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ALLEGIANCES

THUNDERCLAN

LEADER                FIRESTAR - flame-colored tabby tom    

DEPUTY               WHITESTORM - big white tom

MEDICINE CAT  CINDERPELT - dark gray she-cat with a crippled hind leg

WARRIORS          LONGTAIL - pale brown tabby tom

                               APPRENTICE, FERNPAW (pale gray she-cat with darker flecks)

                               MOUSEFUR - small dusky-brown tabby she-cat

                               GRAYSTRIPE - dark gray tom

                               DUSTPELT - dark brown tabby tom

                               APPRENTICE, ASHPAW (pale gray tom with darker flecks)

                               SANDSTORM - pale ginger tabby she-cat

                               BRACKENFUR - golden-brown tabby tom

                               FROSTFUR - white she-cat

                               GOLDENFLOWER - pale ginger tabby she-cat

                               CLOUDTAIL - white tom

                               THORNCLAW - golden-brown tabby tom

                               BRIGHTHEART - white she-cat with ginger patches and one

                               eye

QUEENS                WILLOWPELT - silver-gray she-cat (mother to Sorrelkit, a

                               tortoiseshell-and-white she-kit, Rainkit, a dark gray tom-kit, and

                               Sootkit, a light gray tom-kit)

ELDERS                ONE-EYE - pale gray she-cat with one eye

                               SMALLEAR - gray tom with small ears

                               DAPPLETAIL - tortoiseshell-and-white she-cat

                               SPECKLETAIl - pale golden tabby she-cat

WINDCLAN

LEADER                 TALLSTAR - black-and-white tom with a long tail

DEPUTY                 DEADFOOT - black tom with a twisted paw

MEDICINE CAT     BARKFACE - dark brown tom with a short tail

WARRIORS           MUDCLAW - mottled dark brown tabby tom

                               TORNEAR - gray tabby tom

                               ONEWHISKER - light brown tabby tom

                               MORNINGFLOWER - tortoiseshell she-cat

                               RUNNINGBROOK - light gray tabby she-cat

                               WEBFOOT - dark gray tabby tom

                               TAWNYFUR - golden-brown she-cat

                               WHITETAIL - small white she-cat

QUEENS                ASHFOOT - gray she-cat (mother to Crowkit, a smoky-gray

                               tom-kit)

TIGERCLAN

LEADERS              TIGERSTAR - dark brown tabby tom; supreme ruler and leader

                               of the Shadowers

                               LEOPARDSTAR - unusually spotted golden tabby she-cat;

                               leader of the Riverers

DEPUTIES             BLACKFOOT - huge white tom with jet-black paws; Tigerstar’s

                               succesor

                               HEAVYSTEP - thickset light brown tabby tom; Leopardstar’s

                               succesor

                               APPRENTICE, DAWNPAW (pale gray she-cat)

MEDICINE CATS  RUNNINGNOSE - small gray-and-white tom

                               APPRENTICE, LITTLECLOUD (small brown tabby tom)

                               MUDFUR - mottled light brown tom

SHADOWERS       APPLEFUR - mottled light brown she-cat

                               DEERFOOT - mottled dark gray-and-brown tom

                               BOULDER - skinny gray tom

                               FERNSHADE - tortoiseshell she-cat

                               FLINTFANG - gray tom

                               RATSCAR - scarred dark brown tom

                               ROWANBERRY - cream-and-brown she-cat

                               RUSSETFUR - dark ginger she-cat

                               APPRENTICE, CEDARPAW (dark gray tom)

                               WETFOOT - gray tabby tom

                               NIGHTWHISPER - brown tom

                               JAGGEDTOOTH - huge ginger tabby tom

                               APPRENTICE, ROWANPAW (dark ginger tom)

                               STUMPYTAIL - brown tabby tom with a stumpy tail

                               TANGLEBURR - gray-and-brown she-cat

                               OAKFUR - small light brown tom

                               APPRENTICE, TAWNYPAW (tortoiseshell she-cat)

                               DARKSTRIPE - sleek dark gray tabby tom

RIVERERS           BLACKCLAW - smoky-black tom

                               LOUDBELLY - dark brown tom

                               FROGLEAP - light gray tom with a striped tail

                               SHADEPELT - dark gray she-cat

                               MOSSPELT - tortoiseshell-and-white she-cat

QUEENS                TALLPOPPY - light brown tabby she-cat (expecting kits)

BLOODCLAN

LEADER                 SCOURGE - small black tom with one white paw

DEPUTY                 BONE - huge black-and-white tom

WARRIORS           SNAKE - black-and-white tom

                               ICE - black-and-white tom with an underbite

                               SNIPE - black-and-brown tom with a short tail

                               WILLIE - brown tabby tom

                               MINTY - dark gray she-cat (expecting kits)

                               SNAPPER - tortoiseshell-and-white tom

                               TESS - light gray-and-white she-cat

                               POUNCE - light brown tabby tom with an underbite and a lazy

                               eye

CATS OUTSIDE THE CLANS

                               BARLEY - plump black-and-white tom

                               RAVENPAW - black tom with a white tail-tip and chest

                               NUTMEG - brown-and-white tabby tom

                               LUNA - tortoiseshell she-cat

                               FILOU - light ginger tabby tom

                               TOMMY - brown tabby tom with white patches

                               PRINCESS - light brown-and-white tabby she-cat

                               ZACK - white tom with gray colorpoint markings

                               TAYLOR - white tom with light gray tabby patches

                               NAMI - brown tabby she-cat with white patches

                               LIVY - white she-cat with brown colorpoint markings

                               MITZI - white she-cat with red patches (mother to Fritz, a

                               red-and-white tom-kit)

PROLOGUE

Scourge knew from his years of living there that the Twolegplace was awful. Everyday he woke up with the stench of Twoleg monsters in his mouth and a damp, cold pelt. His dumpster home was inadequate for keeping out the cold.

