In the beginning, Gaia wanted all Her creatures to have one place to stay, where they could all gather together and enjoy the good, green bounty of the earth. So, Gaia created the world. She first asked Turtle if he would support it, and naturally he agreed, for it was a great honor. Then, she sent Muskrat into the Great Waters to fetch some soil from the ocean bottom. He came back and spit it from his mouth across Turtle’s back. Gaia patted it down and spread it evenly. Then, She invited all her creations to join her on Turtle’s back, and She set down their duties, the roles they would have in the coming world.

It all went wrong. The Wyrm ruined it. And Gaia’s creatures forgot their duties and instead did as they pleased. They soon even forgot who they were and could no longer remember what they had to do to keep the earth in balance and harmony.

Poor Turtle, he just kept bearing it all on his back. Turtle did not forget his duty. His people - the Croatan Garou - followed his advice in all things. But his people are now gone, and the world has forgotten Turtle. No one can find him. The world will soon sink again into the Great Waters, for there is no one left to bear the Earth.

The Croatan were one of the three Garou tribes that migrated to the Pure Lands in prehistoric times. Croatan was called Middle Brother, for the Uktena were Older Brother and the Wendigo Little Brother. The Croatan were the most balanced and fair of the three tribes. Whenever Older and Little Brother had a dispute, they came to Middle Brother to resolve it. The three brother tribes would often send their young cubs to be tutored by each other. In such a way were the bonds of kinship and culture enhanced and preserved.

The Croatan lived mainly along the eastern shore of the Pure Lands, although, like their Brothers, they had septs in many places and among many peoples. Their totem was Turtle, the great being who bore the Earth itself on his back. Through their alliance with Turtle, the Croatan could cause the Earth to shake, by asking their totem to stir himself on the Great Waters. He taught them how to form a protective shell like his, a mystical one that they could call upon to defend them from attack. Because he was the bearer of the Earth, many Earth-spirits owed him great favors, and Turtle told them to aid his children. Thus, the Croatan could summon Earth-spirits - spirits of the stones and soil - and ask favors of these mighty beings.

The Croatan were perhaps best known, however, for their trustworthiness. So greast was the word of a Croatan that it could become a magical force, a resolute vow that bound the Garou to a task but gave her great powers in achieving it.

When the Wyrm’s minions came to the New World, the Croatan were the first to meet them - and were the first to fall before them. In the middle of the conflict were naïve and innocent humans, both Native and white. There were also cunning and malicious humans, mainly white ones.

The Eater-of-Souls came into the Pure Lands with its servitors among the settlers. It sprouted from the Earth as black and twisted corn and birthed a legion of monsters. The Croatan could not fight them all. Nevertheless, Wanchese, the Croatan’s greatest Ahroun, swore that he and his people would stop the Eater-of-Souls, and so they threw themselves into its maw. The Eater-of-Souls, gorged beyond its limits, could not swallow so many pure souls so fast. It went into shock and retreated from the world and even now slumbers at the bottom of the unfathomable Abyss.

Wachese had a pupil, a Wendigo cub named Little Fox, whom Wanchese tricked into leaving so that the youngling would not be sacrificed. He also tricked Old Red Eagle of the Uktena. Both Garou realized too late what had happened. They returned to find no remnant of Middle Brother. In honor of the sacrifice, Old Red Eagle carved the name “Croatan” into an ancient tree, where it was later seen by whites come from across the sea.

Little Fox had lost his mentor and best friend, and the youngster would not be consoled. He blamed Old Red Eagle for not being there to help the Croatan, for he felt sure that the great Theurge could have helped. He did not understand that it would have meant their deaths also. He ran from Old Red Eagle and swore an oath of hatred against Older Brother. And so it is that Little Brother distrusts Older Brother to this day, for Little Fox’s oath endures. No more does either tribe send its cubs to the other’s septs.

But Older Brother sees the truth. The Uktena secretly know that the Croatan did not succeed, for the Eater-of-Souls lives on in the hearts of the Wendigo, Why else would they follow a cannibal spirit?

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