Falling Waters Genre Package.

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Post  Stbrian on Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:27 pm

One of the fun* things about the last few weeks has been re-writing history and getting our backstory together for our friends at MES, which I've really only seriously started working on today. Here's where I am right now, for anyone interested in such things.

* for varying values of fun.


Rage Across the Western Door
The Sept of Falling Waters

o. Introduction - The Burned-Over District

The burned-over district was the religious scene in the western and central regions of New York in the early 19th century, where religious revivals and Pentecostal movements of the Second Great Awakening took place.  The name was inspired by the notion that the area had been so heavily evangelized as to have no "fuel" (unconverted population) left over to "burn" (convert).  When religion is related to reform movements of the period, such as abolition, women's rights, and utopian social experiments, the region expands to include areas of central New York that were important to these movements.

- Wikipedia, ‘the burned-over district’

Joseph Smith (The Latter-Day Saints), William Miller (The Millerites), the Fox Sisters (Spiritualism), Father Baker, the Shakers, the Oneida Society, Handsome Lake.  All originate from the plot of land that the First Peoples still call the Western Door.  As far as we can tell, this land has long belonged to dreamers and charlatans; to prophets and crusaders.  Garou Theurges would say that the Gnosis runs thick here, and even the most mundane of humans run the risk of being changed by holy energies.

In such a place, many of the Garou are naturally drawn.  The power of the ever conquering and majestic Wyld closes off the western edge of the region.  To the west of the great Cataract sits the Weaver corrupted nightmare that is Niagara Falls, Canada, and to the East of the Falls sits the Wyrm-soaked and cancer-ridden monstrosity that is Niagara Falls, US.   

What is obvious to humanity is even more clear to the Garou: Niagara Falls is a place where the Wyld bleeds through in all its uncontrollable chaos straight through into the waking world, and that energy pours out and permeates this land.  Giving this place its unique spiritual character.  But Niagara ands the Maiden of the Mists who dwells there are surrounded on all sides by those who would enslave or destroy her; it is only through the watchfulness of the Garou that this place remains holy, swaddled as it is in the corruption of the last age.

And there have been close calls.  The Garou have been beaten back from Falling Waters in the past, but the early twenty-first century has been good to the Sept and the Western Door as a whole.  To the south, a rust-belt abomination slowly rebuilds under the guiding hand of spirits of Reclamation.  Forests grow where once Blights stood.  The animals slowly return and now deer graze amidst the ruins of steel mills.  The Western Door is slowly healing from the nightmare of industrialization, the perils of the larger world and Nation largely forgotten amidst the multi-generational task of healing the land.

Like the sept’s storied Glasswalkers of the Nineteenth Century before them, who tamed the river and brought light to the world, the time has come again for Falling Waters to play a role in the larger world.  The Garou Nation is battered and bruised by decades of war, and now Falling Waters must once again play its part in the larger world.

i. A Brief Chronology of the Caern at Falling Waters

~10000 BCE         The First Peoples settle the region for the first time as the ice begins to recede.

~8000 BCE          The ancient Lake Tonawanda recedes to a small straight connecting the primeval Great Lakes. Niagara Falls is born, along with the river on which is sits.

~6000 BCE          Falling Waters Caern A, the Caern of White Waters, is founded by the Croatoan and dedicated to Turtle.  Though the location has changed through the centuries as the Falls has receded, there is sizable evidence that a Caern has been at Niagara Falls as long as there has been a Falls.

~3000 BCE    Falling Waters Caern A abandoned due to erosion.  Replaced by Caern B, dedicated to Grandfather Thunder (or Lord Hirim, as he is known to the Iroquois.)  The Heart is now mystically linked to the Falls, and will move with the cataract as it recedes towards Lake Erie.  Sept now called The Sept of Thundering Waters.

~600-800 BCE Iroquoian culture begins to appear in region.

