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Shortly after this thread. Tags: @Antares

Howl had followed closely beside @Keyni from The Heartwoods. At times he was a few steps ahead of her, eager to be reunited with @Ravaryn who he has told had been residing with her and her pack for near a month now. It was possibly the most positive thing that had happened to Howl in the last year and a half, unfortunately, it was predicated by loss.

Kenyi lead him down south following the water, before turning to the west just before the Big Salmon Lake. Howl had spent much of his younger years scouting all across the Wilds and finding his whereabouts based on previous locations was his best aid in finding his way. As they approached the border the thick canopy and foliage covered in white reminded him of something. It hung in the back of his mind and made him think of a bird, a Wren specifically, but he couldn't think of why.

Regardless he was here for Ravaryn and nearing the border he almost crossed it with his paw eager to see her. But he again held himself back, resting his paw back on the ground and taking a few strides back from the border. He wasn't sure if arriving with Kenyi meant he had permission to cross or if they would have to wait to be seen. Having just met her he wasn't sure where she ranked amongst the others residing here. "Must we wait for an audience?" he asked.
Accompanying him on the trek back, Keyni sensed Howl's eagerness to see his daughter again. She understood why, of course. The young girl would be elated to see her father, surely. The tundrian was interested to see how the dynamic unfolded. Coming home with one wolf by her side made her pleased. Sadly, it was not Lunaria, who she had set out to find. With the deliverance of this good news, she would also be forced to reveal her findings to Antares that another of their pack was missing.

Having nearly stepped over the border, she moved ahead of him a few steps, as if meaning to gently hold him back. "I am afraid so." She murmured. Sending a soft but honest look, she explained briefly. "Our pack has been through severe hardship as of late, so we are understandably rigid with our borders." She lowered her chin in a signal to convey that she would explain more on that later, if he stuck around. Wasting no more time, she tipped her head back and called for Antares. The Glen had a visitor.
As it would seem, Antares was not far off when the howl rose up. Patrol had led him into fresh rabbit tracks, so opportunity suggested he take care of that. It earned him a quick catch at least; not a huge kill, or even a particularly beefy rabbit, but it was warm and fresh still that he carried him with him on his way to meet the summons. Considering it was Keyni who called, he had to wonder the nature of it all.

Stalking forth, he soon found them and set his sights on the stranger right away. Even his approach was subtly angled to keep the unknown between himself and Keyni, who in her short time among them had earned trust in the yearling Ostrega. He couldn't help it when he had a lot of questions, and suspicion sort of came naturally after that--but that trust in her kept him from raising real alarms so far, based on a quick glance of this all. Before he could say more, though, he set down his catch. Hey. he greeted on a tired-sounding rasp, but he had spoken to few today so far. What's going on? he asked, searching Keyni for that answer most of all.
Ryn couldn't help herself.
She's had nothing better to do anyway, not after failing to find Lane. She wasn't a good tracker yet and didn't want to disturb her with a howl.
So Antares wandering past was as good excuse as any to practice her sneaking.
She was sure as hell he knew, but maybe he was too lost in his hunt to care.
But then there was a howl apparently for him. e lifted his head and started towards it.
She realised a few beats later she realised it was Keyni.
She was back!
Time to end this boredom!

She raced out from the bushes after the Alpha had slunk far enough away. He was probably already there, they really weren't far.
As she neared, voices. Antares asking what was happening. Then, she saw.
"Dadda!!" She cried, streaking for him and barreling into her father. Tears welled in her eyes as she tried to climb on his, covering him in greeting kisses and grappling her forelegs around him so he couldn't leave.
She inhaled his scent deeply, letting it mix with her coat, a soft sob shaking her.
He'd come for her.
Keyni stepped in front of him, and he took her cue by backing up a few paces. He knew he was being over-eager, but could she really blame him. She explained that recent hardships had made the pack overly protective of their borders as of late. Most packs, if not all, were diligent about border control, but Howl could tell that the Firefly Glen was on a much higher alert. He nodded his head in understanding and waited as she sent out the call for someone to meet them. He thought about calling for Ravaryn, letting her know that he was there, but a stranger's voice at the border was sure to stir up anxiety or alertness within the pack, which Howl wanted to avoid if he were to fall under their good graces.

