The Sept of the Shining Springs
The Sept of the Shining Springs centered on a Caern of Healing of the third rank: a powerful site indeed. It originally appeared as an island in the center of a shining lake. In 1997, the spirit of Oak itself incarnated in the form of a tree some 300 feet tall, though the Sept still held the water-spirit Aqua as its totem. In January of 1998 Oak collapsed into a sinkhole, a pit inadvertently formed by Grey Sinks-The-Caern (Go ahead, ask how he earned his name!) Quick repairwork by the Sept Alpha, Morgan Anderson, and other Garou preserved the site, though the island was lost and the lake dramatically reshaped.
Austin has always known the Garou. Many of the current Garou arrived in 1997, finding the Shining Springs a caern in its Winter--Elder garou with few Cliaths born to them. The eldest Garou of the current sept brought a sort of "Spring" back to the Caern of Healing, infusing it with new life, new purpose. However, in doing so they made enemies--the great Black Spiral Dancer Screaming Rage was a member of the original Sept, a Glass Walker. Though he carried Steel Fang himself, then the Sept's Alpha, into the Black Labyrinth (don't worry, he got better) Screaming Rage was felled by the warrior Beethoven of the Children of Gaia in January, 1998.
On April 3, 1998, two packs, the Umbral Knights and the Hidden Path, staged an assault on the nearby Pentex nuclear power plant, a successful attack. In retaliation, on April 18 agents of the Wyrm struck against the sept, and four of Gaias warriors were killed. The Caern was badly damaged, but restored to Gaias service.
April 17: The Pack of the Glass Ceiling arrives en masse from Washington, DC, bringing as a gift the official sept Slushee machine. Interestingly, a slow increase in the number of Bone Gnawer Lupus Kinfolk in the area begins soon after--best not to think about it.
On May 30, 1998, three strike teams of Garou raided installations of Avalon Toys, Atlas Mining, and again, the Pentex nuclear reactor (in the process of being rebuilt), under the orders of Alpha Morgan Anderson. The retaliatory assault on the Caern on June 13, 1998, obliterated the holy site: a plane loaded with radioactive waste crashed into the Garous sacred home, destroying many spirits, including the Totem, Aqua.
On the same day, the Bards Revel pub, operated by the local Fianna, was closed due to health violations. The Garou were left without sanctuary and without ale. These are dark days indeed.
Austins Garou still fight on. The Caern's Pathstone was preserved, the Glass Walkers work to reclaim the Sept's government-seized land, and the Garou may yet triumph. And on the subject of hope, the Bard's Revel reopened. If we cannot have the healing waters of the Shining Springs, at least we can have ale.
June, 1998: At Gaia's command, the Garou of
Austin slew their brother, Beethoven of the Children of Gaia,
Adren and soon to be Athro, in the Summer Rite of the Great
Hunt. Many thought his soul tarnished by the Wyrm Klaive he held
so close, or the greed and madness that may have bound it to him--others
simply thought him a Garou. But by Gaia's grace, whatever his
crime or the condition of his spirit, he is with his mother now.
May he find peace in the Summerlands.
Glad tidings! The spirit of healing, our totem Aqua, has been found! She--he--it still lives, and is under the watch of Felice Morningstar of the Children of Gaia. The spirit was found on a quest by Morgan Anderson and the Pack of the Glass Ceiling. Praise Gaia and Mama Rat!
Sept of Luna's Shadow
September 19, 1998: The stage is cleared. Once-alpha
of the Sept of the Shining Springs Morgan Anderson ordered the
agents of Pentex to leave the area for the week, and the Garou
of Austin gathered their forces to build a Caern. Three sites
were found: the lands of Steel Fang, an area near McKinney Falls,
and the dome of the state capitol. That last one, of course, wouldn't
work out. They gathered, and performed the Rite of Caern Building.
The Silent Strider Walks the Sands of Time led the rite, with
the aid of the Shadow Lord elder Calm of the Storm. Marshall Wettail,
of the Pack of the Hidden Paths, used a mighty talen, a spirit-drum,
to lure the banes lairing near the caern- to-be. He led them to
the Abyss itself, and gave his own life that they would follow
him in. Brave Garou fell, though due to some careful planning,
not as many as one might think (the Lord of Shadows Howls of Thunder
lost his life--as a rule, the Garou of Austin fall more often
defending, than building, their Caerns...)
