|The Evil Rising Saga|
|Preceded by: |
The Rise of Evil: Five
|The Rise of Evil: Six||Succeded by: |
The Rise of Evil Special: And Then There Were Four
Allegiances of WonderClan
Leader: Lightstar - Cream she-cat with slightly darker paws and face and brilliant blue eyes.
Deputy: Oakleaf - Creamy brown tabby tom with dark blue eyes.
Medecine Cat: Maplefrost - Golden tabby she-cat with blue eyes.
Starshine - White tom with black ears and paws and mismatched olive and amber eyes.
Peppermist - Ginger she-cat with cool green eyes.
Braveheart - Dark brown tabby tom with amber eyes.
Stripefur - Cream tabby tom with amber eyes.
Darkcloud - Dark grey she-cat with green eyes.
Hawkpoppy - Dark tortoiseshell she-cat with white paws and underbelly and beautiful dark amber eyes.
Sparkfire - Auburn pelted tom with amber eyes and white underbelly.
Silvershine - Silver tabby she-cat with dark tabby stripes and bright amber eyes.
Crescentmoon - Fluffy grey she-cat with light olive eyes.
Hopeheart - Grey she-cat with green eyes.
Sunfeather - Golden tabby tom with pale blue eyes.
Gorsecloud - Slender tortoiseshell-and-white she-cat with blue eyes.
Beavertooth - Brown tabby tom with black eyes.
Browntail - Brown tom with black eyes.
Stonesun - Mottled grey tom with black eyes.
Dawnlight - Slender tortoiseshell she-cat with amber eyes.
Cloudfur - Fluffy pale grey tabby tom with blue eyes.
Icemoon - White and silver she-cat with blue eyes.
Snowpaw - Pure white she-cat with bright white eyes.
Mistcloud - Dark grey she-cat with green eyes.
Blackpaw - Black-and-white tom with amber eyes.
Shadowpaw - Black tom with coal black eyes.
Lilypaw - Beautiful white she-cat with pale blue eyes.
Pinepaw - Dark tabby she-cat with amber eyes.
Falconpaw - Brown tom with slightly darker paws and face and brilliant blue eyes.
Ravenpaw - Black she-cat with cream paws, blue eyes, and a feathery tail.
Kestrelpaw - White tabby tom with green eyes.
Wildpaw - Calico she-cat with green eyes.
Honeyfur - Golden tabby she-cat with green eyes, mother of Stonesun's kits.
Pebblekit - Pale grey tom with blue eyes.
Lionkit - Golden tabby tom with amber eyes.
Lightstar closed her eyes briefly in the darkness of her den. It was the morning before the peace patrol were going to go to GorgonClan, and Lightstar was trying to get some sleep.
Suddenly, a vision exploded in her head. She saw cats fighting, and clawing, and Bloodstar, the leader of VanishClan was pinning her down, his large teeth coming closer and closer to her neck, then...
Lightstar jerked awake.
Shadowpaw huddled close to Snowpaw in the midddle of the GorgonClan camp. They were watching Lightstar try and negotiate with Fangstar. Shadowpaw now knew that this cat of legend was his father, and he could see that Fangstar knew it too. He was peering at Shadowpaw often, although he always kept an ear cocked towards Lightstar. Shadowpaw was surprised that Fangstar was being so cooperative.
"Lightstar, you are mad." Fangstar said calmly. "There shall never be peace between the Clans. VanishClan for starters will protest."
Lightstar said something in a voice too low for Shadowpaw to hear. Fangstar looked thoughtful.
"Of course peace would be nice." he muttered. "But my Clan will not agree, and neither will the others."
Lightstar said something more, then the whole WonderClan patrol withdrew and headed back to their own camp.
The peace negotiations between all six Clans had been going on for days, and Shadowpaw sensed that someone would break soon. Lightstar honestly wanted peace, and was determined to get her way. The leaders of RainClan and SunClan just wanted their Clans to stay isolated like they had been for many years. Moonstar, MoonClan's leader, wanted peace as well. She and Lightstar got on fantastically. Fangstar was still mulling it over, and Bloodstar always said, as politely as possible, that Lightstar was mousebrained. He also threatened that there would be a fight if Lightstar didn't stop pestering. A fight was the last thing Lightstar wanted, not least because her kits, Falconpaw, Ravenpaw, Kestrelpaw and Wildpaw might be hurt. Moonstar's Clan was quite weak, and she was nervous about a fight too.
Now, Shadowpaw had been sent with yet another offer of peace to GorgonClan. Lightstar was a very clever leader, and she always sent Shadowpaw, Lilypaw or Pinepaw to see Fangstar. She knew that GorgonClan's leader would not risk harming his children.
