The Animals We Have Become
The Elder Council is comprised of the Auspice Elders of each auspice. (Occasionally Breed Elders are represented, as well.) Sept Elders are the highest ranking Garou of each auspice within the Sept. It is theoretically possible for a Cliath to sit on the Elder Council (if they are the only member of their auspice in the Sept,) but this is not usually the case. Often lower ranking Garou act as assistants to the Auspice Elders in order to learn more about their role among the Garou. Elder Councils either act as the advisory body to the Sept Alpha, or, in Septs where there is no Alpha, the Elder Council makes all decisions for the governance of the Sept. The duties of each individual Auspice Elder vary from Sept to Sept, but each Elder plays a vital role regarding the Renown of his or her Septmates.
The Sept Alpha is the person who is in charge of the Sept overall. He or she is the leader of the Sept in all matters, and may or may not be advised by a council of Elders. It is the Alpha who declares when a Sept is at war. The Sept’s entire protectorate is considered to the Alpha’s territory. Not all Septs have an Alpha, but in a Sept where an Alpha rules, he or she is the ultimate authority.
The Sept Beta is the one who takes on all of the Alpha’s responsibilities should the Alpha be away or injured. Should the Alpha die, the Beta immediately assumes the role of Alpha until formal challenge can determine the new Alpha. Occasionally the Sept Beta acts at the Sept’s Warleader, leading during times of war, while the Alpha rules during times of peace.
The Caern Warder is the only member of the Sept with territorial claim that supercedes the Alpha’s. The Warder is responsible for the security of the caern itself. The Heart and Bawn of the caern are his or her responsibility. The Caern Warder is responsible for the planning of the defenses of the caern and for creating contingency plans to deal with any attack. These include planning safe escape routes for non-combatants, methods of summoning reinforcements, and a fallback order in case the caern is overrun. Even the Sept’s Ahrouns will fall back from an attack before the Caern Warder retreats. This position is most often filled by an Ahroun.
The Gatekeeper is the Garou who holds the Pathstone and controls moonbridge access to and from the caern. This position is normally held by a Theurge or an Ahroun. In the event of war, it is the Gatekeeper’s job to close the moonbridge, preventing unwanted access to the heart of the caern. As the holder of the Pathstone, the Gatekeeper must be cautious. Should the Pathstone fall into enemy hands, they have an open door to the heart of the caern. The Gatekeeper controls all traffic across the moonbridge to and from the Sept. As such, the Gatekeeper greets all arriving Garou and performs whatever procedures are in place to ensure that visitors are not a threat before allowing them entry to the caern. He or she also controls all outgoing traffic, ensuring that travel is permitted by the Alpha or Elders, and that opening the moonbridge will not endanger the safety of the Sept.
Master of Challenge
The Master of Challenge oversees all challenges that occur within the Bawn and Heart of the caern. He is the overall authority for any and all challenges, whether the Garou involved appeal to his judgement or not. No formal challenge may take place without his permission. As Master of Challenge’s word on the resolution of any challenge is final. Once he or she has made a decision, the challenge it is over. This position is normally filled by a Philodox.
Master of the Rite
Like the Master of Challenge, the Master of the Rite oversees all rites cast within the Bawn or Heart of the caern. In some Septs, no rites may be cast without the direct permission of the Master of the Rite, and at times certain individuals may be prohibited from casting rites due to punishment or because of training. The Master of the Rite or his assistant casts all major rites at the Sept. Others authorized by the Master of the Rite may perform rites for training or some other reason. The Master of the Rite is responsible for making certain that all Seasonal Rites are cast correctly and successfully, and for performing the monthly Moot Rite. The relationship with the Caern Totem is also the responsibility of the Master of the Rite. Needless to say, the Master of the Rite is usually a Theurge.
