Athena howled again, a message calling for any and all wolves belonging to Silvyn to come to her location in the heart of the territory. She had yet to hear a response to her call and grew frustrated not just with herself but the pack as well. How far out did they all go? she wondered, leaping off of the rock she had been laying on to begin pacing. Maybe she needed to take the initiative and seek them out herself instead of waiting like an idiot for them to find her.
Yet what if there were some nearby? Athena had recently crossed paths with others, but neither had belonged to Silvyn and had no intention of joining. Their meeting had been mostly circumstantial. Athena had to hide her disappointment at that but there was nothing she could do about it.
She had been howling on and off for the past hour or so now, knowing that it would be attracting more than just pack wolves to her area. But at this point why not. She wanted to reassemble this pack.
Finding Nanuk in the scrap of land he had found himself in after fleeing the fire had been a blessing for Larkin. Though the blind wolf hadn't been from Silvyn, his presence had stopped Larkin from giving fully into the fear and despair brought on by the raging fire, it reminded him that wolves from the islands, wolves from Silvyn would have fled this way as well. It wouldn't be like last time where he'd lost his family. He could find other members of his new pack here, he would not go back to being a loner.
Having built up his courage and energy again, Larkin traveled from where he had rested. He wasn't going to find anyone by sitting around, and his time as a loner had taught him not to stay in one place for too long anyway. Moving through the brush he swiveled his ears back and forth and cast his nose to the wind, hoping to find evidence of anyone else and avoid any nasty surprises.
Wait...There! Turning his head sharply, Larkin focused in on the faint noise, it sounded like a pack calling howl. Throwing back his head, he let forth an answering call 'I'm coming,' it said 'I hear you.' The old wolf increased his pace, moving towards the origin of the sound.
Her ears twitched as a new call resonated following her own. Her tail wagged with promise as Athena let out another howl to signal to the newcomer where she was. I'm here it said, deciding to wait and allow for the wolf to find her. She was hopeful that this would be a Silvyian wolf and not a stranger, but with how excited the howl seemed to be, most likely it was of the former. It pleased Athena even more that her howl was readily answered without any cause of suspicion or hesitation. She was not Jayce nor personally knew any of the wolves that had rounded around her sister, but, unlike Jayce, she was here.
Finally, Larkin broke through the brush cover to see a brown and cream wolf sitting on a large boulder, probably to make her howls carry further or make her more visible.
He didn't know her by sight or name, but that wasn't really anything new. Before the fire, Larkin hadn't truly gotten the opportunity to meet any of his packmates, let alone take on the apprenticeship that he desperately wanted. But, stranger or not, this wolf used a Silvyn call and that was good enough for him for the moment, it would be good not to be alone again.
Trotting up to the rock, Larkin called out to the stranger.
Finally the voice had a body that it belonged to, which came crashing through the bushes to greet her. Athena ceased her howling to observe the wolf standing before the rock. His mannerism was laidback but friendly, no doubt relieved to hear the call. He seemed older, leaning on becoming an elder, but with the amount of energy that seemed to come through him as he appeared, Athena assumed he still had his facilities and strength left.
Rising from her position she gave him a smile. "Hello. I'm guessing you're a Silvyian wolf? Since you answered my call."
The she-wolf on the rock looked down at Larkin as he entered the clearing. She looked quite regal as she surveyed him from her vantage point before questioning him.
"Yes, I'm Silvyn, though my joining was very recent and I'm still an Omega. I go by Larkin."
He thought for a moment about how to question the other, knowing her name and rank would be important, but he could not ask in a way that would offend this wolf.
"Begging your pardon, but as my joining was so recent I am unfamiliar with many Silvyn wolves. Who might you be?"
Athena's posture relaxed as he gave her an answer. A satisfactory one at that. She wasn't sure what to make of him yet. He seemed genuine in his responses - perhaps he really hadn't been in Silvyn long to establish any connections. She had expected some wariness because she was not Jayce but perhaps this was better regardless. It would be a new start for them all.
"A pleasure to meet you, Larkin. My name is Athena."
Her tail curled around her legs as she gave him a considering look. "I am the new Chiefess of Silvyn."
Athena's response was ... unexpected. What had happened to Varuna? Larkin had not truly known her, but she ran the pack that had given him a home and that had inspired some loyalty from the old wolf. Still, this Athena had the bearing and confidence of a leader, and Larkin was not knowledgeable enough about the chain of succession in Silvyn to have an opinion either way. Athena was calling Silvyn wolves to her, either her right to rule would be acknowledged when others came or she would be challenged. Either way, she was the Chieftess now, and Larkin wold remain loyal to her until she was deposed to proved herself to be a cruel leader.
He acknowledged, bowing towards his front paws.
"It is an honour to meet you Chieftess. May I ask how your rule came to be and how I can assist you in rebuilding the Silvyn pack?"
The she-wolf gave Larkin a small but sincere smile at his acknowledgement of her name. Even though inquiries followed afterwards, Athena did not feel there was any doubt in his words. And wanting an explanation was understandable she supposed. In a short amount of time they went from having Jayce to having Varuna - what a waste of possible potential. Skepticism of a newcomer declaring the title as Chiefess of the pack was duly noted and fair.
"That is a fair question, and I wish I could say it was with grandiose, but I've seen that this pack has become leaderless. And have heard an unsavory wolf had been at the head for such a short time." Athena stood up and leapt off the rock, coming to stand before Larkin and looking up at him with imploring eyes. "So I hope that, though you and I don't know each other quite that well, that you will accept that I have only the pack's best benefits at heart."
Her head tilted slightly in thought. "As for what you can do... well, returning to the pack would be one thing, if you so choose. And helping me round up any other lost 'mates of yours so that we are all together would be my second order. What say you?"
That was a fair point, and Larkin nodded in concession. A seemingly balanced leader who wanted to reunite the pack and would give them a fair rule was all Larkin truly hoped for. Perhaps Athena would bring that and when Larkin was finally too old to hunt and defend for himself he would be able to relax in a securely led pack.
He grinned at Athena, inclining his head respectfully.
"I would be honoured, my lady."
Good, it seemed he was willing to accept her as his Chiefess without further suspicion. Briefly it made Athena wonder if he had had any devotion to Jayce or Varuna, but she couldn't say. It was plausible he came after Jayce's time, but that was assuming things. Besides she couldn't complain either about it. All she wanted was to be accepted as their newest leader. That was all.
"Excellent, then come with me. We'll return to the others for now," she said before turning away from him, ready to lead back another recovered member.