"Wait! Shadowpaw!" A voice called from behind him. He turned, and caught sight of Gorsecloud, his mother, dashing towards him with Lilypaw and Pinepaw beside her. "Lightstar said we should all go. As a family." Gorsecloud told him.
Shadowpaw fought the urge to turn away from her. He hated being half-Clan, hated the feeling inside him when he thought about Fangstar. He almost hated Gorsecloud for falling in love with Fangstar, but, every time he felt like that, memories of her nursing and playing with him and his littermates rose to mind unbidden, and he had to forgive her. Shadowpaw knew Lilypaw and Pinepaw felt the same in different ways. Lilypaw hated it because all she wanted was to be loyal to WonderClan, Pinepaw because she wanted to know her father.
The four of them headed towards GorgonClan. They arrived at the entrance, and the cat on guard happened to be Leopardpaw. Shadowpaw exchanged a nod with the young apprentice. The two of them had become great friends throughout the peace treaty, another reason for Shadowpaw to hate GorgonClan. If Fangstar was dead, Leopardpaw would never have been captured when he was a kit, and forced to become an apprentice for GorgonClan. Leopardpaw's sister, Snowpaw, had only just escaped to remain in WonderClan.
"Come on in," Leopardpaw invited, gesturing towards the camp with his head. "Fangstar's expecting you."
Gorsecloud dipped her head politely, and led her kits into the Clan. When Fangstar saw her, he had to struggle to control his face, and his movements were twitchy and jerky, betraying his shock at seeing her again.
Lilypaw drew close to Shadowpaw and puffed soundlessly in his ear.
"Wow, this peace treaty's going to work for sure."
"Do you think Lilypaw and I look like him?" Pinepaw asked at the same moment. "I mean, it's obvious that you do, Shadowpaw, but what about us. Maybe we inherited long tails or something?"
Lilypaw snorted. "Please," she muttered, rolling her eyes. "I don't even want to inherit a long tail from a cat who isn't WonderClan."
"Fangstar doesn't have a long tail anyway," Shadowpaw said.
"But it would be cool if we inherited something from him, right?" Pinepaw asked.
Lilypaw shook her head. "No, mouse-brain, it wouldn't. Remember the story the elders told us when we were kits? About how he murdered Oatstar? And plus, he's not a WonderClan cat. I don't even want to think about us being related."
"You're so silly, Lilypaw," Pinepaw muttered. "I'd love the chance to meet our father. You know that Gorsecloud always loved you two best! Shadowpaw because of his coat, and you because of your personality. I've always been left out."
"That's not true!" Shadowpaw protested, but he didn't have time to say any more.
The sun was dropping, and the camp was bathed in amber light. Leopardpaw came up to them again and led them to the apprentices den, where they would be spending the night before their journey back to WonderClan. Shadowpaw curled up between his two sisters, the unfamiliar scent of GorgonClan in his nostrils and the rustling of unknown apprentices around him, and he wondered what tomorrow would bring.
Someone prodded Shadowpaw's shoulder hard. He flailed his paws sleepily, and heard an annoyed yowl from somewhere above him.
"Stop it, you mouse-brain! Wake up!"
Shadowpaw shook his head, and opened his eyes. Leopardpaw was looming over him, one spotted golden paw still half raised.
"Come on," the apprentice said cheerfully, beckoning with his head. "Peace talks are over, and you lot are heading home."
Shadowpaw looked around him. The apprentices den was empty, except for him and his sisters. Lilypaw was stirring now, blinking open her light blue eyes. Pinepaw was turned away from Shadowpaw, but he guessed she was already awake.
"We're coming!" Shadowpaw exclaimed, stretching and rising to his paws. Pinepaw bounded up beside him, and Lilypaw pulled herself up too, her eyes still heavy with sleep.
Leopardpaw led the apprentices out of the den, and into the main clearing. Gorsecloud was waiting for them by the entrance to the camp.
"Thank you, Leopardpaw," she said gratefully when they approached.
Leopardpaw tipped his head up. "Welcome," he nodded, then headed back into the camp.
"Come on, you three," Gorsecloud told them, leading the way.
Pinepaw kept looking back over her shoulder as they left, trying to catch another glimpse of Fangstar, Shadowpaw guessed, but Lilypaw bounded eagerly ahead, impatient to get back to WonderClan and her friends. Shadowpaw only looked back once. He could hardly see the camp anymore, through the web of trees and bushes. Shadowpaw twisted his head back to face the front again, and lifted his shoulders in a huge sigh. Somehow, it didn't seem much like peace was coming any time soon.
Shadowpaw crouched nervously in the middle of the forest. He was on guard patrol. Snowpaw was huddled in the tree next to him, her pure white fur misted with dewdrops. Shadowpaw felt a pang every time he looked at her bright white eyes. Snowpaw could still see, but she had lost her beautiful blue eyes and fluffy grey-white pelt forever when she had followed Shadowpaw out of camp during a storm, and been struck by lightning. Now the denmates were polar opposites, one completely black, the other completely white.