Keeper of the Land
The Keeper of the Land has the responsibility of maintaining the physical appearance and spiritual health of the caern and its surrounding bawn. While some Garou consider this poistion nothing more than that of a glorified gardener or groundskeeper, the Keeper of the Land actually plays a crucial role in the vitality and strength of a caern. Spirits find an attractive and well-kept caern a more congenial environment than one that shows little concern for upkeep. Therefore, Keepers of the Land must be conversant with the local spirits and must keep their desires in mind as well as the needs of the caern environment. A caern’s bawn usually doesn’t look “kept” at all, at least not in the same way that sculptured office park does. In small caerns, this position may fall to a relatively low-ranking Garou or may be shared by all the members of a sept on a rotating basis. In a large caern, with a sizable bawn, the position of Keeper of the Land assumes major importance. Larger caerns mean not only more territory for a Keeper to cover but also a greater number of spirits to keep happy. Keepers in powerful caerns must have good skills in negotiating with spirits as well as a vast knowledge of how to care for the lands associated with the caern.
Den Mother (or Father)
The Den Mother has the responsibility of teaching and protecting the younger Garou of the Sept. Cubs and Cliath both fall under the watchful eye of the Den Mother. The Den Mother must able to teach Lupus, Homid, or Metis youngsters of vastly different tribes and auspices alike. They teach what it is to be Garou, the Litany, about the auspices, and about each Tribe, albeit without stepping on the teachings of an Cub of Cliath’s individual Athro (teacher). The Den Mother is also responsible for the safety of the younger Garou. Nothing will bring the Garou of a Sept boiling forth ready for battle more quickly than a Den Mother’s call for aid. In the event of an attack on the Caern, regardless of her auspice, the Den Mother’s sole responsibility is to see to the safety of the younger Garou. (This may include beating a Cliath Ahroun into submission and dragging them from the field if it becomes necessary.) The Den Mother will always have a method to get the younger Garou to safety, escaping with them before them become trapped by the battle.
Caller of the Wyld
This Garou formally calls the spirits to attendance at every Moot Rite. He or she may have other duties assigned by the Eldest Theurge or the Master of the Rite. The Caller of the Wyld is usually a Theurge.
The Fool is the voice of dissent at the monthly Moot Rite. While the Fool speaks as the Fool, he or she is exempt from the laws of behavior that govern the Garou. Anything said or done by the Fool during the Moot must be forgiven and forgotten by the rest of the Sept, once the Moot is over. The Fool is usually a Ragabash.
Guardians are average members of the Sept who take on patrol duties, and Caern watch so that there is never a time when the Caern is unguarded. This can be tedious work, but it is drilled into every member of the Sept that the first warning of threat to the Sept comes invariably from a patrolling Guardian. Guardians may have many duties to perform while on duty, but the bottom line is that they are the early warning system for the Sept at large and the first line of defense to slow down attackers while the rest of the Sept rallies to the defenses. Fostern often fill the positions as Guardians, learning about responsibility and holding a Sept office by standing as Guardian. Many Garou of higher ranks use the Guardians time as a captive audience to give training, tell stories, or otherwise introduce them to the world of being Garou.
Master of the Howl
This Garou leads the howl that begins every Moot Rite. He or she may have other duties assigned by the Eldest Galliard or the Master of the Rite. The Master of the Howl is usually a Galliard.
This Garou leads the Stories and Songs at the monthly Moot Rite. If no other Garou have stories to tell, it is the Talesinger’s job to entertain the Sept. He or she is also responsible for confirming awards of Renown given during the Cracking of the Bone. The Talesinger may have other duties assigned by the Elders of the Sept, and is usually a Galliard.
This Garou leads the Cracking of the Bone at the monthly Moot Rite. He or she may have other duties assigned by the Eldest Philodox or other Sept Elders. The Truthcatcher is usually a Philodox.
This Garou leads the Revel at every Moot Rite. He or she is hunted by the rest of the Sept, and must be clever and cunning, as well as an excellent warrior. The Wyrmfoe may have other duties assigned by the Eldest Ahroun or other Sept Elders. The Wyrmfoe is usually an Ahroun.