You've done it! You have navigated the dangerous waters of application, slogged through desc-writing and background sets (as per The Player's Primer), and are ready to get on grid!
Your knowledge will largely depend on the background written down in your application and agreed upon with your application wizard. If you come from a background in which you have been raised from a young age knowing your heritage, you will have far more knowledge than a Lost Cub or 'fetched cub kept in the dark about their nature. Your application wizard will be your best resource.
There are a few basic things that Cliaths are likely to know once they have finished their Rite of Passage. There can be variations depending on the character and the application; this guide is speaking of generalizations, and its content can be adapted as needed per conversations with your app. wizard.
The Basic Structure of a Sept
Sept structure is something that is known to most Cliath Garou who live in one, or who are taught in one. This includes what kinds of Sept Officer positions are in use by a Sept and what their responsibilities are. (Helpful place to check, additionally, is the Current Elder and Officer list.)
The actual handling of the various positions can (and likely will) vary depending on the dominant tribe(s) of the Sept. For example, a Silver Fang-dominant Sept would likely have a very formal and traditional Sept arrangement, while a Children of Gaia-dominant Sept might have a more informal and liberal style.
The local human culture may also have an impact on how the local Garou population approach their Sept organization.
The Basic Rules for Operating In A Sept
There are several established procedures in the average Garou Sept:
Gaining access to the Bawn and the Caern
- Get checked by the Guardians. This will allow you a guest's access to the Bawn.
- Make your presence known to the Sept Alpha and Caern Warder
The Bawn maybe accessed with permission of the Sept Alpha, and the Caern with permission from the Sept Alpha and the Caern Warder. Once chiminage is offered and agreed on, a Garou can access the Caern.
If you plan on staying as a guest (as opposed to becoming a Sept member), the Protectrate (forests surrounding the Bawn and the city of St. Claire) can be accessed by pemission of the Sept Alpha, the Bawn and Caern by permission of the Caern Warder. Some small amount of chiminage will often be asked for Caern use by a guest. Guest status is usually for chraracters that plan on staying only temporarily, generally lasting around 3 months. Guests are generally discouraged from joining packs, are not allowed to perform rites on the Bawn or Caern without offering chiminage first, and are otherwise given second class treatment in many cases (see +bbpost sept/1).
Offering Chiminage to join the Sept
Note: If you are asked to teach a rite or gift for your chiminage, don't forget to enter the teaching via the +teach command in game. ('+help teach' for details)
Challenging for Rank
The procedure to Challenge for Rank is explained excellently in this article.
Challenging for Honor
Speak to the Master of the Challenge. The procedures are similar to the Challenge procedure used for Rank. Note that smaller honour challenges can often be resolved without the Master of Challenge being involved.
Performing Rites on the Bawn
Smaller rituals or rituals with less impact (eg. Level 0s, Talisman Dedication) can be done on the Bawn without explicit permission from the Master of the Rite (as per the most recent BBoard Post, +bbread 5/53). More significant rituals like Rite of Summoning or Rite of Cleansing require permission. This is an opportunity for RP, not a roadblock, and @mail is often just as acceptable as a roleplayed scene. At the very least, @mail the current Ritesmaster if you need to perform one of these more significant rituals on the Bawn to work out the details.
IC Character Conflict Resolution
There are multiple outlets for resolving conflicts:
Depending on how experienced your Cliath is--newly out of their Rite of Passage, a veteran first rank, or anywhere in between--there are some things which are useful to think about when writing their background. Not only do these things provide plot hooks, they can give a character more texture.
- Has your Cliath ever been in a Pack before? Were they in several? What were the Totems and pack makeups? Did they leave these packs amicably or not? (If your Cliath has been in a pack before, it's often a good idea to consider having some points in the Totem background.)
- Does your Cliath have any battlescars? How did they get them?
- Did your Cliath undergo the Rite of Wounding for their first battle? If so, what were they marked with and where, and what happened?
- Has your Cliath seen any major events? For example, a bane binding gone horribly wrong (or incredibly right), the reclamation of a Hive to a Caern...
- Has your Cliath ever been punished by a Philodox? What did they do, and if a Punishment Rite was used, which one?
Your knowledge will depend on the background written down in your application and agreed upon with your application wizard. If you come from a background in which you have been raised from a young age knowing your heritage, you will have far more knowledge than a lost Kinfolk. Your application wizard will be your best resource.
Some things to keep in mind:
- How much a Kinfolk knows about Garou culture will vary by their Tribe, Sept, and personal background. Some tribes tend to be more inclusive of their Kin than others (eg. Bone Gnawers, Fianna, Children of Gaia), but there's room for interpretation and a range of possibilities. This lack or excess of knowledge will influence the attitudes and involvement of a Kinfolk character in Sept happenings.
- Experienced Kinfolk will understand that Garou have Rage, and that it is a real and genuine source of danger. They may also understand that Ahrouns and Galliards tend to have more Rage and should be approached and interacted with carefully, while Ragabash and Theurges have less but can still be dangerous. They will also be aware of the waxing and waning phases of the moon, and how this effects a Garou's ability to control their Rage. It is not unheard of for kinfolk to be hurt or killed because a Garou friend or family member had issues controlling Rage and the Kinfolk found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.
- Experienced kinfolk know that Rage creates difficulties for Garou in normal human interactions, and that they have a certain amount of reliance on their Kinfolk family as a result. Whether your character appreciates or resents this is a point to consider in rounding out their personality.