Of course, Lightstar had taken this to be a sign that peace should come. The apprentices looked exactly like two cats of legend. The black tom in the tale had been the founder of GorgonClan, and the white she-cat the founder of WonderClan.
Snowpaw nudged Shadowpaw with her shoulder. "Hey, what's up?" she asked.
Shadowpaw shrugged. He must have looked sad, thinking about everything.
"I miss Blackpaw," Snowpaw muttered. "Do you think he's ok?"
Shadowpaw swiped his tongue gently over her left ear. "Yeah, I reckon he's fine. You know how strong he is! He'll ace the Games, no problem!"
Snowpaw purred, comforted, and huddled closer to Shadowpaw. Blackpaw was their friend, and the sister of Daisypaw, an apprentice who now lived in GorgonClan. Snowpaw's brother was Leopardpaw, also taken by GorgonClan, so there had always been a bond between her and Blackpaw. Now, thinking of that bond, Shadowpaw felt a twinge of jealousy somewhere deep inside him, which he crushed rapidly. He was very lucky that neither of his sisters had been chosen to compete in the VanishClan Games. They had both been sent home, and were sleeping every night in the apprentices den with him. Surely this was something to be grateful for.
"Hey," said a voice behind them.
Shadowpaw turned to look. Two of Lightstar's kits. Kestrelpaw and Wildpaw, were crouched in the tree behind him.
"It's our turn on duty now," Kestrelpaw said. The white tabby tom stood out clearly in the gloom. His calico sister, crouched beside him, was just as obvious.
"Ok," Shadowpaw agreed. "Be careful."
Kestrelpaw nodded, and he and Wildpaw took up their posts as Shadowpaw and Snowpaw scrambled down the tree. Kestrelpaw, Wildpaw and their brother and sister Falconpaw and Ravenpaw were the youngest apprentices. There were only two cats in the whole Clan younger than them, Pebblekit and Lionkit. They were just two moons old.
Shadowpaw and Snowpaw bounded back into the WonderClan camp. They crossed the main clearing quickly, as it was very quiet at this time of night, then they entered the apprentices den, softly, so as not to wake the sleeping cats, then they curled up in their nests and fell asleep.
Shadowpaw was woken early by screeching from outside. He leapt out of his nest and into the main clearing, blinking in the sudden sunlight. Falconpaw and Ravenpaw had just raced yowling into camp.
"BloodClan is coming to attack!" Falconpaw screeched furiously, his brown fur standing on end. Next to him, Ravenpaw's fluffy black pelt was bristling, and her blue eyes were huge and fearful.
"No cat panic," Lightstar commanded instantly. "We will stay and fight. Mistcloud, take Honeyfur, Pebblekit and Lionkit and hide them by the tallest tree. You stay with them. We'll send any mildly injured cats there for treatment. Maplefrost, we'll need you to stay here and treat any badly injured cats."
Mistcloud nodded, and hurried into the nursery, emerging an instant later clutching Pebblekit. Honeyfur was just behind her, her golden tabby fur blending with that of Lionkit, who was dangling from her jaws, bumping against her chest as she walked.
They had only just left when there was a tremendous caterwaul from outside the camp. Bloodstar pushed his way in, his broad shoulders making the job easy. He didn't stop to speak, but launched himself at Lightstar. Behind him were VanishClan warriors, lean, bloodthirsty cats with scarred pelts.
Shadowpaw crouched, and unsheathed his claws. His mind seemed filled with an icy calm, and he waited patiently for a warrior to come to him. Then, he saw Snowpaw dashing through the warriors and out of the camp. He leapt up, and followed her, thinking she must be wounded. When he caught up, Snowpaw was cowering in front of three huge VanishClan warriors, and behind them was Blackpaw!
"Snowpaw, Shadowpaw!" Blackpaw yowled desperately, his tufty black-and-white fur standing on end, his amber eyes huge.
One of the VanishClan warriors, the smallest, turned around and slashed at Blackpaw to make him be quiet. The WonderClan apprentice shrank backwards silently and kept his mouth shut. Shadowpaw didn't wait any longer. He leapt onto the shoulders of the smallest VanishClan warrior, and raked his claws through hr fur. She yowled, and tried to shake him off, but he dug his claws in and hard as he could and held on. She leapt into the air and flipped over, intending to land on her back and squash him, but Shadowpaw was too quick, and he darted off her and gripped the tail of another VanishClan warrior between his teeth. He yanked, and the VanishClan warrior was jerked backwards for an instant. The shock threw him off balance, and he tumbled over.