Not long after, a dark male emerged from the Glen, bringing with him a rabbit which he dropped at his side before addressing them. He gave them a neutral greeting and asked openly, but looked to Keyni, about their situation. "Hello Sir," Howl began as he lowered his head in acknowledgment of this dark wolf. "Keyni has kindly lead me here to--" he continued before a familiar voice called out. Dadda!

He lifted his head to look up and was meet with Ravaryn crashing into him. The force behind it was surprising but beyond welcomed. She frantically moved around him, showering him with kisses and jumping on him. Her affections were returned in equal volume as his tail wagged vigorously and thudded against the ground once he lowered himself to her level and nuzzled her to the ground so he could shower her with kisses. He could feel her shaking beside him, and he too, had an overwhelming feeling of joy wash over him. His heart had both stopped and beat faster than it ever had at the same moment. As he lay there nuzzling into her he spoke to her, "Oh my baby girl. I'm never leaving you again," in a mumbled voice.

Much of the world had vanished from him in that moment, and he could not finish his earlier statement to the dark male.
They did not have to wait long, though Keyni was seen waiting patiently with Howl when Antares arrived. The dark Ostrega often looked tired and worn these days, which was to be expected after everything he and the pack had been through. She could only hope better days were ahead, starting with delivering the joyous news that the search for Ravaryn's family (or a piece of it), had been found.

She was ready to speak after Howl explained the nature of this visit, but he was cut off by an elated voice. Ravaryn. She came streaking in, colliding in a pile of colorful fur with her fathers. Tails wagged, kisses were exchanged and sweet words were uttered to one another. Quietly, Keyni stood back, drinking in the heart warming sight with a humble smile on her lips. A simple flick of her eyes meeting the blue of Antares conveyed to him that this was the reason for the occasion.

"I am so glad to see you re-united, both of you. I can't imagine the heart ache and uncertainty you were going through." She said softly, tail waving. But seeing father and daughter back together again, there was no way she would ever let anything come between them. Turning to Antares, she explained. "While I was away on a search of a different kind, I bumped into him. He was unable to assist me in my needs, but as you can see, our search for Ryn's family has ended." She finished, happy to let Howl fill in the rest, as Ravaryn's father.
An introduction began, but Ravaryn's high-speed entrance, and her resulting joy, answered a lot of things then and there. Antares admittedly gaped a bit, blindsided by something considered good news for the girl in these cold, dark days. He let that have its time, and its space, especially because he didn't know quite what to say yet. More than anything, he was so incredibly relieved and it was a weight off his tired shoulders. After finding the pack not where he knew it to be, or anywhere else nearby, morale on the matter had plummeted severely. Ravaryn had sort of slotted into the life she had been dealt here though, but more than anything, Antares naturally believed she would be best with her bloodfamily.

He dipped his nose with a relieved sigh, speaking mostly to Keyni but open enough to all. I'm really glad it worked out, too. I was worried there, when I couldn't find Kaistleoki, and with the weather... And literally everything else, from bears to cougars to anything in-between or beyond. Times have been tough, after all, he added, quieter then as he did wonder if the misplaced sibling of Ryn's had turned up too, or perhaps hopefully was already with their father, but he was not rushing into opening that subject when good news of any sort was so incredibly rare--best savored.
He dropped down to her and she smothered him further with kisses, hugs, and her wagging tail.
He was real! And here! After Antares came back with nothing and all of the Glens Troubles, things were heavy on the pack. 
But here was this spark of light and joy: Howl. Ryn's reunion with her father was the best thing to happen to her so far.

Soon though, she subsided. Joy still radiated from her, but she let her Dad get back up. She did act really childish in front of the Alpha - not that she cared, but Howl probably did.
Though all she saw has happiness in Keyni's and Antares' eyes.
She grinned to them both, but didn't fail to notice how the world seemed to clamp on the dark man again.
She glanced to her Father and Keyni, then edged over to the Alpha, low with large eyes, tail wagging softly.

