Source: Core Book 2nd ed (pg.170), Guardians of the Caerns sourcebook (pp. 12-14)
The Gauntlet fluctuates from place to place. It is stronger in places of civilization and science, weaker in wild, primitive areas. In the areas where it is weakest, spiritual energy freely enters the mundane world. Wondrous and mystic phenomena are common in these places. The Garou revere such sites as holy and call them caerns. They vigorously guard the few remaining caerns, protecting them from mages and marauding spirits that try to feast on the spirit magic contained within them. Unfortunately, the Garou are slowly losing the fight, and precious few caerns remain.
Some caerns are dedicated to a specific purpose, such as healing or war. These caerns are inhabited by spirits attuned to the caern's purpose, and all powers invoked there are aligned to it.
Caerns are rated from 1 to 5. This rating measures the potency of the powers and effects that can be invoked there. Thus, a Level 1 caern of healing might refresh and heal minor wounds, while a Level 5 caern could miraculously heal the most grievous wounds.
The Gauntlet is lower at higher-powered caerns. Caerns of Level 1 and 2 have Gauntlet ratings of 4, those of Levels 3 and 4 have Gauntlet ratings of 3, and those rarest of caerns, the Level 5 sites, have Gauntlet ratings of only 2.
See the Caerns Chart for more detail on caerns and their types.
Caern Chart Edit
|Caern Level||Gauntlet||Moonbridge Distances|
Caern Types Chart Edit
|All||Open Moon Bridge||(Depending)|
|Enigmas||Enigmas Ability||Illusion, Shadow, Chameleon Spirit|
|Gnosis||Gnosis Points||Engling, Ghost|
|Healing||Health Levels||Peace, Calm, Water Elemental|
|Leadership||Leadership, Intimidation||War, Bird Spirit|
|Rage||Rage Points||War, Pain|
|Stamina||Soak Dice||Protection, Guardian, Turtle Spirit|
|Visions||Oracular Visions||Bird Spirit|
|Will||Willpower Points||War, Ancestor Spirit|
|Wisdom||Rituals, Expression||Owl Spirit, Ancestor Spirit|
Caern Purpose Edit
From Guardians of the Caerns:
The most distinctive thing about a caern is the purpose it serves. If your chronicle is built around a caern of Enigmas, it's going to be a radically different game than it'd be if you'd chosen a caern of Strength instead. That's why a caern's purpose is important - not because it offers a specific dice bonus, but because it will influence the character of the sept. Obviously, when choosing a caern type, the Storyteller should choose carefully.
The Werewolf Player's Guide goes into great detail about the most common caerns; those caern types are mentioned here briefly, and are fairly self-explanatory. There are also many other types of caerns, although these are much less common; there might be such a thing as a caern of Humility, but it might be the only one in existence. This section introduces a few more ideas for caerns of the rarer sort; the Storyteller should feel free to expand on these ideas, or use them as springboards to even more singular caerns.
Obviously, caerns of Glory might arise from old battlefields or places of great victories, but more often caerns of Glory spring from locales that are rich in life and all it has to offer. These caerns most commonly serve the purpose of Fertility, Plenty, Rage, Strength or Wyld.
Caerns of Courage arise in the damnedest places; they can be deep in the wilderness, in rural surroundings or even in a city's heart with equal odds. Strangely, they draw much of their power from the texture of fear - after all, courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to be strong despite being utterly afraid. When opened, these caerns can reduce the chances of frenzy or even add dice to Intimidation pools.
Caerns of Love may sound silly and ridiculously romantic at first, even hopelessly out of place in the World of Darkness. But these caerns have nothing to do with romance at all - they have everything to do with the emotional ties that give people strength even as they weaken them. Such a caern is dedicated to emotional bonds of all sorts: Platonic, filial, paternal or maternal, brotherly or sisterly, romantic, even the love a person might have for Gaia and all her creatures. The defenders of such a caern fight as fiercely as anything, refusing to fail their beloved lands and relatives. When opened, a caern of Love might provide dice of Empathy, or refresh spent Willpower by a few points.