~1000 CE    Caern B is destroyed in a war versus the Stone Giants.  Caern C, under the protection of the new Incarna, Lellawalla, the Maid of the Mists, is formed. (of which http://americanfolklore.net/folklore/2010/09/the_maid_of_the_mist.html is a representative telling of the story).

~1590 The Croatan Sacrifice - The Iroquoian peoples lose their Tribe.

1677 Father Hennepin, travelling with LaSalle's expedition spots the Falls for the first time.

~1650-80         The local Neutral Nation (an Iroquoian people not associated with the Senecas to the east) is destroyed under mysterious circumstances.  The region would remain essentially depopulated for the next century.

1773 First European settlers arrive at the region.  Permanent human inhabitation of the Western Door (WNY) resumes.

1832 Booming from the Erie Canal, Buffalo becomes a city.  The future looks bright!

1856         City of Clifton, Ontario founded.  This would grow into Niagara Falls, Ontario.

1892         City of Niagara Falls, NY founded.

1890’s The Renovations of Olmsted.

1900 President McKinley assassinated at the Pan American Expo only hours after visiting Devil’s Hole just downstream from the Falls.  The future start to look a bit less bright.

1978         The ecological disaster of Love Canal.  Tales are told of how much worse it might have been had the blight not been held in check.  But this would mark the beginning of a long decline for the city.

1984 Founding of the Zoar Valley Caern - The Sept of the Valley is formed and dedicated to Sturgeon.  This small Sept would survive for only fifteen years and would be lost under mysterious circumstances.

~1985 Strangled by the death of American Steel and suffocated by the Welland Canal to the north, Western New York begins its slow economic and political disintegration.

2001-2004 The Ratkin War

- Dublin Chase and the Ratkin Caern under City Hall destroyed.

2004           First Seneca Casino opens.

2010 The Dousing of the Red Star

ii. Garou NPCs of Falling Waters

Edgar Seta

Elder Silent Strider Philadox (Homid)

Alpha of Falling Waters

Bull Roarer

Elder Uktena Philadox (Lupis)

[Per Rage Across NY, pending approval]

Officially Master of Rites, though unofficially retired since 2010.

James Seta

Adren Silent Strider Ahroun (Homid)

Warder - Golden boy.

Michael McHenry

Adren Fianna Philadox (Metis)

Master of Challenges

Tammy Harley

Adren Silver Fang Ahroun (Homid)

Twin of Abraham.  Wyrmfoe

Abraham Harley

Adren Silver Fang Galliard (Homid)

Den Father - Twin of Tammy


Fostern Wendigo Theurge (Lupus)

Keeper of the Lands - Asshole.

iii. Alphas of Living Memory

Edgar Seta

Elder Silent Stider Philadox (Homid)

Sept Alpha of Falling Waters

(Born 1961, Alpha 2001-2013)

A quiet and introverted Garou, Seta has risen to the top based on his own quietly just officiation of Garou justice, and his brother’s incredible popularity as boss Ahroun of Falling Waters.  Edgar leaves most of the day to day of running the sept to his council of elders, taking old Pale Wolf’s adage of old to heart, the he who governs best governs least.

Riordan Cliffgrazer

Elder Fionna Galliard (Homid)

Sept Alpha of Falling Waters

(Born 1949, died 2000, Alpha 1989-2000)

The old goat, as he always liked to call himself, Keogh was a brash and valorous fellow.  In his eleven years as Alpha, he managed to undue most of the reforms of the Davis years.  Compulsory dues were stopped, the Zoar Caern was abandoned, and the Falling Waters became renowned for all the wrong reasons.  His drinking contests were legendary.  That he is remembered fondly can be attributed purely to nostalgia. [Source : Rage Across New York : Pg 43]

Irene J. Davis

Elder Child of Gaia Theurge (Homid)

Sept Alpha of Falling Waters

(Born 1933, died 1989, Alpha 1975-1989)

She was everything a Child of Gaia should be.  Before she became Alpha, Davis was known as a peacemaker and an expert diplomat.  Probably owing to those skills, her time in charge was a quiet one.  Her proudest accomplishment was the founding of a new Caern in Zoar Valley.

