River-of-Grass

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.)

Entering the Caern:
Anyone who enters the caern, or approaches it from outside, is met on the edge of the bawn by Howls-at-Luna, the warder. He will demand that they stop, and then he will use Sense Wyrm and also ask if they have any technological items, or anything made by technology, other than fetishes or Awakened items. If necessary he will direct them to the shed at the edge of the caern which contains spare handmade clothing for visitors to wear; this includes shirts, jeans, skirts, sandals, moccasins, and boots which look perfectly ordinary.

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…

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.

The women's cabin, where Judges-Not, Suffers-for-Others, and Austerra live, is called the Shrine of the Goddess, and no males are allowed inside, although they once hosted an Uktena "contrary" who was a transvestite. The Shrine of the Goddess right next to the Grove of the Unicorn, which is their herb, vegetable, and flower garden. The Shrine of the Goddess looks exactly like a place where two politically-correct progressive Green feminist former-hippies live. It has wooden furniture, "progressive" artwork and political posters, and lots of cushions, as well as altars to Unicorn, Pegasus, and all of their spiritual brood including the Red Mothers; the Maiden, Mother and Crone; Black Unicorn; Dove; Starlight; and Chimera. There are also altars to Stag (for April O'Hara and Rebecca when they visit) and Bird-of-Paradise, and for She-Sphinx.

It's also clear that Judges-Not is the alpha in the caern and in all her other relationships. She acts like the schoolteacher she is. 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.

http://www.seminoleparadise.com/entertainment/gryphon.php <— In the chronicle, this is a sphinx instead, and it's inhabited by a powerful totem spirit.

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

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
7. Defenses

This is a brief summary of what happens when the defenses of the caern are tested:
The raven in the tree is joined by another raven which flies over and lands on the next tree.
The second raven cocks its head and stares at the first raven, then takes flight again and caws loudly. Several more birds fly over — ravens and crows mostly — and start flying around the tree with the first raven.
The mixed flock of birds start cawing; anyone with Spirit Speech can recognize it as the equivalent of the Warning of the Wyrm's Approach.
Almost immediately there is an actual Howl of the Wyrm's approach heard from halfway across the bawn, from Howls-at-Luna, who comes charging over in lupus form.
Howls-at-Luna is half a mile away and will get there in a minute and a half …
… wait, make that 45 seconds.
Actually, charging through the umbra, he arrives in under half a minute.
Howls-at-Luna is of course continuing to howl out warnings and threats.
Other howls ring out in answer as the rest of the sept is roused into action!
Two women in t-shirts and long peasant skirts — Judges-Not and Suffers-for-Others, the sept alpha and beta — come out of their cabin and run across the bawn, shifting to lupus; Austerra also comes out of the cabin but runs to the watchtower and pulls a chain that clangs the bell.
At the sound of the bell the rest of the sept roars into action! Speaks-in-Silence and Touches-Evil look up from the ancient document they are perusing and nod at each other, then calmly dispatch several spirits with a wave of their hands and go back to their work.
All sorts of animal spirits burst out of the underbrush! An alligator appears and hisses, possums crawl out of trees, and a majestic stag runs across the bawn. The sky over the entire caern is filled with birds that take flight.
Pretty pathetic, though. The entire defenses of the caern at full alert apparently consist of … um … one ahroun, two or three pacifist women, and a couple of decrepit theurges who don't bother to do anything.
Oh, and a bunch of spirits. Wimpy animal spirits. Big deal.
Oh, there is also a commotion on the edge of the horizon as an airboat starts up and roars toward the caern … and a police siren starts to blow from it.
This is followed, within a minute, by identical noises at three other spots around the caern, as several airboats filled with "tribal police" — led by Uktena kinfolk, of course — start looking for trouble. The grim-looking men are loaded for bear — or bane — with pistols, rifles, sawed-off shotguns, and assault rifles with plenty of incendiary and silver rounds. Each boat also has several spirits of Uktena's brood overing over it, ready to find and attack any banes, and to send any spiritual messages necessary.
There is a rumbling sound and a loud splashing, and the muddy ground starts to tremble. If you look toward the middle of the caern, you can see an enormous serpentine form, well over ten meters long: the head and neck of Uktena-of-the-River-of-Grass is rising from the pool at the caern heart.
There is a majestic unicorn already present, trotting alongside Judges-Not and Suffers-for-Others as they run over.
There is a sudden rumble of thunder from the sky, and clouds start to move rapidly across the it, all flowing toward the caern.
By this time Howls-at-Luna has arrived and is running around barking furiously, sniffing for wyrm-taint, and literally foaming at the mouth on the verge of frenzy.
"We're fine as long as it doesn't get to Threat Level Lightning or Threat Level Tornado," Spits-the-Truth mutters.
A large, bright-colored bird that looks like a parrot with an enormous tail comes flying in from the east. It caws loudly: "Sphinx-of-Bronze sends his respects and wishes to know if you need his aid!"

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License