The Silver Pack's duty, which is decided by the tribal elders during the concolation, is always an errand of tremendous importance. The Silver Pack's missions are often complicated as well as dangerous, and each of the auspice's influence is necessary to ensure success. While it is theoretically possible for more than one Silver Pack to be in existence at one time, such a thing happens only during times of direst need - and such times have not yet been seen.
Concolations are the rarest of moots, and they require several septs representing no fewer than five of the tribes. Werewolves call such gatherings to discuss matters of the greatest importance concerning the Garou Nation. Only at a concolation can Garou be called to the Silver Pack.
Garou of all breeds, tribes, and auspices compete fiercely for the honor of joining the Silver Pack. The prospective Silver Pack members are tried in three categories: Glory, Wisdom, and Honor, which tests the candidates in body, mind, and spirit. The specific competitions vary; the elders representing the five auspices select tests relating to the new Silver Pack's purpose. A few examples follow, but Storytellers should create tests that relate to the Silver Pack's future adventures.
- Glory: Contests of Glory are always of a physical nature. This test usually consists of trial by combat, but occasionally contents must climb a treacherous mountain peak, race across the open desert, or suffer a beating to see how much pain they can endure. The test always seeks to challenge the body of the contestant. With the Apocalypse approaching, the Garou cannot allow their champions to be weak.
- Wisdom: Elders from the various tribes select different approaches to this test. The Silent Striders develop tests of deceptively simple cunning. Glass Walkers may hold mock trials in which one Garou must pass judgement on another. Stargazers like to ask virtually impossible riddles, while the Wendigo prefer throwing candidates into a predicament and forcing her to use her cleverness and ingenuity to escape. The object of this test is always to measure the mind of the contestant. If Garou accept fools as their heroes, they will surely fail.
- Honor: Tests of Honor vary widely and are often extremely subtle. Elders frequently test Garou in this area without the contestant's knowledge. Often, the elders have someone insult or annoy a contestant while observing his response. An Honor test always challenges a character's attitude and temperament. The Silver Pack is meant to be an example and to bridge the gap between the various tribes. Petty and selfish individuals cannot accomplish this task. If the spirit is weak, corruption will lay claim to the rest.
Winning a competition offers great honor, but it does not guarantee a Garou's place in the Silver Pack. Representatives of each auspice watch the competitions closely and confer with one another frequently. Upon completion of the tests, the elders choose several favored prospects of each auspice from the contestants. The Caller of the Wyld leads these Garou to the center of the caern, where he performs the Rite of the Phoenix to determine which of the applicants is worthy and to create the Silver Pack. Members of the Silver Pack gain 5 points of Glory, Honor, and Wisdom, and they receive the patronage of the totem Phoenix. The new Silver Pack members do not lose the guidance and protection of any previous pack or personal totems; their previous pack duties are simply suspended for the time being, as are the gifts bestowed by their other totems.
There are three ways to leave the Silver Pack. The first is, of course, death. Life in the Silver Pack is even more dangerous than usual for Garou. Still, werewolves who die in the Silver Pack's service are well remembered in story and song for the honor of having belonged to this great pack.
The second, and rarest, means for a Garou to leave the Silver Pack is to disgrace the pack. Even the most honorable of souls can abandon her packmates or become tainted by the Wyrm. While cowardice may be pardoned once or twice in a normal pack, it is unacceptable in the Silver Pack. Because the Silver Pack stands as an example to all Garou, its standard of conduct is very high. The penalty for failure in the Silver Pack is uncommonly brutal, usually resulting in the other pack members tearing the offender to pieces and leaving her carcass to rot.
Finally, like other packs, the Silver Pack disbands once it has completed its purpose. The Silver Pack disbands if half or more of its members are killed without achieving its goal; surely, in such a case, the pack was not meant to be. Surviving members are eligible to compete for membership if another Silver Pack is chosen; however, many move on to become valuable leaders in notable septs. In cases where the Silver Pack accomplishes its purpose, the members sometimes remain packmates, choosing another totem in order to remain together. Sept leaders across the world often call upon such packs to aid in problems that threaten their caerns.
Totem of the PhoenixEdit
The totem of the Phoenix may be taken only by members of an active Silver Pack.
It represents the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. Phoenix also symbolizes the never-ending struggle to protect Gaia, as the Garou fight brilliantly, die, and pass on their struggle to others. Garou may not choose Phoenix; instead, Phoenix chooses those Garou worthy of membership in the Silver Pack. He accepts only a Silver Pack that contains a representative from each of the five auspices.
Members of the Silver Pack gain 5 Renown in each category; Glory, Honor, and Wisdom. Each Silver Pack member gains one additional die to her Dice Pools in any social interaction with other Garou. The Silver Pack can call on 10 additional points of Willpower per story. Phoenix grants his children added protection against minions of the Wyrm; the difficulties for all attacks made by Wyrm creatures against members of the Silver Pack increase by 2. Each Silver Pack member bears the Mark of the Phoenix, a blue flame branded onto the left shoulder as she passes through the pillar of fire.
However, if a member of the Silver Pack ever falls below 3 permanent Honor, she loses membership in the Silver Pack and all benefits of the Phoenix totem. Such a wretch never regains the respect she once held as one of Phoenix's chosen.