"It's ok, we, uh, I'm here to look after you."
She beamed, pulling herself up. Her heart thundered - the man did scare her a little for some reason. "You just need one big dose of love," her tail wagged as she reached up, aiming to very slightly touch her nose to his chin. If he flinched away, she'd have to hide her devastation. Besides, Dada was here to see what a great medic she'd become, and nothing could really quash that joy still running through her.
She breathed a sigh, but behind her smile was a glimmer of sadness. "Yes, they have. But we will persevere. A glimmer of luck like this can make a big difference." She watched as Ryn went up to Antares, in an attempt to lift his spirits. She was such a sweetheart! If only she could have known what the rest of her family was like. She thought of Lunaria and of the news she had to break to the ebony Ostrega. But not here, not in this moment. 

Seeing Howl and Ryn back together, and with Lunaria in mind, adding on the recent events, an idea lit up in her head. The father had no scent of a pack on him, and she was uncertain if he had a place to settle, if any. Upturned green eyes flicked to the pair, then to Antares. "I know it is not in my place to do so, but would you be open to offering Howl a place with us in the Glen? Ravaryn wouldn't have to up and move camp again." She managed a humble, small smile. Glancing to Howl, she dipped her head politely. "That is, if you would accept such an offer, of course." She added, quick to be clear that he was under no pressure. Keyni simply saw a win win situation and pounced on it.
Sorry for the late reply

Howl was lost in the moment finally being reunited with Ravaryn. At Keyni's words, he was suddenly reminded of where he was though his feeling of joy never faded. Though she meant well Keyni's words were not entirely correct. The search for Ravaryn's and Howl's family was not over. They were still missing Shiloh, along with the other half of Howl's family. He was concerned about Connor and Moonshadow as well but knew of their abilities to fend for themselves as adults. The only hope was the Shiloh was somehow with one or both of them.

Antares had similar findings as Howl did when he returned to Kaistleoki, or rather the same lack of findings. Nothing traceable and likely caused by the surge in recent weather. He trailed off mentioning hard times, something nearly everyone within this conversation seemed to have in common. Ravaryn wiggled out from under Howl's chin and walked over to the dark alpha.

Howl stood up and watched as she showed him affection and offered to care for him. A small came upon Howl's face. It was refreshing to see Ravaryn and her usual caring nature. One of the many things he missed while they were apart. "I would like to thank both of you dearly for caring for my daughter. It seems she's been well behaved in your home," he said giving Ravaryn a small smirk. Keyni then, acknowledging the rank of her alpha, attempted to offer Howl a place within their ranks. "With Kaistleoki... missing we presently have nowhere else to go. I sympathize with my daughter and would be willing to offer my services to your pack as thanks" he suggested waiting for Antares response. They would either make their home here or Howl would have to take Ravaryn someplace else.
Antares did his best for a straight face, or at least one that was not mortified completely. His eyes definitely went wide, as the young wolf beamed her best vibes his way. Rendered defenseless in the face of it, and simultaneously unsure what to do with such a declaration that he needed a dose of love (and that these wolves were here to help him with such a comfort...), he splayed his ears and chuffed softly, wagging his tail gently and glancing away. He wasn't good at expressing himself, so, this is what it all got him.

Yeah. It's.. fine. You can catch up and rest first. We can figure out the details properly later, he said with a firm nod, feeling like he wanted the family to get to have their time before they really ironed out the rest of it to make anything official. He would want to get to know Howl better without everyone else afoot too, but it didn't need to get in the way of his daughter's time to enjoy something good while she still had it either. Also, that's fresh.. and for you guys, he gestured at the rabbit first and then the other wolves, feeling really ready to evaporate from here entirely. I won't be far. he decided to leave on, before a nod and an exit on his behalf.
She grinned, completely satisfied. She knew he was having a hard time - the air around him always felt thick with his thoughts. But Ryn felt like he was at least a little bit happier. The young medic bounded back to her father for another round of cuddles and kisses.

She realised that Keyni asked Antares for him to stay, and that he accepted.
She beamed, wondering what they'd do now. Well, he'd have to tell her of all the things he'd been doing and where they'd go next.
She wanted to see her brother that he talked about.
She looked to Keyni and Antares with a beam, "Thank you."
They both helped. She'd forever be grateful for that.
The Alpha moved away, something obviously on his mind.
She hoped something reaaaally good would happen to him sooner rather than later.