No Really, We're Sheep
Chicago (City Father), Skyscraper (Reformed Storm Incarna)
(The Gauntlet is naturally quite thick in this locale, balancing out the strength of the Caern’s connection).
In the Earth Realm, the Caern is simply the Sears Tower. Glass Walkers have pooled massive resources to secure a hidden conclave within the architectural tower at its peak, but this is not detectable from the outside of the tower. In the Umbra, when one gazes up at the Tower from its base, one sees it as a compromise of Gothic, Weaver, and Storm sensibilities.
Standing at the base of the spiritual tower, and looking up, the Tower seems to rise into the sky forever. While other buildings may have robbed its technical title away, the Tower has found identity as the Tallest Building in the World, and its spiritual incarnation reflects the same.
Like most of the buildings inhabiting its locale, the base of the Tower remains thoroughly enwebbed. However, amongst the Weave, Electricity spirits caper with abandon. The Weave is further broken by extremely powerful Glass Elementals, representing the reflective windows iconic to the Tower’s depiction. These Glass Elementals refuse to be subdued by the Web Spider’s ministrations.
As one ascends the Tower, the webs begin to fray and blow in unseen, unfelt winds. By the time one has reached the skyline of the other buildings, one will see a circular storm that rings the Tower. The storm is a violent thing of lightning and thunder and skin flensing winds that strip away the webs that cling to the building. There is a frenzy of activity immediately below the storm ring as Pattern Spiders attempt to secure and anchor new webs.
Above this rim, the building continues upwards in clean, crisp air. No pattern webs cling at this height, and no more than graceful breezes blow. Rather, platforms exist that have no mirror in the physical world. They are crafted from the same material as the Tower itself, matching it’s pattern: bold metals and glass. The platform extends the entire width of the raging storm and comprises the base upon which the Garou indulge and petition the Caern. From here one can see the vaunted peak of the Tower, and feel the cool kisses of Air Elementals, the cruel crack of Stormlings, and the myriad bird spirits that flock to the locale.
All is not fully serene, however, as the Wyrm dispatches Smog Banes to collect its ragged brethren that are born naturally on the Chicago skyline. These Banes are often born into the Umbra well above the protective rim of the storm, and it falls upon the Garou to thwart their encroachments upon Skyscraper.
As Skyscraper grows weary, from expending its energy to hold the Pattern Spiders at bay, as it lends its strength to its Sept, as the Wyrm sends pollutants from above, the clarity of its domain dims. Pattern webs grow further and further up the side of Tower, sometimes even affixing to the Storm Ring itself. Smog Banes encroach deeper and deeper, spoiling the air, devouring Air Elementals and bird spirits, alike. It is the constant duty of the Guardians of the Caern to police these intruders, and a great deal of the Sept’s energy is expended on reinvigorating Skyscraper.
At the base of the tower is a grand entrance, seemingly the compromise of a castle gate and a rotating door. Through this door one can access the Great Elevator which will deliver its rider to the Caern. A local pack featuring young Uktena of the former Fannum Sept, a local Glass Walker, and a pair of Get of Fenris who came to Chicago to assist in the War of 1995, and stayed to support the Caern, have taken the name of the Doormen and serve as guardians of the Great Elevator. They have taken a pack Totem of Boar and are fostering it as a sentinel spirit, hoping that one day their investment will allow it to fulfill the function that they have adopted.
Inside of the Great Elevator lives the Concierge, a small gaffling servant of Chicago. The Concierge monitors the comings and goings about the base of the Tower and reports them to Skyscraper. Any entrant to the Great Elevator is assessed by and announced by the Concierge. Conceivably, if anyone ever slipped past the Doormen, the Concierge would serve as advance warning to the Guardians of the Sept. The Concierge has proven that in the event of an assault at the umbral base of the Tower, he will alert Guardians.
Following the War for Chicago, and the release and defeat of Jupiter, a maelstrom shredded some of the highest portions of the Weave. Industrious Glass Walkers pounced on the opportunity presented by this chaos and fashioned a Fetish known as Storm Eater, essentially a spiritual lightning rod, to the peak of the Sears Tower. While the Storm Eater gathered Jupiter’s maelstrom into it, the Gauntlet suffered. Shadow Lords appealed to Grandfather Thunder, and he sent a Stormcrow Avatar to help tend the fallout.
