Storm of Fire is the first book in the Rise of the Prophecy arc.
Four prophecy cats recognize their powers, written in the stars. Four cats stronger than anyone, destinies to save the Clans from ultmate destruction. They know they have a destiny to fulfill, a prophecy they must complete. But what they don’t know is the drastic enemies and consequences of actions that the four might make can be...
Bluestar, Crookedstar, Tallstar and Blackstar all sat in a circle in the warm wind of StarClan, wondering who will be the hero of the Clans. Gentle snow pattered down, covering the leaders' pelts with white hail. The weather was rather cold, but good enough for the sun to shine and allow warm winds. All the grass was turning white, but it's green stood out clearly enough in the dark wood, and good that the StarClan leaders can make a decision on.
'I choose Thornflame to represent WindClan,' Tallstar stated. 'He is brave and loyal.' Blackstar nodded, eyes falling into slits.
'Dawnstep will be my choice for ShadowClan,' he announced. 'She will make sure all of you are concentrating on the prophecy'. Blackstar lifted his head up with pride. He glared at the other leaders, daring them to fight his ShadowClan pride.
Crookedstar scowled. 'No need! Ivybrook can be a prophecy cat. She is better at concentrating than any of you! Ivybrook will make sure the Clans win this battle, and it isn't because of ShadowClan. She will make RiverClan proud.
The leaders all looked to the last leader Bluestar, who hasn't spoken at all yet. 'Who's your choice for the ThunderClan cat?' Tallstar asked. His paws shuffled beneath him, remembering his past friendship with ThunderClan and Firestar.
Bluestar cleared her throat. 'Timberblaze. He can be ThunderClan's prophecy cat.'
Blackstar looked at the other leaders. 'Is it set then? These four cats will represent our Clans to fight against Dark Forest and the rogues they're training?'
Crookedstar nodded. 'I believe so. Now, we must send our powers of StarClan to Timberblaze, Ivybrook, Dawnstep and Thornflame. We each give them something special, something they can easily recognise themselves as. Give them a dream, warning them it must be secret.'
'Yes,' Tallstar muttered. 'We should give StarClan's signal to no one else but these four cats.'
Ivybrook made her way to the fresh kill pile, trying to pick out a fish she likes. She bent down and pulled out a small trout. Ivybrook's friend Flamestone padded over too. 'Hi Ivybrook.'
She gave her a small smile, then shoved the trout in her mouth. 'Ivybrook? Are you alright?' Flamestone asked curiously. She turned to look at her. Ivybrook just gave her friend a smile again, then tried to walk away. Flamestone stood in front of her.
'Ivybrook. What is wrong? You have been quite distant, even with me! Everyone is whispering about you!'
Ivybrook flinched. 'I- I'm sorry. I- I just-' She sighed. 'I can't help but have weird dreams every time I sleep. They keep haunting me. I feel like no one is... no one is supposed to know but,' Ivybrook buried her face into Flamestone's fur. 'I don't know what is wrong with me.'
Flamestone looked at her friend sympathetically. 'You can trust me, but if this is secret,' She looked at Ivybrook, who has changed so much recently. 'You don't need to destroy your fate for me, ok? Flamestone gave her friend a small nudge. Ivybrook gave a weak smile.
'Alright, I guess.' Ivybrook looked at her friend again, then stretched out her legs. 'I'm going hunting, you coming with me?' Flamestone gave a smile, then a nod, then leapt after Ivybrook and into the cool, refreshing river, where fish of all kind can be found. Ivybrook felt her claws touch something smooth and slimy, then slashed when grabbing it, leaping up at the same time. She went on the shore, to see a surprised Flamestone, with nothing in her claws.
'You must be an amazing hunter!' Flamestone gasped. 'I could never catch a fish like that!'
Ivybrook felt a tingling in her paws, but ignored it. Her entire body felt so strong and powerful. She shrugged. 'I don't know. I guess-' She hopped back into the river. 'I guess just use your claws to slash through any fish when you see them.' Ivybrook sank beneath the surface with Flamestone watching carefully.
'Like this.' Ivybrook saw a fish, then reached out slashing, then splashing water on Flamestone while killing her prey and rising on the shore. 'There! How you can hunt a fish without being an apprentice again,' Ivybrook joked. Flamestone smiled.
