Sept Offices

Military and social units need structure, and the sept is no different. Werewolves, like wolves, are instinctively inclined toward hierarchy. The sept offices have evolved partly out of this need for hierarchy and partly for maximum efficiency in defending the caerns. The following are the most common offices held by sept members; some large septs may have other, more specialized offices in addition, while small septs may have elders who take on two or more offices at once simply because there’s nobody else for the job.

Primary Offices

Council of Elders
The Council of Elders is the sept’s main ruling body - usually three to thirteen elders, depending on the size and prosperity of the sept. The Grand Elder (usually a Philodox) is the voice of the council, although he can be overruled if the council votes against his decrees.

The Warder is the equivalent of a sept’s captain of the guard or head of security - her word is law when it comes to defending the caern proper. Only the most battle proven elders can rise to this important post. The Warder’s authority can even override the Council’s in times of danger. The Warder cannot order packs to take missions outside the caern, but she can demand that packs remain behind to guard the caern in times of need.

The Guardians are the warriors whose primary duty is to remain behind and guard the caern. Some septs assign this role to as many packs as they can afford to spare from the front lines. Being chosen as a Guardian is a great honor, and those who serve faithfully are rewarded with Honor renown (as well as Glory when called upon to prove themselves in battle).

Master of the Rite
The Master of the Rite monitors all rites performed at the caern; it is her duty to ensure that nobody calls on powers that would be dangerous to unleash within the caern. Her permission is necessary to enact a rite within the bawn, and she usually stays at hand during the rite to make sure nothing goes wrong. Finally, she is responsible for performing most rites that affect the entire caern - caern rites and punishment rites in particular. This office is customarily held by Theurges or Philodox, but can fall to anyone qualified (preferably with Rituals 5 and knowledge of most of the rites in the Werewolf rulebook).

The Gatekeeper is charged with control over any moon bridges opened in or to the caern. In times of siege, the Gatekeeper usually forbids any access to the caern’s moon bridge. His responsibility forbids him from leaving the caern, and his post usually puts him at the heart of any political machinations involving other septs.

Keeper of the Land
The Keeper of the Land is the caern’s caretaker, who is entrusted with the duty of keeping the caern’s lands well maintained. This post stems from more than vanity - spirits demand respect for themselves and their physical analogues. A tree-spirit whose tree was neglected and fell ill can bear a grudge for centuries afterward. Not all tribes (and their allied spirits) see a need for this office, however; Bone Gnawers and Red Talons in particular prefer a more “honest” bawn.

Master of the Challenge
If one sept member challenges another, the Master of the Challenge oversees the clash. It is his duty to ensure that no duels go too far (although this rule is relaxed in militant septs), and to impartially judge any challenges of gamecraft, riddles or tests of character. This post is quite necessary, as without it many werewolves would sure die in brawls over their honor - preserving their honor, perhaps, but robbing Gaia of more defenders.

Lesser Offices

The following offices are present mainly in larger, more formal septs; most septs these days are too small to spare the warm bodies to hold these posts full-time. It’s entirely possible, especially in these days, that one person mayhold more than one of the lesser offices or a lesser office in conjunction with a greater one.

The Master of the Howl, traditionally a Galliard, leads other Gibbous Moons in the Opening Howl that begins every moot. The role evolved out of a need for the Opening Howl to set precisely the tone for a given moot’s business.

The Caller of the Wyld, often a Theurge, leads the sept in the various rituals of homage to the pack, tribe and caern totems that watch over the sept. She also specializes in summoning the particular spirits that are allied to the sept. In most modern septs, this office’s duties simply fall to the Master of the Rite.

The Truthcatcher, almost always a Philodox, mediates disputes and ordains punishments for violations of the Litany or sept law. Serious offenses are always punished at a moot in full view of the entire sept.

The Talesinger, of any auspice (but commonly a Galliard), leads the sept in tales of the past during each moot. She may also bring forward other werewolves to play the part of past heroes, reenacting great legends in pantomime to honor the Garou’s ancestors.

The Wyrm Foe, always a great warrior (and therefore usually an Ahroun) leads the sept in the Revel that concludes each moot. His howl incites the already excited sept to charge through the caern’s bawn, savagely killing any intruders they may find there. The Wyrm Foe may also coordinate the activities of packs that strike at the Wyrm’s heart away from the sept, passing on information for them to use on their missions. The Master of the Challenge usually assumes this role in smaller septs.