- Name: Sept of Gaia's Steel
- Location: Athens, Georgia
- Composition: Primarily Glass Walkers
- Totem: Cockroach, ~Ghostship~
- Nature: Willpower
- Level: 4
- Sept Alpha: Patricia Duncoin, ~Shatterstar~, Adren, Ahroun, Child of Gaia
- Caern Warder: Bill Fredericks, ~Boss's-Final-Form~, Adren, Galliard, Glass Walker
- Gatekeeper: Ute Bole, ~Shadowrunner~, Athro, Theurge, Glass Walker
- Moon Bridges: 1 on last count. To a Caern in Africa.
The Sept of Gaia's Steel is still going strong in Athens. Many of the kinfolk there teach at the nearby University.
The Caern itself is in an impressive indoor mock-nature preserve. The entire top three stories of a twenty-one story office building were converted into a computer-controlled 'natural' environment with fruit and nut trees and bushes, grass, hills, and a small lake fed by a central fountain which comes up through the center of the entire building from the source of the Caern's power, an underground spring. The preserve boasts a few deer, squirrels, birds, and like small animals.
The preserve, and other closed to Garou portions of the building as well, finds itself home to literally hundreds of thousands of Cockroaches. In the Umbra of the preserve lives the Totem of the Sept, ~Ghostship~ who exists as a Cockroach, twice the size of a Crinos and formed entirely out of what appears to be cottony and wispy clouds, who has what looks like the deck of a great ship on his back with cockroach spirits 'living' there as if they were a crew out at sea.
The sept has been known to ally with other supernaturals as needed, though never with those associated with the Wyrm (such as Vampires). They have a few moon bridges that as of last count, can take one to Caerns in Missouri, Africa, and Russia. Though primarily populated and ran by Glass Walkers, they eagerly welcome Garou of any tribe (save of course for Spiral Dancers) with one rule established at the Sept above all except the Litany itself... visitors will show respect to /all/ of Gaia's shifter tribes. No visitor will be tolerated who speaks poorly of any tribe of Garou, /or/ any other shifters. Thus, Gaia's Steel has a reputation for tolerance... and many more 'traditional' Garou have spoken ill of the Sept's honor and wisdom, often only for this reason alone. Known as well to be welcoming of Metis... and yet incredibly stringent punishers of those who break the first tenet of the litany (The usual punishment being A mission of almost certainly deadly difficulty).
The Caern was discovered in 1919 by a Glass Walker Philodox by the name of ~Woodburning~, who was just fifteen at the time. His clued Kinfolk mother was attending the nearby University (one of its first full-time female students) at the time and he was visiting her from a Sept across state where he recently was rited. Running around Evergreen Memorial, Woodburning discovered a underground cave that had been pretty well overgrown and unexplored for who knows how long. Then again, to call it a cave would be like calling a pond an ocean. It was a tiny opening, but the young wolf managed to squeeze through and find himself in a tunnel. Maneuvering through the small space, eventually it opened into a larger actual cave with a rushing spring traveling through it. The spring winded through tight passages from and into unknown areas deep within the earth. It smelled of something ancient and strong and powerful. Though young, Woodburning simply knew it was important.
Quietly contacting other Glass Walkers he knew, the young Philodox gathered many to the area to study it. Discovering a dormant Caern there, they traced the location of the spring to its corresponding location on the surface, a small housing development that was not even in it's real beginning stages. Buying out the property, they built a grand mansion on the spot, incorporating many spiritually significant concepts into the construction.
The Sept started small, and mostly secret. At first it was simply known as Gaia's Spring. But as they attracted more and more Walkers there, more money came with them. The building was added on, built up. Eventually, in 1964, it was demolished and made way for the largest skyscraper in Athens, and the name "Gaia's Steel". The word really got out around this time, and more Garou came. The Sept was strong now, mostly Children of Gaia, Glass Walkers, Bone Gnawers, and Stargazers (who liked to spend time down by the pure spring below, meditating).
In 1971, the system for bringing the Spring's waters to the preserve was completed, as was the first work on the preserve itself. The Caern's water provided spiritual strength that made something normally impossible, possible. Some wildlife were brought in and things were looking up.
In 1972, Fenrir came. A group claiming that the building on the Caern was an unnatural perversion of the Wyld into the Weaver and must be torn down to return the area to Gaia. There was a fierce battle, but the Sept remained victorious. Their use of heavy fortifications, guns, smoke grenades, and other modern implements of warfare was decried by the Fenrir as dishonorable and further proof of their being unfit to watch the Caern... but the Fenrir who were not slain that day, did retreat.
