The air was crisp, and the sun was rising over the horizon. The autumn leaves were turning wonderful colors, and falling onto the ground. Kane was playing at the main den site, with his cousin Lazarus. He was playing, with his tail wagging, enjoying the day that he was going to have. He was going to get a tour of Aryn, and see places that he had never seen before. He was full of excitement, and ready to go."Lazarus, when is Uncle Alcatraz getting here? I can't wait!"
He tackled his cousin, not able to contain his joy, because he would be with family."I wonder what kind of places are out there?"
He said this, looking out towards the tree line, although forgetting that he was on top of Lazarus, putting his whole weight on him. His tail was still wagging the whole time, waiting to hear his Uncle calling him for the adventure.
Lazarus played with Kane, batting playfully at his cheek. ”I dunno. Dad’s always out doing something. I don’t even know when he sleeps.”
Lazarus remembered clearly that one night he had tried to sneak out to explore the twilight forest, only to run into his father, wide awake, as if he had been waiting for him. It had been creepy…
Lazarus laughed as he was tackled to the ground, growling playfully in return. ”There are tons of places! You’ll see!”
Lazarus pushed his cousin off and regained his paws, shaking off. ”All I gotta do is make sure I act surprised.”
he scoffed, remembering his own adventures out of the main den site. Although he had only had a very tiny few, he liked to make it seem as if he had a lot going on.
Alcatraz emerged from the sunny forest, spying the two boys playing in the clearing. He stopped before them and stared down at them a moment. The adults often split the pups up in smaller groups to watch them, for eight pups were difficult to keep track of. And today he was in charge of these two, and decided he ought to keep them entertained with a tour of the territory. ”Are you boys ready?”
the Alpha male asked.
Kane laughed as he was pushed off from Lazarus, and jumped around him as they talked about the tour they would be taking soon. His head soon raised up when he heard a deep voice. A large brown figure came from the tree line, a wolf that was absolutely huge. Other wolves would've been scared of this scene, but Kane grew an even bigger smile."Uncle Alcatraz!"
He bounded over to his uncle, with a happy wagging of his tail. He ran over to Uncle Alcatraz's legs, trying to reach his tall body, and greet his uncle with some kisses and nips."I can't wait to go! Right Lazarus?"
He was jumping underneath Alcatraz, nipping at him and enticing him to play for a short bit, before they went on their tour of Aryn.
Alcatraz smiled warmly at Kane’s happy greeting and he reached down with his nose to give the pup a quick greeting. He did not play, however, and instead turned his attention to Lazarus as Kane bounced around him. ”Hey Dad.”
Lazarus said as Kane addressed him, bounding closer to his father. Alcatraz gave his son a little nuzzle behind his ears and then turned, flicking his tail to beckon the boys. ”We will be patrolling a different side of the territory today.”
Kane smiled as his uncle spoke. Being part of the large family in Aryn, was a great feeling. Kane could say that he was the nephew of the Alphas, Alcatraz and Athena, and a part of a large lineage. He was happy to be with this large family all the time, and was excited to do anything with them. He stayed close to his Uncle's side, ready to see parts of Aryn that he had never seen before."Do the places we're going have a special name uncle?"
He looked up to Alcatraz as he asked this, with his tail still wagging happily. He then looked over to Lazarus, and then forwards towards the direction they were heading.
Alcatraz frowned thoughtfully at the question. ”Pinefell”
he answered. Lazarus followed, bounding beside Kane. But he was mostly quiet, looking around at the huge world around him. Alcatraz went on as they came closer. ”You boys are growing quickly. It is time I showed you a border of extreme importance to our pack.”
He had sent patrols out earlier today to ensure the area was secure. When they had come back okay, he had decided that it was safe to bring the cubs to this border. The border where the Cold War has reached its bloody climax.
Kane kept walking between Alcatraz and Lazarus. His smile was still on his face as they walked towards the border that they were heading to. Kane did notice something as they walked closer to the border, it was becoming more quiet the further they walked. Kane was beginning to worry, noticing this observation.
When they reached the border, Kane smile faded completely from his face. The land was filled with trees, but no animals were visible, and there was no sound of any animals at all. The land was silent, ominous, and Kane could tell that something was wrong here. He thought in his head the reason for this, but then something clicked in his head. His mother, Charaka, always told Kane and his brothers about the battles that she had fought in her life. The one she talked about the most was the one she fought for Aryn. There was apparently another pack they fought, and Aryn was victorious. This had to be the place, but if felt so cold, so dead. Kane felt a shiver down his spine as he continued to look at the border. He stayed close to his Uncle's leg, using his fur to keep warm from the shiver he felt."Uncle, is this where it happened?"
Kane looked up to his Uncle, wanting to know. He had never thought about what battles could do, and felt both fear, and respect."It feels so cold, and quiet here."
Alcatraz nodded as they arrived at the edge of Pinefell, at the place where the battle had taken place. ”It is, Kane.”
Lazarus didn’t seem nearly as unsettled by the area. ”Where what happened? What are you talking about?”
Alcatraz looked coolly down at his son. ”The battle with Blutwald.”
