Mount St Helens

Mount St. Helens (known as Lawetlat'la to the Indigenous Cowlitz people, and Loowit or Louwala-Clough to the Klickitat) is an active stratovolcano located in Skamania County, Washington[1] in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It lies 52 miles (83 km) northeast of Portland, Oregon[2] and 98 miles (158 km) south of Seattle.[3] Mount St. Helens takes its English name from the British diplomat Lord St Helens, a friend of explorer George Vancouver who surveyed the area in the late 18th century.[1] The volcano is part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, a segment of the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Mount St. Helens major eruption on May 18, 1980 remains the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event in U.S. history.[4] Fifty-seven people were killed; 200 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles (24 km) of railways, and 185 miles (298 km) of highway were destroyed.[5] A massive debris avalanche, triggered by a magnitude 5.1 earthquake, caused a lateral eruption[6] that reduced the elevation of the mountain's summit from 9,677 ft (2,950 m) to 8,363 ft (2,549 m), leaving a 1 mile (1.6 km) wide, horseshoe-shaped crater.[7] The debris avalanche was 0.6 cubic miles (2.5 km3) in volume.[8] The 1980 eruption disrupted terrestrial ecosystems near the volcano. By contrast, aquatic ecosystems in the area greatly benefited from the amounts of ash, allowing life to multiply rapidly. Six years after the eruption, most lakes in the area had returned to their normal state.[9]

After its 1980 eruption, the volcano had continuous volcanic activity until 2008. Geologists predict that future eruptions will be more destructive, since the configuration of the lava domes there require more pressure to erupt.[10] Despite this, Mount St Helens is a popular hiking spot, and it is climbed year-round. In 1982, the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was established by U.S President Ronald Reagan and the U.S Congress.

Human history

Importance to indigenous tribes

Native American lore contains numerous stories to explain the eruptions of Mount St. Helens and other Cascade volcanoes. The best known of these is the Bridge of the Gods story told by the Klickitat people.

In the story, the chief of all the gods and his two sons, Pahto (also called Klickitat) and Wy'east, traveled down the Columbia River from the Far North in search for a suitable area to settle.[54]

They came upon an area that is now called The Dalles and thought they had never seen a land so beautiful. The sons quarreled over the land, so to solve the dispute their father shot two arrows from his mighty bow – one to the north and the other to the south. Pahto followed the arrow to the north and settled there while Wy'east did the same for the arrow to the south. The chief of the gods then built the Bridge of the Gods, so his family could meet periodically.[54]

When the two sons of the chief of the gods fell in love with a beautiful maiden named Loowit, she could not choose between them. The two young chiefs fought over her, burying villages and forests in the process. The area was devastated and the earth shook so violently that the huge bridge fell into the river, creating the cascades of the Columbia River Gorge.[55]

For punishment, the chief of the gods struck down each of the lovers and transformed them into great mountains where they fell. Wy'east, with his head lifted in pride, became the volcano known today as Mount Hood. Pahto, with his head bent toward his fallen love, was turned into Mount Adams. The beautiful Loowit became Mount St. Helens, known to the Klickitats as Louwala-Clough, which means "smoking or fire mountain" in their language (the Sahaptin call the mountain Loowit).[56]

The mountain is also of sacred importance to the Cowlitz and Yakama tribes that also live in the area. They find the area above its tree line to be of exceptional spiritual significance, and the mountain (which they call "Lawetlat'la", roughly translated as "the smoker") features prominently in their creation story, and in some of their songs and rituals.[57] In recognition of its cultural significance, over 12,000 acres (4,900 ha) of the mountain (roughly bounded by the Loowit Trail) have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[58]

Other area tribal names for the mountain include "nšh´ák´" ("water coming out") from the Upper Chehalis, and "aka akn" ("snow mountain"), a Kiksht term.[58]

Exploration by Europeans

Royal Navy Commander George Vancouver and the officers of HMS Discovery made the Europeans' first recorded sighting of Mount St. Helens on 19 May 1792, while surveying the northern Pacific Ocean coast. Vancouver named the mountain for British diplomat Alleyne Fitzherbert, 1st Baron St Helens on 20 October 1792,[56][59] as it came into view when the Discovery passed into the mouth of the Columbia River.

Years later, explorers, traders, and missionaries heard reports of an erupting volcano in the area. Geologists and historians determined much later that the eruption took place in 1800, marking the beginning of the 57 year-long Goat Rocks Eruptive Period (see geology section).[13]: 217  Alarmed by the "dry snow," the Nespelem tribe of northeastern Washington supposedly danced and prayed rather than collecting food and suffered during that winter from starvation.[13]: 217 

In late 1805 and early 1806, members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition spotted Mount St. Helens from the Columbia River but did not report either an ongoing eruption or recent evidence of one.[60] They did however report the presence of quicksand and clogged channel conditions at the mouth of the Sandy River near Portland, suggesting an eruption by Mount Hood sometime in the previous decades.

In 1829, Hall J. Kelley led a campaign to rename the Cascade Range as the President's Range and also to rename each major Cascade mountain after a former President of the United States. In his scheme Mount St. Helens was to be renamed Mount Washington.[61]


"Natural" is kind of a misnomer when it comes to WtA. You have to remember that everything has a spirit to it, The Volcano of 'Saint Helens' would be no different and the physical eruption would be directly linked to the Spirit of 'Saint Helens.'

You can treat this a lot of different ways tbh since the spirit was really only doing it's job and you being affected doesn't matter to the spirit.

Remember, it caused massive devastation to the entire Columbia river, owing to lahars (hot mudslides). There's forests that still haven't grown back, and lakes that are filled with felled trees.

Folklorically, Mt. St. Helens is said to be prime Bigfoot country. There's even local legends of the Batsquatches- like Sasquatch, but with wings as well.

So, two questions

if in WTA saint helens eruption was natural and not caused intentionally, what significance it holds for WTA? What could change, how it could affect? The mountain would remain in the umbra? new spirits would gather to the place? Caerns could be destroyed? Etc

and the other is

If you were to make it so the eruption was caused intentionally by supernatural forces, how could it have been, and what is the significance of it

1. A lot. The natural cycles of nature is very important in W:tA. Volcanism is one of those cycles.

I would say that in the Penumbra, the result of the eruption will be much the same as in the realm we call home—just more so. While the eruption wasn't tainted, it would be Wyrmish (since, ultimately, everything destructive is of the Wyrm), but thematically some amount of Wyld influence fits as well (because of the emergence of new life and new possibilities being created by the chaos of the eruption. So in the aftermath, the nearby Umbra would be a playground for those spirits.

Caerns would be destroyed if they got flattened by the eruption. Ones based around more permanent features, like a waterfall that eventually started to flow again, should be better off, though the spirits may slumber or be weakened for a time.

2. I'd have it so the Garou caused it in order to kill some particularly nasty Weaver spirits or Weaver forces. Or Wyrmish forces, for that matter; perhaps Camp Baker was being used as a staging point for a major assault on a caern?

As far as which Garou, I would have it be the Red Talons, but causing that much collateral damage to their own side could make them look stupid in the eyes of the players, and I prefer to work against the "idiot Red Talon" stereotype.

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