A woodland path created by use, meanders to the Caern of Belle Isle. Red maples, white pines,Juniper and Birch rise up to the sky, filtering the sun to dappled patch of light on the forest floor. Here and there the delicate sway of Dogwood, Custard-apple, and Hazelnut lend another layer to the canopy. Deeper into the Caern, trees become twisted with age.
Towards the center of the Caern, the forest opens, with rock and fallen logs. Pine-needles soften the ground with moss and lichen. Wild mushrooms grow in the rich earth, nibbled here and there by the wildlife. Songbirds flit through the leaves, their music lending beauty to the serenity of the Glade.
At the heart of the Caern, grows an ancient tree; the sacred Juniper of Grandfather Thunder. It is here The Stormcrows gather in flocks.It is here that the veil between worlds is thin. The very air pulses electric and pure. The scent of ozone and pine and dirt are the sweetest of perfumes. There is no doubt that this is a sacred place.
Grandfather Thunder looks favorably upon the Shadow Lords and others who strive to keep the Garou Nation strong and out of the hands of the weak, old, corrupt, and incompetent. "Thunder rules with a fist of iron and a voice of silk," is the ancient adage. Thunder is more feared than respected, yet his place amongst the Totems of respect is secure. Thunder fosters patience, ingenuity, subtlety, and strategy within those he chooses--but it is ultimately directed towards the acquisition of power and the downfall of any incapable or undeserving of wielding it. The respect-through-fear aspect often results in few Garou--especially at-risk Garou in positions of power--trusting those who pack under Grandfather Thunder. For it is the nature of the pack to test those in power, as wolves test a herd of deer, to seek out the weak and unguarded and to pull them down so that others more fit for duty may take their place. (If it just so happens that one of Thunder's own is better suited, then that simply speaks to the strength of those who pack under Grandfather.) Obviously, those in power often want to know precisely what Thunder pack is up to. Despite claims of underhandedness, Thunder's children generally usurp power from others via the normal, acceptable means within Garou society: challenges, demonstrating greater skill, or revealing incompetence; however, tipping the scales to favor a challenger often goes hand in hand with the more acceptable means.