloody submission by seven, commander of her high-school JROTC and co-ed wrestling champ by sixteen. Dylan sent her to the Marines the next year, and she quickly outstripped her fellow rookies and left boot a Sergeant, and a werewolf.

She came home to find her father’s entire pack slaughtered by Blood Talons, and had hunted down and killed their Irraka when Miller Wincott found her and offered her a place in Fireteam Argent.

Becks is a natural leader and tactician — such a natural, Wincott lets her do most of the battle-planning for the battalion, and some for the pack. Where Judah fights to destroy, Rebecca fights to outdo, wanting the filthy fucking Forsaken to know they died at the claws of someone better. Someone Pure.

Captain Hans “Panzer” Ernholtz

Panzer is a veteran Ivory Fang, and a WWII veteran, though which side he fought for is up for some debate. Nearly a hundred years old, he is just now slowing down, but his mind is as sharp and vicious as ever, and his hands just as good. Panzer is one of the best field mechanics alive, with a special love for tanks and artillery. He’s kept his skills honed and up-to-date with the latest technology, and misses the days of standing tank battles… “Like giant steel Uratha, they were!” Whatever device it is, Panzer can get it rolling, flying or shooting faster than most. While he disagrees with Col. Miller’s choice of adjutant, he admits “that big Jude can fight.”

Captain Luis Xavier Garces-y-Noriega Savillo

The Savillos are to Mexico as the Wincotts are to the United States, old money descended from the wave of aristocratic settlers from Europe, in this case Spain. But while the Wincotts stick to fleecing the public through “legitimate” business, the Savillos run one of Mexico’s most notorious drug cartels — not the biggest, or the richest, but the second in line for both those titles, and far and away the fiercest. All of this is due to supernatural muscle from their Pure members, one of whom, an American-born prep-school bully named Luis Xavier, was encouraged to join the marines as a sort of ambassador-slash-ward to Miller and the Wincott family. After several years of service, however, Luis’s loyalty firmly belongs to the Colonel, who in turn appreciates having such a deadly sniper under his command.

Lieutenant 1st Class Bennett Guilfoyle-Wincott

Bennie was raised by a despondent crackhead single mother, never knowing his sire had been a straying Wincott uncle who liked to plant his seed in Forsaken bloodlines as a sort of perverse revenge. Col. Wincott was certainly surprised when the Kin Fetch spirit led him to a Bronx ghetto, but when he saw Bennie standing over the dismembered corpses of his mother and her dealer, his fur ivory-pure where it wasn’t bloody, he knew he had another Tzuumfin to train. Lost and confused, Bennett joined the Marines as Wincott suggested, excelling as a scout and sniper. So impressed was Wincott with his younger cousin, he insisted the family work him into the will, an act for which Bennie is exceedingly grateful.

Lieutenant 2nd Class Dyanne “She-Wolf” Traeger

Dyanne was a coked-out teenage pornstar when she Turned and promptly slaughtered and devoured her costars and crew. Luckily, her uncle was Hans Ernholtz. K. Miller Wincott and Panzer dragged the girl out from her living nightmare and turned her into the Ivory Claw she was born to be. Dyanne threw herself into the Marines with gusto, becoming an expert close-quarters combatant. Unfortunately, her Harmony is low even for one of the Pure, and she has certain habits of which the Colonel grows weary: Ilsa gets her nickname as much from her ferocity as for being a man-eater, and is known to take enlisted men and women to bed almost nightly, not always one-at-a-time.

Lieutenant 2nd Class Stellan Rush, aka Rider

Rider is the spiritual leader of Fireteam Argent, the one who first met and won over their powerful totem, War Eagle Tripoli. He has been obsessed with flying since he was a child, and his father and grandfather were both chopper pilots — one in Vietnam, the other in Iraq — as well as wolves. As such, he is the most devoted to the Ivory Fangs’ ideal of pain, a passion he expresses by throwing himself off tall buildings in the Hisil and trusting to wind spirits (hence the deed name Rider) and regeneration to help him survive. He’s nearly killed himself a time or two, but when he’s such a skilled pilot Wincott lets it slide.

Gunnery Sergeant Ginevra Wincott

The New York Wincotts are a cadet branch of the senior Massachusetts line, their men, women and wolves expected to serve the needs of the family elders. Ginny’s Change spared her from a life as a wolf-blooded breeder to some brutish Boston blue-blood. She enrolled in the marines the next day rather than be placed in a pack by the family, in hopes the Colonel would notice her. He did at once, and recruited her into Fireteam Argent, where she has excelled as a scout and spotter. Ginny is very happy in her pack, thrilled to have escaped her short-sighted family on the east coast and found a leader who respects her skills more than her blood.

Corporal Bufford “Byoof” Hicks

Hicks isn’t from good stock so much as old stock, a clan of backwards rednecks who’ve been classin’ up the Ozarks backwoods since white men first came out west. Byoof has a bandy build and Scotch-Irish features with freckles and bright red hair, and arms covered with First Tongue tattoos his fellow marines assume are tribal. Like everyone in his objectionable clan, he’s a good ol’ boy to the core, homophobic and racist and reactionary. Still, he’s a gun nut and weapons expert, and can be counted on to pack something from his personal weapons stash in his kit along with his standard-issue gear, whether it be a shotgun, crossbow, heavy-duty handgun or Klaive.

Fireteam Argent and the Tusk Battalion

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