Werewolf the Apocalypse Rage Across St. Louis
Rite of Caern Building
This powerful rite creates a new caern by drawing the spirit world and the physical world closer together. Simply reciting the rite draws the attention of the Wyrm’s servants, and actually performing the rite has been known to prove fatal. Only the most powerful and wise mystics dare lead such an undertaking.
A powerful Theurge is almost always selected to perform this most sacred of rites. Many Garou must channel their energy through a powerful leader to have even a hope of success. Whole packs have been known to die in the agony of failed attempts.
Once the physical focus for the heart of the caern is chosen, the area must be cleansed of all taints in preparation for its transformation. All Garou participating in the rite must undergo a Rite of Cleansing, at minimum. The ritemaster performs a series of minor rituals, meditations, and other physical preliminaries to prepare for her awesome task.
The sept must post sentries, for servants of the Wyrm almost invariably attempt to disrupt such a great rite. Only the mightiest warriors are chosen for such an assignment, and their protection is critical to the success of the rite. The leader of the rite is helpless while he chants a long litany of verses designed to draw a great spirit into the prepared caern. Although it is possible to create a specific type of caern, most leaders leave this choice to Gaia and accept whatever caern she grants the sept.
The rite must be performed between the hours of sunset and sunrise during the waxing of the moon. Only the Black Spiral Dancers create caerns during the moon’s waning.
System: The rite lasts from dusk until dawn. As the sun breaks over the horizon, the ritemaster makes a Wits + Rituals roll at difficulty 8 (modified downward by one for every five Garou participating in the rite and spending Gnosis over and above the 13 necessary participants, to a minimum of difficulty 4). The number of successes gained determines the level of the resulting caern:
Successes . . . . . Level
1–3 . . . . . . . . . . . Level one
4–6 . . . . . . . . . . . Level two
7–8 . . . . . . . . . . . Level three
9+ . . . . . . . . . . . . Level four
Because an enormous amount of Gnosis is needed to break through the Gauntlet and empower the new caern, a minimum of 13 Garou, one for each moon of the year, must participate in the rite. At the end of the rite, the participating Garou channel Gnosis into the nascent caern — a total of 100 points of Gnosis is necessary to awaken the sacred site. If an insufficient amount of Gnosis is offered, the rite’s participants begin to suffer aggravated
wounds as their life-force is sacrificed to create the caern. Each wound counts as three more Gnosis points toward the total. The complete the ritual, each of the 13 core participants must sacrifice a dot of permanent Gnosis.
Such is the damaged state of the world that the Rite of Caern Building can no longer naturally awaken a level five caern — only an additional offering of Gnosis can bring that sort of purity and power back to the dying earth. Offering an additional 100 points of Gnosis — 200 Gnosis in total — empowers the rite, creating a caern one level higher than the ritemaster’s successes would otherwise indicate.
The dangers of the rite are many. Failure scours the bodies and spirits of all Garou involved in the rite, both those donating Gnosis and those protecting them, inflicting four levels of lethal damage from spiritual backlash. A botch inflicts seven levels of lethal damage; those driven below Incapacitated by this damage suffer severe Battle Scars (see p. 259).
Minions of the Wyrm ultimately pose the greatest threat to the rite. As soon as it begins, all Wyrm-corrupted beings (Banes, fomori, Black Spiral Dancers, even particularly degenerate vampires or depraved ghosts) for miles around become aware of the rite; many will stop at nothing to prevent its completion. The Garou can expect a siege lasting at least until dawn, and likely longer.
If a player’s character should somehow assume the role of ritemaster and succeed, she receives three points of Glory Renown, five points of Honor Renown, and seven points of Wisdom Renown. Anyone else participating in the rite receives five points of Glory Renown and three points of Honor Renown. This task is a legendary one that deserves a suitable reward.