'Let's go back to camp, shall we? You caught two fish today, that must be worth something for the fresh kill pile!' Flamestone exclaimed. Ivybrook nodded enthusiastically.
For the first time since her visions, Ivybrook actually felt happy.
Thornflame ran across the moor, feeling the wind in his soft pelt. He sniffed the warm grass, and inhaled the scent around him. Thornflame lay down his paws, thinking what a great life he had in WindClan. Who would want to be in another Clan?
He smelled rabbits behind a small bush. Thornflame crouched, then sneaked up on the scent. He saw a small white rabbit munching on a carrot. Thornflame approached the rabbit, then pounced. The rabbit dashed away immediately, but Thornflame ran after it, then leapt up. He stabbed the rabbit, and it fell limp beneath his jaws. Thornflame carried his prey back to the fresh kill pile in satisfaction, noticing his Clanmate's respect for him.
Thornflame dropped his rabbit and ran out of camp again. He sniffed the air, trying to scent any unlucky prey. Would any rabbits be out for hunting now? Thornflame saw a flash of white then leapt to catch it, but it ran away before he was able to catch it. Thornflame's paws clasped together and grabbed the air. He grunted in frustration, then padded to camp.
The leader of WindClan Stonestar gazed forward at Thornflame, with an unreadable. Thornflame was puzzled, was Stonestar proud or disappointed? He looked large with his shadow, but Thornflame was unable to tell what his leader thought of him. ‘Hi Stonestar,’ he muttered. Thornflame watched his expression. Stonestar sighed and gazed at his warrior.
‘You were a good hunter today, don’t worry.' Stonestar gestured towards the fresh kill pile. ‘Go get something to eat, you must be hungry.
Thornflame nodded then bowed to his leader. He walked slowly over to the fresh kill pile, and selected a small rabbit. Thornflame places the bones aside, then saw his Clanmate Birchwing staring at him. ‘Thornflame, you want to join my border patrol? Birchwing asked.
He nodded, and the two went out on a border patrol with Maplepelt, and talked. Thornflame however, kept noticing a small thorn that was appearing. It was on branches, bushes and logs. The thorn was everywhere! Thornflame shivered. The thorn seemed obvious to him, but Birchwing and Maplepelt noticed nothing.
Thornflame gestured to camp. ‘Let’s go home, it’s almost dusk now.‘ His friends nodded and went back to camp.
Thornflame walked back, and noticed the same thorn on the grass. This was strange. Thornflame sighed, and picked up the thorn. He went back to his den, and placed the thorn down. Thornflame layer it down near the edge of his nest, careful not to touch it when sleeping. ‘Just good,’ he muttered. ‘I have no idea why a thorn could be so special.’
Dawnstep looked worried at her Clanmates. They were all so concentrated on their duties, not having to worry about anything. But Dawnstep always gets visions in her mind, like they are urging her to do something. What? Her mind what scream. Dawnstep wished StarClan could hear her. What do you want me to do?
She sighed and looked at the evening sky above her. ShadowClan was burying Stormwind, who was a brave and loyal warrior. Dawnstep felt heat on her thick fur. The sun was so strong tonight, Stormwind had to be buried at dusk, when the sun subsided by only a bit. Dawnstep felt sticky, and went by the river to get a sip of water.
The sky was still bright red, the colour of the sun, and Dawnstep could sense her Clanmate’s stress too. They seemed to not be distracted by the heat, but Dawnstep could sense what the were thinking about. She sighed, then walked over to Stormwind, paying her respect to the deceased warrior.
Dawnstep‘s mind told her that her Clanmate Stoneflower was upset for how Stormwind would never be able to taste the cool air. She then heard someone else think about if the heat was StarClan’s punishment. Dawnstep snapped into attention at once, then ran into the bushes, where she could have some peace and quiet.
She reflected on how many thoughts she could feel around her. Dawnstep felt many ShadowClan warriors feeling angry this day. Why could she feel other’s thoughts? Dawnstep shivered at the thought of this. ShadowClan would fear her. They would never trust her. Dawnstep always had wanted to be famous and strong in her Clan but... reading other people’s minds was not the best idea to do that.