Lazarus thought for a moment and then nodded, as if suddenly finding it buried within his memory. ”Oh yeah! The one from one of those stories.”
he said dismissively as he trotted forward, sniffing curiously at the area, but he did not seem concerned.
Alcatraz went on, ”the pack Blutwald once dwelled nearby. The Red Pack. The battle was the result of a terrible misunderstanding, and it ended in injury, death, and the disbandment of Blutwald.”
he explained. Lazarus glanced back at his father, ”but we won, and Blutwald is gone. What is it to us?”
Kane kept looking at the land before them. Never before had he seen a area so quiet and scary."My mom talked about the battle, but she didn't say anything about anyone dying."
He stayed by the legs of his uncle, feeling a little scared to go beyond the border of Aryn. Kane listened to his uncle as he spoke about the ordeal, and it brought questions to the little pups mind."Uncle Alcatraz, why didn't they talk it out? Why did they fight? It was a misunderstanding wasn't it? Did they not realize that?"
The pup had so many questions to ask. His mother had talked about battles like they were something to be proud about. After coming here, he felt like there was more to it than that.
Alcatraz glanced at Lazarus to answer his question, but the black pup was already trotting off to his next curiosity and so the dark Warden turned to Kane. ”We did talk it out. There was a third party interference and he caused a panic. Alpha Winema of Blutwald was not in the best state of mind, remember. She had lost a lot and her mind was growing weary from the stress of ruling alone and being without her daughter. She assumed the rogue who attacked them was on Aryn’s side and ordered her wolves to attack. Aryn had no choice but to defend itself.”
Alcatraz explained. To this day the situation irked him, so much unnecessary bloodshed.”Oof!”
Alcatraz looked up sharply to find Lazarus half stuck in a rabbit burrow. The dark wolf got to his paws and walked over, grabbing his pup by the rump in his huge jaws and pulling him roughly out, dropping him on the ground. Lazarus blinked, as if not really sure what had happened, and then looked up at his father with a sheepish grin. ”To answer your question, Lazarus, we learn a lot from our history. It is important that we learn from our mistakes, so that they never happen again. Surely you of all wolves can understand the importance of learning from one’s mistakes.”
He gave his son a meaningful glare.
Lazarus glanced at the rabbit hole and then nodded, ”Yeah, I can see what you mean.”
He said with small laugh.
Kane listened intently to what his Uncle said about the ordeal. A third party interfering, it definitely made it sound like it was neither Aryn, or Blutwald's fault. His attention was taken as Lazarus was stuck in the rabbit hole. Kane couldn't help but laugh a little bit as he watched his Uncle get Lazarus out of being stuck. Kane then thought about what had happened, and pondered on what he could do. His mother was a Warden, and she talked about defending the pack from danger. Did this mean that Wardens could stop wars from happening? He walked up to his uncle, wanting to find out."Uncle, you're a Warden like my mom right?"
Kane's head tilted as he said this, curious to find the answers to his question."If I was a Warden, I could help. Then we could stop fights from happening, and protect Aryn. Isn't that what a Warden does?"
His eyes were big, shining with hope."I can be big like you maybe, and help you.”
He said this, staring with his big eyes into his Uncle's eyes. He felt determined on what he would do in the future, and he felt as if it would make everyone happy.
Alcatraz nodded in affirmation when Kane asked if he was a Warden. By being Athena’s mate he was the Alpha male of Aryn, but more than anything he was just the lead Warden, at least in his mind. He was still below Athena, a fact that he both loved and despised. He could not assert his will over hers even if he wanted to protect her. But it was her clever wisdom and courage that had smitten him so in the first place. He would not be the wolf to try and contain her, or hold her back. She was their leader, and he was her support.
Lazarus snorted at Kane’s plan. ”Why would you want to be a Warden! Being a Ranger is the best task you can have. You get to go to so many cool places! It would be so boring just sitting around here.”
He walked right over to Kane, ”You know how often a war happens? It almost never happens.”
Lazarus explained.”And thank the One for that.”
Alcatraz asserted with a hard look at his son. He turned back to Kane. ”Yes, a Warden keeps peace within the territory and ensures that there are no loners stealing our prey or threatening our packmates. We also assist in bringing down large prey during hunts. Wardens are the muscle of the pack, so if you train hard and grow large and strong then you can be a Warden as well.”
After what Kane said, he turned to Lazarus to hear what he said. His head lowered a bit, feeling like what Lazarus said was true, about Wardens being a boring job. Then his Uncle spoke sternly to Lazarus, and then told Kane about what it takes to be a Warden. Kane's smile returned, and felt like he wanted to be a Warden even more."I promise Uncle Alcatraz, I'll make you proud! I'll make my parents proud, and I'll make Aunt Athena proud!"
He then looked over to Lazarus, and proceeded to tackled him. He had him pinned to the ground quickly, and then looked back over to his Uncle."See? I can even beat Lazarus."
He then proceeded to nibble on Lazarus' ear, and laughed the whole time. He felt like his calling was upon him, and he would train and be ready for it.