“You just told me that therians who grew up with vandals are never truly trusted,” I replied. “That doesn’t give them a lot of reason to join you. I suppose their other option is to go rogue, and from what I’ve deduced, that means being hunted down and killed by Vandals.”
“Still. Right is on our side.”
“Only as long as we can say we’re better than they are,” I replied. “And we can only say that if we treat our opponents with respect, instead of just slaughtering people.”
Marilyn smiled a little. “I get the feeling you’ll be leading the pack on your missions in no time,” she replied. “If you can manage to get over your fear of battle, anyway.”
“It’s who you go on missions with. Well, a pack can change from mission to mission–but you usually go with the same group of five to ten people, especially as you get older.”
“How is that decided?” I asked. “Do I know who I’ll be running with?”
“It tends to be people of your own age and rank, so… probably you’ll be running with Sparky, Valerie and I a lot.
I scoffed. “And you think Valerie would listen to a word I say?”
“Valerie is proud, but you can earn her respect if you work hard and impress her. She plans to follow Tyr, like her sister–he’s a patron that embodies martial strength and sacrifice.” Marilyn glanced down at the book in my hands. “Who are you going to follow?”
“Oisín, I think,” I replied. “The greatest poet of Ireland. They say he took down most of the legends of the Fianna.”
“Fionn may be a little disappointed.”
“Ha! He’s a practically a god. I’m sure he could care less.”
“You’d be surprised,” Marilyn replied. “Most patrons cherish their followers. After all, we’re their only liasons with the mortal world. And most of them see us as their children.”
“Still,” I replied, “I think Oisín is a better choice… Fionn is very…”
“Intimidating?” Marilyn interjected. “Yeah… he has quite a presence, even for a patron. Really, I think that Oisín is a good choice. I’m sure he will give you the guidance to become a songkeeper beyond compare.”
I hoped she was right, because at the time, I doubted there was anything else I could be. Certainly I doubted that I could become any kind of leader, especially over the people I had met that morning.