She trotted back to camp, and lay down in her nest. Dawnstep took a deep breath, willing her dreams to go wherever they would naturally go. She found herself in a small forest, covered in pine trees. Dawnstep gasped. She knew this place! She just didn’t know where she recognized or how. Dawnstep looked closer and closer. Can she see anything? But all Dawnstep saw was simply more trees ahead of her.
Timberblaze’s pelt was covered in scratches and marks from hunting. He groaned. Why did ThunderClan have to hunt in the thorns and bushes? Timberblaze was one of the most loyal warriors, but never liked the fact of having to get poked by thorns everyday. He sniffed the undergrowth again. Timberblaze heard a rattle somewhere in the bushes. He smiled, and crouched, making sure he got it right. Timberblaze felt more thorns prickle him, but leapt to catch his prey. It became limp right away, and Timberblaze smiled again. A juicy vole!
He sighed and walked back to camp, his vole dangling from his mouth. Timberblaze dropped it into the fresh kill pile, then walked outside to patrol the borders. Was anyone there? Timberblaze listened carefully to the sounds around him.
The forest was rather quiet this time. Timberblaze couldn’t smell or hear anything. He prickled his ears again, to hear if anyone was an intruder on ThunderClan territory.
Timberblaze suddenly saw a rabbit dash into a bush. Rabbits? They don’t belong in ThunderClan territory! What are they doing here? Timberblaze crouched again, sneaking up. Three WindClan warriors dashed in, chasing after the rabbit. Timberblaze gasped. WindClan. He jumped up immediately and slashed through the thorns.
’Get out,’ Timberblaze shrieked. ‘This is ThunderClan territory!’
Surprisingly, the WindClan warriors backed away immediately. They stared at Timberblaze in horror, then ran off as quick as they can. Timberblaze was puzzled. WindClan could be easily offended, but by that much? The warriors didn’t even protest!
Timberblaze crouched down again, then leapt on a nearby mouse. It ran away, but he didn’t care. Something was wrong with what Timberblaze had done to get WindClan of ThunderClan territory. He tried to ignore it and shrugged. Trudging back to camp, Timberblaze felt strong. He surprisingly felt more power than before, and that something was going to happen. Timberblaze slowly followed the scent that he smelt, wandering what was ahead of him.
Thornflame sighed, curling up in his nest. The air around him was lightly cold, chilling his short fur. Thornflame breathed, then leaned to touch his thorn. He paused. Usually, when Thornflame finds a torn is his nest, we would throw it out. But why would he keep it in his nest? Thornflame looked outside. Snow started to patter down, the soft whiteness falling down bit by bit. Thornflame turned and inspected the thorn carefully. Everyone around him was sleeping, not noticing what was going on.
Thornflame sneaked outside, and placed the thorn outside on a nearby log. He sniffed it, then went to drink in a nearby river. Thornflame bent down then covered his muzzle in water. But the thorn was gone. It wasn't on the log anymore. The thorn was on the moor, moving and twisting like a snake. Thornflame gasped. What was it doing? He walked closer, but his thorn kept wriggling forwards, into a direction unknown. Thornflame crept close up, making sure the thorn doesn't go out of sight.
He watched the thorn slither away, and found himself near the lake. Thornflame frowned. Why was he here? Thornflame could smell another cat here-a Clan cat. What is going on.
'Ow!' Thornflame heard a noise. He turned to see a dark brown tom staring at him with confusion and shock. 'That was my tail you were shoving your claws into!'
'Oh sorry,' Thornflame muttered. This cat smelled of ThunderClan, and of mice. Thornflame felt like belching right there on the spot. He always at rabbits, never mice! 'Who are you? Why are you here?'
The tom sighed. 'Well... I might ask you the same question. I guess... I am Timberblaze and why I'm here? It is hard to explain.'
Thornflame narrowed his eyes. 'I want to know anyways.'
Timberblaze continued. 'I have weird dreams recently, and I just scented my way here. I followed the scent and this is where I arrived. And I guess this is the best I can explain it, at least for now.' He sighed, and lowered his gaze. 'Who are you?
'I am Thornflame of WindClan. I-I saw a thorn that none of my Clanmates have even noticed, and it crept here, and I followed it.' Thornflame hesitated. 'For now reason. I was only curious. None of WindClan ever noticed the thorn.'
