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"You can get naked again if you were naked. Or just stop wearing pants ... that sounded like pants."
"My night hasn't been that exciting unfortunately, my pants never came off. I'm hoping to rally before midnight, though."
When 1999 Broadway was being planned, it was set to share a plot with the Holy Ghost Catholic Church, a historic building that could not be demolished or moved. As a result, the building has an iconic triangular shape with a 'scoop' taken out of one side to accommodate the church. The building seems to have two pillared 'arms' that extend slightly around the cathedral, and the courtyard shared by the two structures is a semi-circular path that is surprisingly well-hidden from the street.
Despite the light rail train passing right by on 19th street, the courtyard has a tree-dotted, park-like atmosphere and it actually manages to be quite serene. Looking up from the church grounds and courtyard, the curve of the glass-curtain building creates a constant crescent against the night sky with a slight blue-silver gleam. Across one street is One Lincoln Park, a trendy, 32-story residential high-rise. Across another is the Federal Building and U.S. Custom House. 1999 Broadway also stands next to the second-tallest building in Denver, 1801 California.
Floors 1-34 are leased to businesses, law practices, and even Denver's IRS office. The standard high-speed elevators do not go above floor 34. The stairwell doors to every floor above 34 are locked by code and monitored by security cameras. Officially, all the office space above that is leased, with tenant contracts and billing contacts to prove it. The tenants are just engaged in highly confidential work and this sort of superb security is just one more perk that 1999 Broadway offers. There is a dedicated elevator that goes directly from the lobby to these upper floors without stopping, but only for certain guests [see 'Defenses'].
Unofficially, Floors 35-37 are completely empty. Floor 38 is also empty, but is reserved as a 'greeting area' for the Warder; should questions need to be asked of a new visitor before they are allowed into the sept proper, this is where it's done.
Floor 39 has been renovated into small, dormitory-style residences. The floor is equipped with 2 full kitchens and 2 smaller, office-style kitchens (meaning no stove), as well as a cafeteria-esque dining room with long tables and simple stools. The rooms usually have a couple of twin beds, a writing desk and chair, a small dresser and an equally small closet. [Floorplan and occupancy limitations to come.]
The 40th and 41st floors are reserved for permanent residences of sept leaders, including the Warder and Guardians. These residences are larger, more private, and are essentially at the same standard as a luxury apartment. These floors are considered the marked territory of sept leaders, and wandering around without reason or trespassing is treated as the Litany breach that it is. As it is difficult enough for the higher-ranked Garou of the sept to share the space without bloodshed, those just passing through are warned not to risk it.
Floor 42 is composed of sept offices. All mundane and even most supernatural sept business is dealt with here. There are thirteen corner offices on each floor due to the unique shape of the building, though the Sept Leader occupies the one at the apex of 1999 Broadway's 'triangle'. The Warder's offices are, however, perhaps the most expansive.
As soon as visitors step out of the elevator onto the 42nd floor, they find they are standing in the center of the building's crescent, looking at the curving glass wall of an office that stretches to either side like the horns of the moon. Inside there is a screen for every security camera feed the building has, the interface screen for the palm-scanner fetish -- though the text on this is gibberish to anyone who does not know Spirit Speech -- and controls for fire suppression, lockdown, and other security measures. Should the spirit wards at the corners of the property be alerted to the presence of hostile entitites, many of these procedures are automatically activated. The Warder is usually found there with at least one or two Guardians, managing the screens and communicating with their packmates throughout the city.
The top floor of the Sept of the Cold Crescent is not just empty, but all non-supporting walls have been knocked down, leaving a vast open space where the night sky and city lights shine in through the outer walls on all sides. This is where the Garou meet in between moots, where they train and worship and gather for the dead. It is, at the top of a downtown skyscraper, a pocket of primitive energy. The challenge area and graves are here [see below], as well as shrines to the totems of tribes and packs. At the apex of the triangle, directly above the Sept Leader's office, is the shrine to Luna herself.
The 43rd floor can be a place of raucous celebration, sacred contemplation, or vicious infighting, depending on the mood of the Garou present. As brawling is as likely to break out as sudden epic songs, drum circles, or lectures about the Litany, it's advised that Kinfolk be accompanied or escorted by a trusted Garou while on the 43rd floor.
At the north-pointing corner of the 43rd floor there is a large space where specialty mat flooring has been laid down. The surface is vinyl, textured to resemble tatami, and beneath that there is re-bonded polyurethane open-cell foam. The surface does not absorb water and moisture evaporates quickly, and the foam provides shock absorption. The challenge floor is used for everything from regular exercise and training to the most dire of formal challenges.
Granted, even the most friendly wrestling match between Garou can cause a great deal of damage, so some time ago the Keeper of the Land -- sick and tired of replacing individual mats in the floor as they became torn up by claws and stained by blood -- performed a Rite of Awakening over the entire area. The Awakened challenge floor is now self-healing and while it can still become stained, it seems easier to clean. In fact, cleaning the challenge floor is a primary task of the Keeper of the Land, as well as a chore that is often given as punishment to Garou who disrespect the spirit by entering into dishonorable challenges.
Thanking the spirit before and after stepping onto the challenge floor is rote in the Sept of the Cold Crescent, and those who forget to do so often find themselves slipping and falling at the worst possible times. The spirit is well-tended with the cleaning and polishing it receives, as well as the many feats of strength, dominance, and self-perfection that are performed on it, but as a result, it is also a bit vain.
