We're back in Werewolf as we explore the wonderful world of Silent Striders and Black Furies by Carl Bowen and Gherbod Fleming, respectively.
We start Silent Striders by being reintroduced to Mephi Faster-Than-Death, who's been in Scandinavia since the first two volumes and has been asked to join the Umbral pack heading off to Huingary to investigate what's wrong in the Balkans. This involves joiningg up with the Roving Winds pack, who have a mixed line up of tribes, including a Shadow Lord whom Mephi knew from her first change. Their goal is a Caern on the Tiza dedicated to memory that has been overrun by the Wyrm. In the meantime, a pack of Black Spiral Dancers is also headed to the caern to perform a rite one saw in a vision.
Along the journey, we learn bits of Mephi's past, and his lack of a pack. (Typical of the Striders, who've been wandering alone since Set exiled them from Egypt in antiquity.) In the end, the Spirals and the Roving winds wind up in a showdown straight out of bad anime as everyone must first announce thier name and purpose before launching an attack. While Mephi winds up being the last one standing, he also bears witness to new spiritual monsters being born and raced back to Spearsreach to warn the other pack.
Sadly, he doesn't make it back before Mari Cabrah and the Ice Wind pack take off for Bosnia via Crete in Black Furies, nor do his warning reach them before trouble starts later on. Mari, who's been around since at least Werewolf Second Edition (the forming of her pack was the focus of the introduction to that book), is surrounded by a bunch of Get of Fenris Warriors and one other of the mostly female Black Furies. The side trip to Crete to the Furies major Sept allows the eldest Fury to explain the politics of the situation, which mainly suggests that this is a doomed mission designed to get the other tribes involved in Balkan politics. (As we will find later on, it works almost too well.) Anyway, with several Umbral storms passing through, we start losing pack mates and a new type of Bane (spirits with not nice intentions appear, draining the memories of those they touch.) Mari is the only one to make it back to Spearsreach, and able to only utter one word, "Jo'cllath'matric".
So now the stage is set for the formation of the Silver River pack and the bulk of the story expressed in the Tribe Novels.
Other than the silliness in the final fight of Silent Striders, it's a fun read. Mephi and Mari are fun characters who play parts later on in Apocalypse. And now, onwards to the next.