He never had to worry about food. His subjects brought him enough to sustain himself, along with teeth of every variety. He hated those teeth; they smelled terrible, second only to the stench of the Thunderpath, and it was hard for him to swallow, but he knew they made him look fearless. He could put up with the teeth. He had dog teeth, cat teeth, rat teeth, and even some hawk talons. But they weren’t the worst thing he had to deal with.

The worst part was watching his loyal cats, who were willing to kill for him, die. Cats were killed in battle. They starved. They got sick, and no one knew or cared about how to help them. They broke the rules and were killed by Bone. Sometimes they even froze to death. Scourge was still filled with grief about the death of Brick, his loyal follower and third in command, who had been killed by a monster. He wished that they could leave this awful place and go somewhere to escape the death.

And now, he had been given a way to do that, thanks to Tigerstar.

“So,” Scourge mewed, flicking his tail, “You want my help to convince the other Clans to join TigerClan, and in return, we get hunting rights in your forest.”

“Yes,” the dark tabby confirmed. “Join my Clan in battle, and you will be rewarded.” His long, curved claws scraped the crumbling stone under his paws. “With your help, the Clans will beg for mercy.” A fire seemed to blaze in his wide, amber eyes, with enough strength to burn the whole of the Twolegplace.

Scourge shivered, remembering the last time he had seen Tigerstar’s eyes burn that way. He doubted Tigerstar remembered it; if he had, he wouldn’t have dared to come here. Scourge had gone into the forest, looking for a home after Ruby’s words had scared him, and encountered three wild cats. Tigerstar, then Tigerpaw, had attacked him at the orders of the gray and white tabby. Tigerpaw had almost killed him, but was stopped by a blue-gray she-cat. One day, I’ll shred this cat, but not yet. It is not yet time to… settle our differences.

Boulder gave Scourge a nervous glance. “Err… Scourge? Are you okay?” he questioned, his blue eyes full of concern.

“I’m fine!” Scourge snapped, and Boulder shrank away from him. Scourge realized he had unsheathed his claws. He retracted them back into his paws. “It’s cold in this alley.”

Boulder nodded, looking at Scourge’s short, patchy fur. Scourge scowled. You don’t look too good yourself, mangepelt.

Scourge turned back towards Tigerstar. “So,” he asked, “what is it like in the forest?”

Tigerstar thought for a moment. “It’s huge,” Tigerstar told him. “Perhaps as large as the Twolegplace, but there are almost no Twoleg nests; the only things they’ve built are barns. The four Clans each live in different places. ShadowClan, my Clan, live in a marsh, with a bit of pine forest. ThunderClan,” he said with a growl, once again scraping the stone, “live in a forest, with lots of trees.” I know that. I’ve been there, Scourge thought.

“The RiverClan cats,” Tigerstar continued, “live by a river. They swim in it, like otters, and they eat fish for their prey.”

Scourge felt his eyes widen. “They swim? That’s really weird.”

Boulder nodded. “Yep. The RiverClan cats swim. It’s kinda funny. They look like overgrown fish.”

“When you’ve quite finished, Boulder, Scourge and I have important things to discuss,” Tigerstar hissed. Boulder shrank back, quivering, his long tail tucked underneath his belly.

“The last Clan,” meowed Tigerstar, “the WindClan cats, live on a moor. They have long legs so they can chase rabbits. If you help me convince ThunderClan and WindClan to join TigerClan, I’ll give you and your cats the right to WindClan’s territory, from the Twoleg barn to the Carrionplace in ShadowClan.”

“What’s the Carrionplace?” Scourge asked. If it’s going to be mine, I want to know ahead of time.

“It’s a place where Twolegs put their trash,” Tigerstar answered, “similar to that… thing you were sitting down under.”

“It’s called a dumpster,” Scourge told him, then hissed, “What will my cats do with a Twoleg trash dump?”

“Well,” Tigerstar remarked, “I suppose if you couldn’t hunt rabbits, despite your long legs, you could hunt the rats there, and maybe scrounge for collars for your cats to wear.”

Scourge thought a moment. “That… that actually makes sense,” he marveled. “But that doesn’t mean I’m accepting this deal yet.” He turned away, but looked back at the two ShadowClan cats. “Unless you have a good reason why I should help you, I won’t.”

“Well,” Tigerstar mewed slowly, “remember that barn I mentioned? I’m including it in your share of the territory, and it’s practically filled to the brim with mice and voles.”

Scourge narrowed his eyes. “I guess that would be a valuable piece of territory. I’ll consider your offer.”

“But that’s not all,” Tigerstar said. “Not even close. Did I mention the loner

that lives in the barn?”

“No,” Scourge said, slightly puzzled.

“I think you might know him.” Tigerstar smiled slyly. “He left your ranks long ago, after you told his brothers to kill his sister. But his sister is alive, and he’s probably thinking about how clever he’s been to avoid detection. That should be a good enough reason. Don’t you agree, Boulder?” Tigerstar asked cooly, extending his long claws.

Boulder nodded quickly. “Yes, I-I think so,” he muttered nervously.

Tigerstar turned back to Scourge. “So, will you help us? I think that revenge would be a good reason to help. Maybe you can kill his sister this time.” He slowly padded closer to Scourge. When Tigerstar was a mouse-length from Scourge, he meowed, “Will you help us in exchange for revenge on Barley?”

Is revenge on two enemies worth it? Scourge wondered. Is it worth my cats dying in battle? He instantly knew the answer.

“Yes,” he said, his voice filled with certainty. “BloodClan will help you, Tigerstar.”

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