Although the pack is the building block of werewolf society, the sept is the community in which they thrive. The sept enforces the rules and dispenses justice, but most importantly they guard the Cairn around which the sept formed. This makes werewolf society a religious gerontocracy. Like the ancient Spartans, werewolves inevitably gain prestige and power as they age: they are soldiers constantly at war and they will gain wisdom and the respect of their peers, or they die.
The Cairn is a sacred place and the Litany a set of canonical rules, but it isn’t uncommon for different septs to hold to dissimilar dogma pertaining to the Litany. The Fostern often act as emissaries for their sept, and it is their duty to act in accordance with the rules of any sept which they visit. There are generalities which can be made of all septs, however. In the Cairn, werewolves are not to transform into the Crinos unless defending the former. A werewolf who ignores this rule will likely find himself treated as hostile, beaten into near unconsciousness, dragged beyond the borders of the Cairn, and exiled from that sept.
Hierarchy is strictly enforced and all werewolves are expected to defer to those of higher rank. This can be difficult for modern werewolves that lack military training, but werewolf society is not going to change simply because of human concepts like freedom and democracy.
Werewolf justice is swift and often harsh, although septs dominated by Glass Walkers sometimes employ modern methods such as tribunals, criminology, advocates, and jurors. Loss of Renown is a very common punishment, but scarring, maiming, and penitent quests are often added on for severe breaches of the Litany.