John Smith (Pale Wolf)

Elder Uktena Theurge (Lupus)

Sept Alpha of Falling Waters

(Born 1955, Died 1975, Alpha 1972-75)

Rarely has a Lupus afflicted with the curse of the wolf years risen to the rank of Alpha.  In his short life, Smith became renowned as the greatest and bravest Garou this region has ever seen.  Though he sired dozens of pups, it was his oft proclaimed regret that none of his children were of the Garou.   Long after his death, most every Uktena and Wendigo Lupus of the area makes a point of tracing their lineage to this proud warrior.

James Philip Matheson

Elder Child of Gaia Galliard (Homid)

Sept Alpha of Falling Waters

(Born 1930, died 1983, Alpha 1960-72)

A proud, loud and boisterous soul and a lifelong resident of Niagara Falls Canada; Matheson lead the Caern through the tumultuous sixties.  He spent his last years as a professor of Anthropology at Niagara University.

iv. The Caern of Falling Waters

ST Note : This is an old IC document.  The historical speculation is just that, while the layout of the Caern here described IS accurate.

Falling Waters - Caern of Wisdom - Rank 5 - Dedicated to The Maid of the Mists

A Few Words of Introduction

Touch the holy ground at the Heart, feel the dirt that has been sifted by three hundred generations. If the walls of Troy were built with music, Falling Waters is sustained by memories.” - Bull Roarer, Elder Uktena Philadox

Falling Waters is a very old Caern, even by the standards of the Garou. We have good sources in the oral tradition that the Caern was founded only a very short time after the end of the last Ice Age and the birth of Niagara Falls at the mouth of modern Lake Ontario.

We know nearly nothing about the First People of this region. We know that Men and Garou lived on the shores of Lake Erie eight thousand years ago, but the histories are silent about who they were. We know they founded this Caern, we know from certain ceremonial relics that have been found that they worshipped Hirum/Grandfather Thunder, but when the Mound Builder people came to this land three thousand years ago, the First People had long disappeared.

We know the Mound Builders were closely tied to veneration of Uktena, but little else is known about them besides their association with that tribe and their heart-stoppingly beautiful burial sites. One of these mounds still stands at the mouth of the Niagara River, long may the flowers bloom there.

After the Mound Builders disappear, the time of the Iroquoian peoples comes. The drama of the Seneca, Huron and Neutral peoples has been well documented elsewhere, but it is important to note for the purpose of this essay that this was the period we believe Hirum/Grandfather Thunder relinquished his stewardship of the Caern. From what songs we have of that period (Of which the ‘Song of Thunder to his Children’ is my personal favorite), we know that control of the Caern passed to Hirum’s two sons, whose names have been lost to history. Within a few hundred years, the sons had left the stage, and we know with some certainty that the Maid of the Mists was mistress of this Caern for at least the last seven hundred years.

Entering the Caern

- Umbral

- Jump off the Falls

- Tunnels at the foot of the Falls

- ‘Real’

- Journey behind the Falls

- Through the Power Plant tunnels

Level One - Above the Falls - Goat Island

The thin deciduous woods and park of Goat Island, and the associated Bridal Veil Falls, is place of reflection and relaxation for the Garou.  No formal Caern locations up here, but the area is always patrolled by the Guardian pack and is a peaceful, mellow sort of place.

Level Two - Under Goat Island - The Deeper Bawn, The Challenge Mound and Living Area

[Insert Map JPG]

Level Three - Behind the Base of the Falls - The Halls of Assembly

Meeting area for the full Sept.  Built originally to fit several hundred Garou comfortably, which is vaguely depressing.  Moots are held here.

Level Four - The Heart of the Caern

Located at the very bottom of the Caern, several hundred feet below the bottom of the Falls, sits the Heart.