Stormcrow found the umbrascape in disarray and swept in to harness the maelstrom, which, having been cleansed in the destruction of Jupiter, was merely a storm, and therefore Grandfather Thunder’s domain. However, it retained consciousness and shrugged off Stormcrow’s commands. At the behest of a young Garou pack who had managed to impress the City Father Chicago, he rallied to the aid of the Stormcrow, and together they fashioned the maelstrom into a more manageable form.
The Storm Eater fetish bound the Incarna and tied it to the Sears Tower, essentially transforming the Sears Tower into a second incarnation of the Fannum. At its pinnacle, Chicago and the maelstrom came to an understanding. The maelstrom, threatened with being dispersed and gradually devoured, opted to take on the role of Totem. Though partially subjugated to the Sears Tower by the Storm Eater, the maelstrom derived great power from its prison. There, in the heart of a pure storm, Gaia’s airy presence, often limited to mountain peaks, broke through to the Earth Realm in previously unknown ways. Though battered and drained, the pack of City Father’s chosen cubs conglomerated with Chicago, the Stormcrow, and the maelstrom, and, through seemingly impossible means, together they fashioned a Caern at the tip of the Sears Tower.
The Maelstrom adopted the name Skyscraper, both to reflect the pangs of its birth as well as its newfound identity.
Skyscraper is a hardy, resilient totem and imparts that strength of will to its Sept. This is all but necessary as Skyscraper is under near constant assault by Weaver and Wyrm, as well as Quintessence hungry Magi. Though Skyscraper is fundamentally a Weaver spirit, its origin as a force of the Wyld and the Wyrm, and the patronage of Father Chicago, cause it to deny the Weaver’s calls for stasis. Though Skyscraper approves of building, growing, and gaining, it despises the static pinioning of the Weaver’s webs, forcing them to conform to its will as best it can. It found at its disposal a monumental amount of insentient Glass, Electricity, and Transaction spirits which it manipulates to keep the Weaver’s ministrations at bay.
The Sept of the Second City has served as an almost endless battleground since its inception. The Weaver spirits in the locale are furious at Skyscraper’s ability to fend off the Web. The Wyrmlings find the upper levels easy to assault with the almost endless air pollutants created by a city the size of Chicago, and a seemingly endless stream of Smog Banes has targeted the Caern.
Moreover, with its adoption as a Totem, Skyscraper has lent the local Garou a deluge of economic power and influence over the City of Chicago. While Father Chicago prevents the Garou from abusing this power to his detriment, he has no such qualms about the Glass Walkers leveraging themselves over the local Magi and Vampires. This has led to significant unrest in the longstanding truce between the factions. City Kinfolk in the business and law sectors are constantly devoting practically pro bono labor in the courts and boardrooms to keep Ghoul servants from imposing injunctions and making powerplays that would grant them legal ownership over portions of the Tower that might threaten to separate the Garou from their Caern.
In 1999 a pack of Garou, unfamiliar with local custom, laid siege to the Tower due to the presence of a Pentex subsidiary in the middle levels of the Tower. An errant Fomor had sought refuge amongst the subsidiary’s cubicles, and was violently pursued by the Pack. The chase was short and quickly left the Tower before the Guardians of the Sept could intervene. Structural damage to the base of the Tower was slow to repair, which diminished some of Skyscraper’s power in that period. While this caused a great deal of consternation to local Garou at the time, the continued development of the Doorkeepers and their Boar, Sentinel, have limited further attacks.
On September 11, 2001, the Sears Tower was graciously spared the attentions of terrorist attacks on the United States. Skyscraper openly wept at the fall of the Twin Towers, buildings which it had come to regard with great respect. Chicago was drowned in rain for a week. The brief resurgence of Chicago’s patriotism, underscored by no small amount of pride in their still-standing Sears Tower, helped foster a great deal of power for Skyscraper. The Sept took active roles in 9/11 memorials which, under the guidance of Shadow Lord and Glass Walker assistance, suggested to the citizens of Chicago that their fair Tower was a fitting symbol of America’s perseverance. While this sentiment was short-lived, it garnered Skyscraper a great deal of power.
Recently that surplusage of power has begun to wane as the climate of poverty, fear, paranoia, and despair has been wracking the City. Presently, the Sept finds itself in a losing battle as the Wyrm continues to hold more and more sway over humanity and the Earth. American Septs have begun to equate the plight of the Sept of the Second City with the condition of Gaia as a whole: a single, inexplicable bastion of purity that is faltering and falling to the endless attacks of the corrupting and devouring. The Sept is suffering more and more from exhaust, and two of its foremost Elders are succumbing to Harano. Skyscraper grows wizened from the ceaseless bouts of defense.