Caerns

There are two known Caerns in the protectorate of South Florida, and both are Caerns of Wisdom: the Sept of the River of Grass (Level 3 Uktena Caern of Enigmas) in the Everglades, and the Sept of Rolling Green (Level 3 Tortoise Caern) at Rolling Greens Country Club in Palm Beach. There are several other areas which ought to be Caerns but are not possessed by the Garou — yet. These include the Miami Circle, the Coral Castle, Vizcaya, and the Crystal Cathedral (Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church). However, there are barely enough Garou to hold and maintain the two current Caerns, much less try to do anything with the other ones.

The River of Grass Caern is located close to the Seminole reservation and the majority of both Garou and Kinfolk are Seminole Uktena, and the Caern totem is Uktena. However, the Alpha and Beta of the Sept are Children of Gaia who "hold the Caern as a sacred trust" on behalf of the Uktena. In return, the Bane Tenders are more than happy to let the "crazy white women" do all the hard work of official Garou business, including teaching the cubs and dealing with other Septs, while they perform their rituals to make sure What Lies Beneath remains dormant, and also conduct less-wholesome activities such as trying to steal secrets from the Tremere, and binding Banes into fetishes and/or steal their Gnosis. (The Children of Gaia convinced them it's wrong to bind a spirit against its will, but the Uktena figure that doesn't apply to Banes.)

The heart of the caern is a large pool or pond about 10 meters across, with flat sitting-stones around it in a circle. There are over two dozen sitting-stones, a memory of happier times when the caern was much larger…

The Caern of Rolling Green is composed of Glass Walkers and Bone Gnawers; obviously the Glass Walkers and their Kinfolk are the members of the country club, while the Bone Gnawers and their Kin are merely the employees — caddies, waiters, groundskeepers, etc. The Caern used to be controlled by Silver Fangs until the Glass Walkers challenged them for leadership and defeated them in a golf tournament. The Alpha and Beta are Retires-in-Style and his wife Smashes-the-Glass-Ceiling, who were both up-and-coming young Garou before they had a Metis (the PC Surfs-the-Web). They have been exiled to the backwater of South Florida where Retires-in-Style spends most of his time drinking. In reality almost all the work and decision-making at the Caern is done by the Bone Gnawers, while Retires is happy to be just a figurehead.

RIVER OF GRASS:
1. General Description
2. Bawn
3. Graves of the Sacred Heroes
4. Assembly Area
5. Caern Heart
6. Umbra
6.1 Umbral Landscape
6.2 Spirits
6.2.1 Caern Totem
6.2.2 Other Totems
6.2.3 Other Spirits

Perhaps the first thing you notice about the Caern of the River of Grass is that the spiritual energies seem powerful but … different.
It's a caern of Enigmas; the energy is puzzling (of course) and makes you tingle and itch, or at least your mind feels like it's tingling and itching.
The totem is Uktena so of course it also feels different from a Bear caern. Much more slithery and sneaky and snaky and sly.
You have a constant sensation of things lurking just out of sight, secrets hidden under rocks or in holes or under the smooth surface of the waters. Yes, the overwhelming impression you get is of secrets hidden and a seemingly-normal appearance over them.
The next thing you notice is how quiet the caern appears on the surface. It looks like nothing but a simple untouched swamp except for a half-dozen crude log structures.
The caern heart is a large pool about 10 or 12 meters across with a circle of two dozen large flat stones (suitable for sitting on) arranged around it. This pool is where the caern totem, Uktena-of-the-River-of-Grass, manifests.

The buildings include one cabin for the males, another for the females; a longhouse for cooking and meals when weather does not permit eating outside; a smithy; a shed for tools and clothing; and the watchtower.

It's also clear that Judges-Not is the alpha in the caern and in any other relationships. She acts like a schoolteacher. The two Children of Gaia explain that they took over leadership of the caern after the previous leaders were killed over five years ago; however, they explain that they only do this to help the remaining Uktena of the caern. They honor the Uktena's customs and are very respectful; for example, they make sure the caern is kept pure by not permitting any technological objects to enter the Bawn. This includes not merely any electronics or powered mechanical devices, but even any objects *made* through technology. All their clothing is made by hand. In fact, the Warder of the Bawn, Howls-at-Luna, asks all visitors whether they have or are carrying any such objects. There is a shed where the caern keeps a stock of handmade clothing for visitors who need it. These are politically-correct outfits: handmade by the local kinfolk using organically-grown cotton and hemp, without any advanced technology, and paid fair wages.

Ironically, while the Children of Gaia who run the sept put this ban into place to honor Uktena, neither the totem nor the tribe care about it.

The caern is in the middle of the Everglades. About 10 km to the east and west are the Seminole and Miccosukee Indian reservations, each with its own hotel/resort/casino.

The caern is a circle about 1 km across. The border is a stream about 5 meters wide. The stream circles the caern and flows clockwise.

"You want secrets and enigmas? We got them coming out the wazoo! Enlightenment … eh, I ain't too sure." -Spits-the-Truth, Shadow Lord ragabash, third-rate stand-up comic

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