Supposedly, 1999 Broadway has no basement levels that aren't pure concrete and steel. It's one of the building's failings, in fact, that it has no parking garage of its own, and that nine floors are off-limits to regular tenants. However, there is an accessible basement level to the Sept of the Cold Crescent. The elevator that goes straight from the lobby to the sept also goes one other place. Deep enough to also serve as a heavy-duty (if temporary) shelter from even a nuclear assault, there is a large empty space surrounded on all sides and pillared through with concrete and steel. It extends beyond the footprint of just the building and takes up most of the block upon which it stands with the Holy Ghost Church.
The ground is earthen, the soil very dark and very rich. There are low-wattage lights hung at the corners of the ceiling, but many Garou who visit the graves choose to do so in absolute darkness. The concrete walls and pillars are scattered with hand-carved glyphs. Mementos sit against walls and against small tombstones. Bodies are buried here. Ashes, too. Sometimes, when there's nothing left, all that's buried is some beloved object, or some collection of items brought by the fallen's packmates.
While only the rarest of Kin, often those whose death directly contributed to the protection of the caern, are given to the Gravestone in the Sept of Forgotten Questions, any loyal and honored Kin of either sept may be interred in the Cemetery.
Night and day, Guardians stand at the mouths of the tunnels and around the pit. They take brief shifts, never more than a few hours. But they are always there.
The Sept of the Cold Crescent does not have a bawn, but it has a large primary protectorate. The generally accepted 'borders' of this protectorate are the Platte River/I-25 to the west and the north, Downing Street to the east, and 12th Avenue to the south (a little larger than 'Downtown Denver' in this map). Naturally, the Garou of Cold Crescent consider all of the Denver metro area their responsibility, but these loose lines are where visitors and enemies begin to see glyphs of territory in the Penumbra and feel the sense that they are being watched.
Howls of entry are, due to the urban location, discouraged unless one is in the Penumbra. The common gesture of respect is to simply enter the dedicated elevator in 1999 Broadway, look directly at the security camera in the corner, and introduce oneself. Once a Garou or Kinfolk is known to and trusted by Cold Crescent's Warder and Guardians, the elevator will begin ascending as soon as one is inside and their identity checked by the camera.
For a sept without a caern, Cold Crescent is remarkably well-defended. Inside the elevator that only goes to floors 35 and above there is smooth metal panel where buttons would normally be. With unknown guests (and occasionally with known ones as a 'spot check'), the panel slides out of the way to reveal a palm reader. This is a high-tech fetish that performs a basic Sense Wyrm scan. If passed, the scanner gives a welcoming chirp that almost seems to say Thanks, friend! and recedes back behind the panel. If any taint is found, the scanner retreats instantly, the elevator is locked down, and further security measures are taken under direction of the Warder.
Nightly patrols are done of the sept's general territory, though any Garou and Kinfolk who live in or frequent the area are expected to contact the Warder (there's a hotline) immediately if they see anything suspicious. Though the Warder never leaves 1999 Broadway, the Guardians roam the entirety of the protectorate.
While the sept's headquarters and territory are watched over by spirits and by more tangible guardians as most Garou territories are, the sept of the Cold Crescent also has one very unexpected ally: the Veteran.
In the courtyard between 1999 Broadway and the Holy Ghost Catholic Church, there is a very tall plinth made of smooth, dark, weather-oxidized stone. Lying atop the plinth is a bronze sculpture of a figure wrapped in a tarp, with one limp arm hanging down. Only the figure's boots -- combat boots -- extend beyond the tarp, feet awkwardly crossed. An infantry helmet rests beside the tarp on the figure's left side. There is no plaque. There is no inscription. The sculpture does not belong to the builders of 1999 Broadway or its current owners, nor is it associated with the church. In fact, when researched, the sculpture is given conflicting information as to its creator, its commissioners. Its meaning, however, is obvious enough.
The Garou were occupying 1999 Broadway for almost a year before they realized that the eerie statue also housed a ghost. Even in the Penumbra, he moves little more than his physical counterpart, and does not speak. The tarp seems as much a part of him as anything else, as he always remains covered. Occasionally his hands or feet stir, or he makes a low, gasping sound in response to those who speak to him. For the most part, the Garou left him alone, unwilling to risk angering or disturbing the strange spirit.
However, in the bleak midwinter of 2009, in the middle of an early attack by a pack of Black Spiral Dancers, the Veteran rolled from his resting place, bronze hitting marble with a clanging thud, and he strangled the Dancer's Theurge with heavy, angry hands. With the Theurge's spirit-aides fleeing upon his death, the battle turned in the Garou's favor. They found the Veteran trying in vain to climb back up on his memorial, making no more sound than a dry, plaintive rattle from behind the tarp that covers his face. The Garou lifted him to his place once more.
He moved again, briefly, when the Beloved Horror infiltrated Cold Crescent's Guardians, but did not move. It was discovered in late 2013 that his purpose -- though his origins remain unknown -- is to protect the Holy Ghost Catholic Church from the natural yet sinister energies of the Pit beneath 1999 Broadway. He has no allegiance to the Garou, only to the church and the mortals he protects. He will only stir when some conflict within Cold Crescent, whether related to the Wyrm or not, threatens his true charge.
As the Sept of the Cold Crescent has no caern or totem spirit to nourish, chiminage is given to the sept's elders. This is often in the form of gifts, favors, or a period of service. The greater one's rank, the greater one's chiminage is expected to be in order to be accepted by the sept. Some Garou, particularly Ahrouns, Galliards and Theurges, are asked to spend some time talking to the Veteran to help maintain goodwill between the sept and the ghost.
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