|Caern of the Last Days (Dead)|
|Composition:||Formerly Shadow Lord and Get of Fenris|
Established in 1996, the sept occupied land once a caern, then a Spiral Hive. Members of the Wheel joined in the attack on the Hive, as the two are fairly close geographically. The surviving members of the fallen Sept of the Cypress Rising spearheaded the attack, and established themselves there. The Furies of Cypress Rising died before or during the attack, leaving only the Shadow Lords and Get to populate it. Eventually, the Shadow Lords established dominance, and some of the Get returned to the Wheel Renewed.
Some unknown time after this event, the Hanford Site and the Caern of the Last Days fell once again to Black Spiral Dancers. In the fighting after the Dancers returned, the Hanford caern was finally, ultimately, destroyed. (Add stuff about John Smith and Chaser Never Rests)
In 2009, the Hanford Site was thoroughly scouted once more. While no evidence of Black Spiral Dancers remains, their kinfolk and other major threats abound. Section H was being developed by a Mage for some unknown purpose, and while that area was purged and cleansed in an assault led by Jacinta as a part of her failed Adren challenge, the Mage is still at large.
There was a place in the mountains near the Hanford Site. Standing there with your eyes to the cloud-tipped peaks, the thunderous roar of the narrow waterfall cascading from far above in your ears, it was easy to see that this was one of Gaia's holy places. Sheer beauty of the Wyld ran rampant there in untamed majesty with towering walls of stark granite and water-carved monuments. What a Caern it must have been in its first days; amidst the pounding din of the life-giving waters, at the very heart of the most primitive forces of creation unleashed, one could almost feel the Earth-mother vibrating in the very souls of your feet; murmuring her thoughts into your very spirit.
But cast your eyes down to feel instead the hollow emptiness echoed bleakly back from this tribute -- that comes from seeing nature's work so completely and thoroughly destroyed. The peaks defaced by Dancer carvings, the stones that the water has carved so painstakingly over thousands of years lying broken and shattered like so many rotted teeth. The scraggly trees barely clinging to the rock walls in the few places the Dancers have not bothered climbing to dig them out. Instead of the love of the Earth-mother, feel instead her pain and know that these are, indeed, the last days.
This Hive in Hanford, once home to a Sept of Croatan or Wendigo, struggled through the last few centuries with troubles of its own. What should have been a base for spreading the sickness and corruption of the Wyrm throughout the area limped along, mired in the muck of its own infighting. Dancer patrols disappeared for reasons unknown. Calamity befell the agents of the Wyrm. Important messages did not get through. What should have been a blessing for the Dancers of this Hive, the nuclear industry that grew up around the Hanford Site, was, instead, driven by outside interests.
But that was changing, at last. Salamander was gaining strength in this Hive southwest of St. Claire. Displacing the Reaver, their traditional totem, he brought new life and strength of purpose to their maddened folk. He also brought a shift in power that did not favour some of the older Dancers there. At least one of them, a palsied Dancer called Tremblin' Joe, approached a well known Silver Fang in St. Claire. Hoping to betray at least a few of his Hive to eliminate rivals and sway the new balance of power back in his favour, he was rebuffed and, when later discovered, killed by his own kind. Salamander grew in power, unchecked. Unrest grew.
Gaia's warriors moved at last. Investigating signs of Dancer sentries in southwest Washington state, a small number of Garou stumbled onto an entrance into an underground labyrinth of caves. A labyrinth that led to both the bowels of the Dancer Hive itself and to the mountain valley in which it lay.
When the Garou finally moved against their foe it was the Sept of the Wheel Renewed who used Call of the Wyrm to lure the bulk of the Dancers from their lair; who met them upon the shores of the horseshoe lake at the bottom of the valley; who spilled their blood by the light of a full moon in the sand and upon the grass. The first prong in a trident of assault.
At the same time Ereshkigal, once Alpha of Cypress Rising, opened a Moon Bridge into the very heart of the Dancer Hive. She led the remnants of her old Caern over that bridge and against Salamander. She, with the last of her tribe from Cypress Rising, went down under the terrible fire of Salamander while the others struggled against this beast.
And, finally, one small group trod a path darker and less glorious. But Mercy, once Shadow Lord Warder of Cypress Rising, brought her charges through the labyrinth under the Dancer Hive and up into it from below. There they paused long enough to smother the fires in the furnace chamber, the fires that gave Salamander strength, before going to aid their fellows on the surface.
When it was all over, Salamander was dead and all of the Hive's Black Spiral Dancers either slain or fled. There is nothing left but ashes.
The next morning the taste of vengeance, so hot and powerful in the previous night's fury, was cold and sour. Salamander was gone. The Dancers were gone. For now, at least. But there was no time to rest. Gaia's warriors could not pack their bags and go home; there was no home left to go to. The Hive could not be left undefended lest the Dancers returned. There is, for the Garou once of Cypress Rising, a long road of hard work and danger ahead of them. Defending a Caern that is no longer really a Caern -- this close to the Last Days it may never be a Caern again -- against a tribe that knows exactly where they are and what they hold.
The politics did not change at the Caern of the Last Days. Shortly after the assault the Shadow Lords sent their messengers out, moving far and wide. Time passed. Some headway had been made into cleansing the taint from the area. The Shadow Lords strengthened their presence in the area and finally grew strong enough to wrest power from the Get of Fenris Alpha. The Get left, not wishing to share a Caern with the haughty Lords. Some returned to the Wheel Renewed and others departed for the four corners of the globe. The Shadow Lords were left with their dark dreams and their madness.
Some time later, the Caern was destroyed, leaving the Hanford Site and the immediate area to fall once more to the Wyrm's influence.