October 3: Again, the Garou gather, and celebrate, and learn. Our Caern is sacred to Luna herself, warded by an enigmatic moon-shadow, and lorded by a cheerful fox-spirit who wishes to be called "Prince," or "His Celestial Highness, Emperor of the Shining Land." It is best not to take Prince too seriously.
It is again a time of peace, and though the Sept has reformed under its original leadership, who knows how long those leaders will stand.
Fall, 1998: Peace, like snow in Texas, never lasts. On November 30 the Garou were drawn by Gaia to the site of a Wyrm-rite beneath the original Sept of the Shining Springs: The Black Spirals worked to create a pit in what was once of Gaia. The Garou triumphed, but not without cost: Boom-Boom of the Glass Ceiling and Forge of the Rising Storm lost their lives in the battle. Mina Bluejay struck bravely, slaying the Ritesmaster, and we have sung of her bravery.
On December 12, a pack of
insane brave Garou
went to rescue Mina, who had been captured following her
victory. Of those that went, two of our leaders--Siddartha Binder-of-Demons,
Alpha of the Hidden Path, and Wolvgang, Alpha of the Glass Ceiling,
Little more can be said.
May 1999: Winter of 1999 has proven hellishly cold. The people of the street have died, our plants and trees are suffering. When will this end? The winter has brought great changes, and much that is still strange to us. Our Alpha, Morgan Anderson, is Elder, as is Steel Fang, the Sept's most respected Ahroun, and Dan Walks-in-Shadows, now Follows-Luna's-Light. This is a great blessing for our Sept, for we have three powerful Garou to lead us.
"Leadership" is a strange thing, though, for our Eldest Philodox is a Shadow Lord, our Eldest Ahroun is a Shadow Lord, and our Eldest Ragabash is a Shadow Lord. And there have been attacks on the honor of Dianna Milleti, a Black Fury, our Galliard. Interesting times indeed.
What of the visions? We have seen many signs of the Pure Ones--the Glass Walker computers infected with strange movies, the theurges seeing visions of a ritual that seems to have stricken a Caern barren. The greatest of these signs was Watches the Wasichu, who took on an aspect of his Wendigo ancestors to rage against the Wyrmbringers, and fell when his heart burst.
But the strange and deathly Winter seems at an end, as the Garou have united to fulfull the Rite of Reawakening, and bring about the Spring. Wendigo spoke to us there, as did an ancient Black Fury and spirits of what seemed to be death itself. A Lupus among us was stripped of the Wolf by these spirits, rendered forever a human. People speak of the Wild Hunt roaming by night. Java of the Bone Gnawers died, and no body found. Jules of the Get died, but the spirits returned him to us.
This is the Spring. Gaia herself could not know what the summer will bring.
May, 1998: Politics, always politics. Diana Milleti, holder of no fewer than five Sept Positions, left the sept after being scandalled twice in a single day. Morgan Anderson challenged Steel Fang to challenge him for Alpha of the Sept--is that right? Steel Fang, who had long held himself apart from the leadership of the Sept, either won or lost the challenge, and after dropping Morgan four for four is now our leader--two hands of sept positions were thrown to the massed garou, and even newcomers to the Sept are finding themselves in authority, earned or unearned. Strange days.
July, 1999: The signs were there for months--the dreams, dreams of being hunted, chased, slain. The Theurges felt them first, but soon any Garou who slept at the Caern heard the warnings--visions of being pursued by a pack of dogs, throat cut by a black knife. A few of us found a name for the dogs, their leader--the Wild Hunt. On July 28 we called the Rite of the Great Hunt to find Katie, a cliath of the Get of Fenris (once of the Black Furies); she had been kidnapped in 1998 after the Rite of Spring Reawakening. Much of the Sept went to find her--over half of our Garou. They have not returned. The spirit Prince lists eight among the fallen, but what of the dozen others that went along with the hunt? Katie is still not with us. Our Theurges think that perhaps at the Rite of Keres, the next great Seasonal Rite, we may get these Garou back--but it's a slim hope at best. Once again, the leadership of the Sept changed, and we've sent out a call to bring new Garou protectors to our Caern...
August, 1999: And once again, it is the same. Through the sacrifice of a Shadow Lord, we have regained our lost Garou, though our Fianna are still lost to us or lost to the Wyrm. But our sept is whole, or at least our sept is together. But we are Garou, and we squabble. A Bone Gnawer took the life of a Child of Gaia cub. The return of so many into their Sept brings the usual fights for dominance all over again. Things change, but things stay the same.