The Children of Gaia
The Gaians of Vancouver are in a position of comparative strength, here. Their eco-tourism ambitions have panned out much better than expected, both as a business venture and as a means of preserving wilderness land and establishing a cultural literacy in environmentalism. Whether it’s windsurfing, a traipse on the Capilano suspension bridge, or a guided tour into grizzly bear territory, visitors to the area find themselves hard pressed to take in all of the natural experiences. In terms of influence, the Children of Gaia are at a peak. In terms of direction, however, they are at a crossroads.
Their success in business has attracted both Glass Walker support and Cainite competition. The Children of Gaia see the former as a progressive tribe and more of their number are beginning to see eye-to-eye with the Urrah. This in turn creates friction between them and more traditionalist Garou who endorse the tribe’s ends but question the means. They argue that “reintroducing” humanity to the wild runs the risk of exposing werewolf affairs (or werewolves, themselves) and compromising activities which are already conducted in near-total stealth out of necessity. How can anything be done if the Garou need be worried about every wayward backpacker or ski bum who might pull out a camera or cell phone and snap a picture off before the Delirium takes hold? Can the Veil withstand that kind of abuse?
Not all Gaians look to digital technology and carbon offsets to save the world, though. The bulk of the tribe (but the minority in actual influence) clings to old standbys, lauding “natural” lifestyles and social justice programs. These die-hards worry that the path to power is frought with corruption, if the vampires are any kind of evidence. Their jet-set tribemates argue that the money to support the ventures which work toward the reunification of all Gaia’s family must come from somewhere. Who would be better suited to representing their tribal interests in the pursuit of these resources?
Currently, the tribe, as a whole, supports a re-vamping and re-institution of the Covenant. They also staunchly defend the oaths and intentions of the Compact. They don’t have any specific address for the vampire community but they worry that there may be a “slippery slope” for Vancouver’s Garou. Specifically, the Gaians are terrified that unless there is support for a renewed Covenant, the Compact is sure to follow suit, which is anathema to the tribe. The Compact is nearly perfect mirror of the Children of Gaia’s ideals, as well as the primary edge the tribe is able to wield to gain access to the Great Caern. There are no other such caerns in the region; a defunct Compact will most likely deed Stanley Park to the strongest and best-represented tribe (i.e., not them) and leave dozens of werewolves at the mercy of a major resource asymmetry. The Gaians know enough conflict theory and have seen as many global struggles spawned of the “haves” lording it over the “have-nots” to understand, almost intuitively, what will be the assured result. If maintaining the peace means that they have to own up to a one-sided arrangement with the local Leeches, so be it.
The entrenched vampire business bloc is another matter, entirely. After the Glass Walkers of Vancouver began to lose their political and monetary footing in the region following Daly’s death, vampires crept into position, ready to take over the controls that the werewolves had held out against them. The Glass Walkers knew that, as Urrah, they could expect little assistance from the Nation when push finally came to shove. The Children of Gaia, however, recognized the role the city Garou played in balancing Kindred priorities and knew that losing this influence would, in effect, surrender the city to the Leeches. At the risk of tarnishing their reputation, the Children of Gaia began closely associating with the city and its appendages , if just to fill a niche. But they needed help. The Kindred have been manipulating human affairs almost since the dawn of mortal society. The Gaians are newborns, with regards to economic and political influence. This is one of the main reasons that they have begun to rely so heavily on advice and money from Glass Walkers, who have access to spirit networks and technologies which allow them to move at a pace more resembling the undead’s. The Children still support a renewed Covenant taking root (though preferably not with Stalest’s most recent terms in place), despite their posturing to become rivals to the Kindred in the business sense.
One group of Gaians, the Bountiful Mother Sept, is the most invested with modernizing and spearheading the “evolution” of the tribe and is nearest the city. This West Vancouver sept used to meet near the foot of the mountains of Cypress Bowl but, as they have civilized, they are more often gathering beneath the skyscrapers of Downtown in the places Glass Walkers used to frequent, when decorum does not dictate otherwise. The remaining 24 of British Columbia’s 34 Children of Gaia are split between southerly Kaleden Protectorate, with eight members, near Penticton and Crow’s Nest in Fernie, located further north, toward Alberta. Kaleden (sometimes mockingly referred to as the “Kale-Den”) is a group of staunch permaculturists and vegans who stay on pretty good terms with the Bountiful Mothers, though this is presumed to be a result of sharing such narrow living space in close proximity to both other tribes’ septs and the Americans, who make everyone nervous. Chang spends some of his time there, talking to their leaders about ecology for his magazine contributions. The Crow’s Nest, on the other hand, has made their concern clear about leaning upon the Weaver’s tools and has none of the insecurities which dominate their southern tribemates. They are more focused on direct action and generally have pretty black-and-white feelings about how many wrongs make a right (hint: it’s zero). They feel free to ask questions about technology which depletes global resources and capitalism that holds the Third World hostage and expect definite answers. The Mothers try not to take this critique too seriously, though they may resent their tribemates’ unilateral thinking, likening it to the Fenrir and Red Talons, who live close to Fernie.
Among the important issues for all the Children of Gaia, surrounding the Olympics, are humanitarian crimes perpetrated by participating nations. Countries like China, Russia, and Turkey still have some reckonings to make in the Gaians’ book and many would like to use their tribe’s new-found human influence to make this known. Some notions about how to execute this may not be as feasible as others (outright bans on G8 members, for example) but the Gaians are still able to make life difficult for anyone they suspect of furthering the aims of the most “deviant” participants. A few of the more traditional Children call this mean-spiritedness; most of those fortunate enough to be climbing the ladder of success feel that this is more likely the right moment for an overdue good idea.
Nelson Chang (Representative)
Wally Groel-A high-profile professional mediator/psychotherapist with an impressive list of degrees, a Kin wife, two children (neither old enough to Change), one very nice house in West Vancouver, and a small cabin retreat in the North Shore Mountains, nearby, which he uses for exclusive sessions and occasionally loans to other Gaians seeking respite or holding private moots. Wally is famous for his work, negotiating hostage situations between the Kindred and the Garou, among other things, and for the level of restraint which he exercises over his inner Beast. He was also instrumental in the tribe’s sudden embrace of city living, which has earned him some enmity among the more conservative Children of Gaia. Many of the other Mothers, including Chang and even a few non-Gaians, will decline to make a serious but speedy decision until they consult “The Crystal Ball” about the matter. He claims to have learned it all “at the feet of the Masters”, by which he means the Stargazers, many of whom he came to know quite well before their departure.
Night-Bird-Enters-the-Forest-This individual has mastered numerous Asian martial arts, including Aikido, Moo Gong Do, and, most notably, Tai Chi and Tai Chi Chuan. He makes a living teaching them to people and resides in West Van, living and demonstrating out of studio/apartment in Ambleside. He also has more than a beginner’s hand with Kailindo, having been taught by the last of the Western masters and studied with visiting Stargazer practitioners.