Shadowpaw could never quite remember what happened afterwards. All he knew was that he fought and clawed with all the strength he had, and when he came to his senses, the VanishClan warriors had fled, and he, Snowpaw and Blackpaw were racing back into camp.
All tjhe VanishClan warriors had gone, except Bloodstar, who was crouched over Lightstar. He opened his mouth, and his jaws snapped shut on Lightstar's neck. Oakleaf yowled, and thrust himself at Bloodstar, pushing him off the WonderClan leader. Attacked by the whole might of WonderClan, Bloodstar didn't have a chance. He fled from the camp, and an instant later met his death at the claws of Fangstar, who was standing just outside with his whole Clan.
Fangstar cast a glance at Shadowpaw, but he went to Lightstar first. "There will be peace, Lightstar," he proclaimed. "WonderClan, GorgonClan and MoonClan together as one. And who knows? The remnants of the other Clans might be persuaded to join us. There will be peace, thanks to you."
Lightstar heaved another pain-filled breath, and with cries of dismay, her four kits hurried to fling themselves down by her side.
"Thank you," Lightstar breathed, and Shadowpaw knew that she was talking to all of them. "I love you," she added, looking at the four apprentices crouched around her. "Lead well, Oakstar."
Then she was gone.
Shadowfang raced through the sun-filled forest as fast as he could. He had been on the other side of the stream, helping the new Clan, AshClan, settle into their home. AshClan was filled with cats from SunClan, RainClan and VanishClan who had been scattered in the fights. Now, they were rebuilding, under a new name.
"Heading home, Shadowfang?" called Rabbitfur, deputy of MoonClan, as Shadowfang raced through their territory. The two apprentices hunting with Rabbitfur and the other MoonClan warriors pricked up their ears, and whispered to each other when they heard his name. Shadowfang didn't have time to stop.
"Good hunting, Rabbitfur!" he yelled as he whisked past. He bounded over the stream into WonderClan territory, feeling as though his feet had wings.
Suddenly, he ran headlong into a black cat blocking the tunnel into WonderClan camp.
"Shadowfang, stop charging into people!" Fangstar purred, with a mock fierce voice. "You see now why young cats need a father when they're growing up, to teach them manners!"
"Can't stop, Fangstar," Shadowfang panted. "Got to get in!"
Fangstar followed his son into the WonderClan camp, his expression happy.
Shadowfang skidded into the nursery, and bent over Snowdapple. "Are you alright?" he asked desperately, running his tongue over the fur on her head.
She turned her white eyes to him. "I'm fine, you great worrier. They're here."
Shadowfang bent over the three kits. One was a fluffy, white-and-grey tom. The biggest was a pale brown tabby tom with a long tail that he thrashed around as he squirmed in the nest. The only she-cat was tiny, with deep black fur all over.
"They're beautiful," Shadowfang breathed. "What should we call them?"
"Botherkit, Botherkit and Botherkit," Gorsecloud snorted from the shadows. "That's all they'll do."
Flamekit and Toadkit scrabbled over her crossly, and headed to stand beside their brother. "I don't bother anyone, do I Shadowfang?" Flamekit squeaked.
Fangstar pushed his way into the nursery, and both kits flung themselves on him. Flamekit had dark ginger fur that was almost red, and Toadkit was like a smaller version of his mother.
Fangstar licked Gorsecloud's ear. "How are you?" he asked.
"Fine," Gorsecloud replied. "How's Pineneedle?"
"She's doing great," Fangstar soothed. "Her kits are due soon."
Gorsecloud purred appreciatively. Fangstar was allowed to visit his WonderClan kits whenever he wanted, thanks to Oakstar, and when they were apprentices the kits would be allowed to choose which Clan they wanted to live in, just like Shadowfang, Lilyfern and Pineneedle had chosen after the peace treaty. Shadowfang often missed his sister, and wished that she had stayed in WonderClan with him and Lilyfern, but he knew that she had made the decision she wanted, and she was happy in GorgonClan.
"How about Cloudkit for the grey-and-white one?" Snowdapple asked.
Shadowfang thought, then nodded. "I love it," he purred.
"The biggest looks just like my brother did," Fangstar added.
"Leafkit then," Shadowfang suggested. Snowdapple nodded her head, purring.
"And Ashkit for the little one," she said.
"Ashkit? Are you sure?" Shadowfang asked. "It's a bit like AshClan."
"Ashes are black," Snowdapple soothed. "And they symbolise new beginnings. I can't think of a better name for our daughter."
Shadowfang bent his head to nose the kits. "Cloudkit, Leafkit and Ashkit," he purred. "The next generation of WonderClan mischief-makers."
End of Book 6
The next book is called The Rise of Evil Special: And Then There Were Four.
The whole series can be found here.
Thanks for sticking with the Rise of Evil series!