The Heart is a large circular chamber of about five thousand square meters. The floor is covered with an ancient stone mosaic depicting the deepest history of the Caern. At the beginning of the mosaic are the great glaciers ripping away at the earth, cutting the trench that would one day create the Falls. The history spins around the axis of the wheel, showing the great deeds of Garou long dead and indeed long forgotten. The meanings of most of these icons have long been lost to the fogs of history. This place is old. Americans aren't used to thinking of time on these scales; this place is older than Rome, maybe older than the Pyramids. Though the Caern has been built and rebuilt many times over the centuries, the Heart retains the character of something created during the last ice age. The ceiling here is carved stone and lacks the vaulting and inlays that decorate most of the Caern. The place smells pungently of damp stone and rich soil.

During most daylight hours, the Maid can be seen here at the center of the mosaic, there she sits perched in lotus position with her eyes closed. Here, where the worlds are one, faint lines of gnosis can be seen in the air like smoke signals, both moving from and towards the Incarna. Jaggerlings and other minor spirits swirl around her like a slowly processing whirlwind. This procession provides the only light to this room; shadows move and dance around the revolving lights. Despite this display, the place is completely silent.

Level Five - Deep in the Bedrock - The Halls of Hallowed Heroes

[Insert JPG]

A Note on Olmsted’s Reconstruction

“A comprehensive and well-prepared scheme seems to us, for several reasons, to be peculiarly desirable for Buffalo; first, because Buffalo is a place of singular mobility and progressiveness and wealth, with every reason for expecting a prolonged career of prosperity, and a more than usual rapid development of advance in the common requirements of civilization…” - Frederick Law Olmsted, Kinfolk, Chief Architect, 1889 Falling Waters Rebuild.

The Caern, while quite venerable and I’m assured quite beautiful, was really just a hole in the ground until the Olmsted renovations of the late Nineteenth Century.  Replacing the old Caern was an architectural marvel to rival the great underground cities of the old world.  Powerful archways, intricate arabesques, and shining marble replaced the dour dampness of the old tunnels.  Every time you flush your toilet or turn on the lights, take a moment to thank old Freddy Olmsted.

To see what the Caern once looked like, the old tunnels are still there in places, if you know where to look, and of course the Heart and Hall of Heroes look just as they always have.

- J Matheson, 1967

v. Local Garou Landmarks

The Devil’s Hole

Zoar Valley

Allegany State Park

Love Canal

Niagara Glen

The Old Mound

vi Adversaries and Devils ; a local bestiary

The Dancers

The Drowned The Dead of Niagara Falls

The Stone Giants Mythical enemies of the Seneca; actual enemies of the Garou

Rainbow Corp Local Pentex Subsidiary

Devil’s Hole Bad News lives here


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Falling Waters Genre Package. Empty *hmmm*

Post  Samuel Timmons on Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:47 am

Excellent and we have a Few IC Stories posted you can use for flavor I am sure there is Works for Food telling of the Tale of the Maid of the Mist and a few other stories as well on the old Silver Record Boards.

Shadow Lord PB: 3
Clubed Foot
Use a Cane & Glasses

Samuel Timmons

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Post  Stbrian on Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:06 am

*nod*, I'm digging through and including as much crunchy stuff as I can, I've actually got a lot more done since the above post.

If any of you have anything you think should be included in our history, let me know.

Keep in mind, the following events will not be in our new continuity:
(a) High Hat & the Triumvirate never existed. (good band name though)
(b) The Maid was never lost, with all that followed from that.

(I could get into more details, basically, the defining feature of our new world will be that Broken Sword was never embraced after Lellawalla went over the falls.  Everything forks from that point.  I'll be glad to get out of the way once everything is accepted and put the story back in y'alls hands.  The goal is to have all background information that PCs could know already written up and referable, so there's never any question as to what the hell happened in the Caern's past..  Trying to make everything a bit less centralized in my brain.  I think that will help.)


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Post  Stbrian on Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:14 am

As opposed to posting constant updates, here's the (automatically refreshing) latest version.



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