Timberblaze looked surprised. 'I chased off WindClan warriors on our territory just before I came here! I simply told them to leave, and they obeyed without question.' Timberblaze leaned closer to Thornflame. 'I have no idea, but I feel like what you are thinking is what I am thinking.' He got excited. 'Maybe we each have super powers from StarClan!'
Thornflame snorted. 'Super powers. Yeah, we will fly and breathe underwater.' He looked at Timberblaze again. 'Maybe we can find a reason for this. We are special, StarClan tells us that, but... we aren't sure why yet.'
Timberblaze nodded eagerly. 'This seems important. StarClan wouldn't give cats powers for no reason. How about, every few nights we meet here, in this exact same spot to investigate and share news?
The WindClan warrior sighed. 'We have no choice. I guess you are right about that. But... we have to remember ok?' When Thornflame saw Timberblaze agree, he threw himself back onto the moor, as the soft green grass soothed his fur on a cold night.
Ivybrook shook her fur, trying to settle into the night. It was unusually warm, but had a time of coldness too. Ivybrook shivered under the drastic temperature change. It wasn’t like this before? Leafbare must be coming, she thought. But the weather isn’t the same. Ivybrook sighed, then curled herself up to sleep.
She was in lake, splashing water with three other cats, who she had no idea about. Ivybrook looked around her again, but all she could see was trees, trees, and more trees. The lake, Ivybrook thought. I must meet up with three other cats near the lake. The area around her stretched onwards, so far, Ivybrook could not only see a bit.
The night was silent, full of shadows and darkness. Ivybrook reaches up from the lake then crept out. The same thred cats emerged from the shadows. Ivybrook woke up immediately, trying to decipher her vision. The wind around her was still, Clanmates sleeping safely in their nests. Ivybrook leaned over Flamestone and sighed.
‘I’m sorry,’ Ivybrook whispered. ‘I have to find out myself, alone.’ She crept out of the den, taking a glance behind her. Ivybrook sighed, then padded her way to the lake in the middle of the territories. The wind bites her pelt bitterly, but the weird weather shocked Ivybrook. She felt guilty that she was sneaking out at night just for a dream, but even more guilty that she had betrayed her Clan and Clanmates.
Dawnstep growled in frustration. She felt like the world was falling on her from the heat, but she felt cold at nights too. A bit too cold. Dawnstep snarled in anger. What was the weather doing? ShadowClan had no good time to bury Stormwind. Dawnstep took a breath then listened to the sounds around her. It was the only way, she could concentrate now.
To her surprise, Dawnstep heard more than she thought she could. Cats around her were chatting furiously. Other animals were trying to find food. Dawnstep looked around no one was chatting at all! She slid out from her den, tripping over a branch. 'Mouse dung,' she growled. Dawnstep looked at the ShadowClan camp. It was so quite, but Dawnstep could see all their thoughts, their feelings...
Dawnstep sat down near a bush beside her. The forest was silent. But Dawnstep could feel something pulling her towards a place. She relaxed her body, trying to figure out where is was going. A small trail made it's way to the lake in the centre of the forest. Dawnstep sniffed. What was going on? Why was this trail she can see leading to the lake?
She tried to follow the trail, but there was undergrowth almost everywhere. Dawnstep had dead ends she had to face, and she could not see what was ahead of her. 'I hope this means something,' Dawnstep whispered softly. Would her Clanmates notice her absence? Or was ShadowClan too caught up with something else to care about a warrior?
Dawnstep shook the terrible though off her head. I am important to ShadowClan, she thought desperately. I will do anything for my Clan, but I must find out where this trail leads to and why... Dawnstep weaved through the twigs and branches, the bushes that were in her way.
Dawnstep approached the lake after some grunting, to see two other cats gathered near the edge of the lake. Why are they there, Dawnstep thought. She shivered. What if these two cats spy on her and prevent her from her mission. Dawnstep sighed, then tried to avoid the two cats. She walked forward quietly, but she heard a shriek next to her.
'Stop! It's my tail, you are stepping on.' A white and silver she cat stood nearby, fuming.
'Oh sorry for that,' Dawnstep muttered. She couldn't stay here with some other cat. Dawnstep had to find where the trail leads to, but the cat stood in her way.
'Stop right there,' she ordered. 'Who are you? Why are you here?' The she cat squinted. Dawnstep flinched, then faced the stranger.