Caerns of Honor are places of accord and renewal; the Garou know them as sources of spiritual strength and a sense of purpose. They include caerns of Gnosis, Healing, Kingship, Stamina and Willpower.
Caerns of Justice are rare in extremis, because they are easily fouled by unjust actions taken within the bawn. Although human courthouses would seem an obvious place for these energies to pool, the humans hold so many trials that almost invariably poor rulings will taint the caern or excessive legalism stifle its energy. They are governed by the wisest of Philodox, and their power is used to settle disputes between Garou in the fairest way possible. When opened, such a caern might add dice to Perception or Law; Philodox Gifts might also enjoy a reduced difficulty when used within the opened caern's heart.
Caerns of Sacrifice sometimes arise in areas where Garou or humans stood, fought and died in order to save those near and dear to them. They are particularly demanding to maintain, as a sept must constantly make small but meaningful sacrifices of their own to replenish the caern's energy. When opened, such a caern might allow its defenders to share health levels with one another, the healthy taking the injuries of the critically wounded upon themselves.
Caerns of Unity are almost unheard of. The Changing Breeds are almost without exception a divisive, squabbling lot; even pack-mentality groups like the Garou are heavily factionalized. Yet if a caern of Unity were to have somehow survived, the sept guarding it would be able to draw on its power to increase their teamwork to record levels. If opened, such a caern would likely add dice to Wits pools for the purposes of keeping coordinated, or even bestow an effect roughly equal to the Galliard Gift: Mindspeak.
It's very hard to stereotype caerns of Wisdom, because wisdom can be found anywhere. Some flourish in the heart of human urbanity; others draw strength from their extreme seclusion. Some are devoted to raw, natural intuition; others promote logic and clear thought. To the Garou, a caern of Wisdom is any caern that will offer powers of insight, no matter what form it takes. They include caerns of Calm, Enigmas, Humor, Primal-Urge, Streetwise and Visions, among others.
Caerns of Craftsmanship have a slight tendency to attract Weaver-energies, but they are still more Gaian than anything else. These places focus the energy of industry, skill, and pride in a job well done, rather than the powers of progress and technology. In ancient times, the Silver Fangs often claimed these caerns, in order to set up klaive-forges that could draw on the caern's strength. Even today, they would make ideal places for fetish-makers to craft items worthy of housing spirits. Such caerns add dice to Crafts and Repair dice pools when opened.
Caerns of Memory are very rare; Gaia created the Mokole to be her memory, and so these caerns weren't vitally necessary. Hoewver, in the modern age, such a caern would be a real prize - it could channel the knowledge of countless shapeshifters, enabling Garou to learn more about their once allies and their enemies. When opened, the caern might grant extra temporary dots of Past Life (even to tribes normally forbidden from taking that Background), temporarily grant picture-perfect recall of any of the ritemaster's personal memories, or even grant visions of past events.
Caerns of Stealth are rarely heard of, and with good reason. These caerns can be literally anywhere; the less obvious a place, the better. It's remarkably difficult to discern their energies; the only way to discover a latent caern of Stealth, even a powerful one, is to stumble across it through chance. Opening such a caern can shroud the entire bawn in misdirection, confusing and misleading enemies, add extra dice to Stealth or Subterfuge pools, or it might even grant the gift of invisibility to the ritemaster. These caerns are disdained by Garou who believe in fair rules of combat, but prized by Shadow Lords, Silent Striders and a few others.
- ↑ The distance a Moon Bridge can traverse depends on the rating of the caern where the gate is opened (not that of the destination). If the Moon Bridge is not opened at a caern (for example, a Bridge created by a Lune or other spirit), the distance traversible is 1000 miles.
- ↑ One point/level/die is gained per success (see Rite of the Opened Caern).
- ↑ These are the spirits most often encountered near caerns of that type. However, there is no guarantee that they are always to be found. Other spirits may also be encountered (Storyteller's discretion).
- ↑ Only if the two caerns in question have successfully completed a Rite of the Opened Bridge.