That the group of Fenrir, who numbered in the fifties, were so utterly decimated was shocking and the news of it spread quickly. That Gaia's Steel were the defenders in this, Philodox from other Caerns came and determined there was no wrong doing in them, despite their undesirable forms of warfare. No Gaian has attacked Gaia's Steel since. Though the Wyrm has certainly tried more than once.
Also, the nature of the Caern's construction has attracted the odd Drone or two. The City Farmers keep the place rife with plantlife and watch it's umbra to keep it clear of excess Weaver-energies. Though they maintain that the Caern is in alignment with the Wyld, not everyone on the outside believes them.
In late 2013, an unknown entity has begun a campaign to bring down the Sept through more mundane means. There have been accidental and apologized for police raids based on bad intel, unexpected inspections requiring bribes and other methods to keep from finding just what is on the top floors, and recently in the news a local pilot accidentally flew his helicopter into the side of the building; reinforced materials prevented much more than a superficial damaging of the outside of the building and repairs were swiftly underway, but it made some pretty sensational headlines in the city for a few months. There is definitely a shadow coming over the Caern and it is so far, impossible to know who or what is casting it.
Then in January 2015, the big attack came along with the riots. Somehow, the defences were breached or rather, bypassed. The preserve was overrun by a mass of Spirals and their Fomori servants. Scores of Gaians were slaughtered before a counter-attack was mounted. The less capable were 'Portaled' out (a Walker term for using one of the Moon Bridges to escape) to spread the word of the attack. The whole place was set to auto-destruct, to protect the Caern below from discovery and subsequent incursion. It was a kinfolk battalion coming back across a moon bridge, loaded to hell and back with awakened guns loaded with silver and led by someone people swear was the long vanished Jeremy Winters. They turned back the invaders, but in the ensuing bloodbath, the place was further wrecked. When the smoke cleared, the surviving members of the battalion had already vanished... none among the dead resembled the man who led them.
A time of rebuilding has passed. The papers were fed a story about a careless employee accidentally starting a fire that went out of control. Kinfolk were instrumental in making sure this lie was believed despite inspectors, detectives, media, and other such investigating.The Gaian and Wyrm-tainted dead were both funneled down into the caves below, buried with respect and honor or complete lack of acknowledgement, respectively.
Now, they are for the first time in the Sept's history, weak in numbers. The Caern is healthy, the building repaired, and in fact more heavily secured in both Umbra and Realm than ever before. However, the cost in lives from the Spiral battle was great. The alpha Michael Lincoln, ~Spotlight~, fell to his injuries after the battle that simply would not be healed, no matter the power that was lent to the task. The Warder, Patricia Duncoin, has claimed the Alphaship and holds both positions for now. She eagerly has put out the call for aid, and notes that the Sept is capable of great feats of technological and financial power for it's allies. The Gatekeeper, Ute, has been attempting to court relationships with new Caerns to form moon bridges with, since their allied Sept in Missouri has fallen and this leaves them with no current moon bridges within the United States. They have sent Kin and what Cliaths they can spare out as representatives to other Septs.
Having survived the Spiral Revolution, mostly intact, the Sept has started to grow and recieve refugees from various Urban Caerns that were not so lucky. Their Sept alliance in Russia, as well as members of this Sept that were visiting, suddenly ceased all contact. It is believed the Caern there has fallen. The Gatekeeper, Ute, still seeks alliances and moon bridges with other American Septs.
In early-2017, a Galliard Corporate Wolf by the name of Bill Fredericks, who arrived about a year earlier, challenged for Warder and was successful. Under his guidance, the defenses have been strengthed on the public front. They have developed a PR campaign to strengthen the holdings of the Sept while distracting from the Caern itself and the weird goings on there. In the beginning of August of that year, a C4 wielding suicide bomber took out the first two floors of the Caern building, killing many people (and a few Garou) and severing the link with the the preserve above and the Caern below. Kinfolk members of local fire and police services were directed to the site but this is definitely a very close call as many members of the mundane public who worked in the building were killed. They are currently attempting to clean up the aftermath of this attack without drawing too much attention and restore the preserve's source of mystical water from the underground Caern before it loses the power that sustains it.