'Well, I am Dawnstep of ShadowClan if you must know. And I am here because I saw a trail and I wanted to see where it leads.' Dawnstep suddenly gasped. Why had she told a stranger about the trail? She would never understand. Also, she would think that ShadowClan cats are crazy, claiming to have found a trail and finding it when the rest of the Clan is unaware of it.
But the cat looked shocked. 'Me too! I had dreams as well. Then, I just had a feeling that I should go here, to the lake. I saw three other cats with me around here.' She looked around, then twisted make to Dawnstep. 'Anyway, I am Ivybrook of RiverClan.' Ivybrook took a glance at the river.
'There!' she exclaimed. Dawnstep squinted to see the two cats again. 'Maybe we were supposed to meet them here!' Ivybrook looked fascinated but very surprised as well. She gestured towards the two cats, and Dawnstep followed reluctantly. Oh no, she thought. Not other Clans again! Dawnstep groaned, but dragged herself towards the two other cats with Ivybrook.
Timberblaze padded across to where Thornflame was sitting patiently. 'So, our second meeting,' he grunted. 'More rabbit scent now.' Timberblaze sniffed the area in disgust, covered with Thornflame's WindClan scent. Thornflame rolled his eyes, and glared at Timberblaze.
'Bad enough hunting in bushes everyday, isn't it?' Thornflame yawned. 'Come one, get onto this quicker. It is getting sleepy here...' Thornflame drifted on, but Timberblaze pounced on him.
'Come on, sleepy one,' he teased. Timberblaze stood up. 'Alright, I haven't had well... weird dreams or anything, but I felt like everyone in ThunderClan always obeys me, and does what I tell them to do.' He sighed. 'I really don't hope that this can make me not trustworthy, or loyal.' Timberblaze looked down at his paws, sighing.
Thornflame brushed his tail against the hard rocks. 'Well... I keep seeing my thorn. But now, it isn't only that... I keep seeing other things too, like bark on the ground and flowers on some trees. Every time this happens, I am scared that I will be more powerful than my own leader and medicine cat.' Thornflame buried his head in his fur, then lifted it up. 'Don't you?'
Timberblaze nodded slowly. 'Every time I tell some warriors to go hunting or patrol the borders, they seem to act like I am their leader. My apprentice is scared to death now. Everything I say to cats, they will obey.' Timberblaze glanced at Thornflame. 'I guess... maybe our thoughts are true. This isn't just an illusion, StarClan is telling us something.'
A bush ruffled behind the two cats, and another dashed into the scene. The she cat looked shocked and angered at the same time, eyes falling into slits. But she wasn't alone. A companion bounded along her, looking confused as well.
'What brings you two here?' Thornflame growled. He unsheathed his claws, and glared at the two she cats.
The blue gray one spoke first. 'I saw you,' she said slowly, 'and I saw a rather invisible trail leading here, to the lake. The, I saw Ivybrook, and I thought that she would be part of this, so I told her to come with me. But before the trail, I keep having thoughts, other cat's thoughts, in my mind. I can see them.' She glanced at the sky, then turned back. 'I'm Dawnstep, and I want to know what is this weather doing to us.'
Timberblaze scanned to two she cats. 'Well, if you can see the trail... and so can you...' He turned to Ivybrook. 'Then you are indeed part of this weird power thing. Ivybrook, what is special about you?' Timberblaze stared at her without any contempt or menace, just pure wonder and curiosity.
Ivybrook narrowed her eyes, careful that Timberblaze didn't want to steal information. 'I guess I can hunt and fight better than any of my Clanmates,' she said finally. 'I can catch a rabbit if I had too.'
Thornflame smirked. 'As if.'
Ivybrook glared at the WindClan warrior. Suddenly a rabbit bounded across, and Ivybrook leapt up and ran after it, stabbing it when she had to chance. The rabbit fell limp immediately, and Ivybrook carried it back to where the other three she cats had their jaws fallen off. 'There,' she stated. Ivybrook tossed the rabbit to Thornflame. 'I don't eat this stinky rabbit, but you most certainly can.'
Thornflame looked blank. 'It's true,' he finally admitted. 'You are special. Everyone here is. I guess...' Thornflame looked at Timberblaze. 'I guess Dawnstep and Ivybrook can join our meetings, can they?'
Timberblaze nodded. 'They most certainly can.'