Rolling Greens (City Caern)

The city caern in South Florida is 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 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. (All the employees of Rolling Green are kinfolk. The manual laborers are almost all Bone Gnawer kinfolk, plus a few others like Uktena and Fianna.)

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 Draws-the-Net). 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.

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

The caern totem is Tortoise, which is normally associated with the Stargazers but is also appropriate in South Florida. This particular caern was originally held by Croatan, then Uktena, then the Silver Fangs, and finally now the Glass Walkers. The caern totem spirit resides in a large black sculpture of a tortoise, between the back porch of the clubhouse and the caern heart.

The heart of the city caern is a small shady grove of old trees located just behind the clubhouse and close to the caddy shack. There is a view of the golf course and of the long lake that it's built around. Kinfolk groundskeepers and net.spiders move through mundane reality and the spirit realm, keeping everything nice, tidy, and safe.

The grass of the golf course is short and well-manicured — and the groundskeepers use sheep to keep it cropped and fertilized, although this means that Rolling Greens is the only country club in Florida where one is in danger of stepping on sheep droppings during a golf game.

The Umbra of the caern is filled with a lot of Weaver-spirits, most of which are friendly, and almost all of which are spider-shaped. The theurge of the caern, Auntie Bellum, actually negotiated with the spirits and if any garou are caught in the Web, the spiders will not harm them, and will usually return them safely. The Weaver-spirits also cooperate with the garou to fight the Wyrm.

The caern has about 15 Glass Walker kinfolk and 50 or more Bone Gnawer kinfolk; the former are members of the country club, the latter are employees.

Caern Defenses: Rolling Greens is a caern owned by Glass Walkers, operated by Bone Gnawers, and assisted by Shadow Lords. Those three tribes are the most ruthlessly practical ones in the Garou Nation; they do *not* mess around with their defenses.
The first level of defense is physical. There is a 10' high wall around the entire caern, including both the golf course and the "planned development community" (i.e. the apartments and mansions of Bone Gnawer and Glass Walker kinfolk) surrounding it. The wall is reinforced concrete with a thin layer of bricks on the surface so it looks like a typical faux-antique construction. The top of the wall is studded with broken glass except in certain spots known only to the members of the caern. While there are many large trees which overhang the wall, they are all on the inside, not the outside; so it is easy for defenders to evacuate the caern but difficult for intruders to gain access.

Furthermore, the entire perimeter of the caern is under surveillance from security cameras mounted either on the wall or on the trees; and the entire bawn can also be scanned as well. In fact, the trees themselves can be Awakened and animated to use their branches to snare enemies.

The kinfolk who live on the caern tend to be heavily armed — an average of two firearms per person. For every man, woman, and child. Which means that, since non-combatants (the elderly, invalids, and young children) tend not to be armed, the actual defenders of the caern have even more. Rolling Greens doesn't have any official "security guards," just groundskeepers and maintenance staff — who tote M-16's, AK-47's, and sniper rifles. Even the office workers often go armed.

Concealment: The caern is not particularly well-concealed, unless you count the "PRIVATE PROPERTY: NO TRESPASSING" signs, but it is well-camouflaged. In order to spot any of its defenses, roll Perception + Alertness (difficulty 10) or Perception + Security (difficulty 8). Each success reveals one "hidden truth" such as the strength of the wall, the broken glass at the top, the positioning of the trees, the existence of the cameras, the concealed weapons possessed by the maintenance staff, and the fact that the residents have them as well. To detect the caern's magical aura, roll the appropriate magical senses (Gnosis, Perception + Awareness, or whatever is appropriate for the particular Gift, Discipline, Rote, or other supernatural sense), difficulty 5. One success reveals that there is something supernatural in the area; another reveals it permeates the entire area; and further successes reveal extra details (it's Weaver-tainted, there are lots of Web spiders, there are other spirits, the location of the caern heart, the nature of the caern (Enigmas), the name of the totem (Tortoise), and, finally, with 9 successes the *real* nature of the caern is revealed).

Detection: Anyone who crosses the perimeter of the bawn, or lurks outside it for more than 30 minutes, will be subject to detection by either kinfolk workers, kinfolk residents, and/or spirits. The kinfolk might have direct contact, or merely see something through the surveillance cameras.

This is simulated by a pool of six (6) dice versus the {Dexterity or Intelligence or Wits, depending on the type of intrusion} + {Stealth, Fast Talk, Survival, or other appropriate skill} of the intruder. For intruders in the Umbra, or who have magical auras, the spirits roll their Gnosis (6) at difficulty 6 to detect an intrusion: One success means they know there is an intruder, a second tells where, a third tells how many, a fourth or higher gives type or other details of one intruder per success.

Barriers: Climbing over the wall requires Dexterity + Athletics difficulty 8, and at least two successes are necessary in order to avoid taking at least one point of lethal damage. Equipment such as grappling hooks or ladders will reduce the difficulty by a point or more. The wall has gates in it, but all are made of reinforced steel and are kept locked and require a key card to open. The main gates lead to the three kinfolk community areas and the clubhouse. The gates all have electronic sensors which tell the security command post whether they are open or closed, and sound alarms there if they are opened without authorization. The clinic (sponsored by the caern and the leeches) which treats outsiders as well as kinfolk is located just outside the edge of the bawn, and there is a restricted entrance from the clinic through the walls, but the clinic has excellent surveillance just like the caern (although not as much security).

Guards: There are approximately 35 manual-labor employees (groundskeepers, gardeners, waiters, and maintenance men) at the country club who count as the primary security force; this does not include the fact that the 15 other employees and 150 residents of the community also generally go armed.

Spirits: There are at least 50 spirits around the caern at all times. Almost all of them are either Rat's brood, Cockroach's brood, City spirits, and Stormcrows, but there is also at least one Moonshadow and one Unicorn Spirit, some Ancestor Spirits, animal spirits including a Black Dog, an Owl-spirit, Snake-spirit, Rat-spirit, and Spirit Crows, Automata spirits, Phantasms and Phragments, enigmatic spirits including the Deer of Cerumnos (because of the Fianna nearby) as well as Chimerlings, Englings, and Curiosi, plus an apparently-unique type called a Puzzler, Pain spirits, and Grandfather Thunder's Brood.

The typical spirit around the caern is a WebSpider, a NetSpider, or a "Spider Protector." These tend to have stats similar to Pattern Spiders (Willpower 6, Rage 4, Gnosis 6, Essence 16). However, hostile intruders will be dealt with by Hunter Spiders (Willpower 8, Rage 10, Gnosis 6, Essence 24; Charms: Blast (lightning bolts), Materialize, Solidify Reality, Tracking). As I mentioned, these three tribes do *not* mess around.

There are two packs in the sept. The Bone Gnawers (Old Joe, Auntie Bellum, Raps-the-Litany, Trash Compactor, and Dumpster McDiver) follow the American Dream; the Glass Walkers (Retires-in-Style, Smashes-the-Glass-Ceiling, Draws-the-Net, and Hacks-the-Gibson) follow another. Each totem has Willpower, Gnosis, and Rage 4, and four charms.

The caern totem itself, Tortoise, has Willpower 7, Rage 6, Gnosis 9, Essence 22, and a shell that gives it 9 dice of Soak against every attack.

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.)

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; 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.

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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