|The Evil Rising Saga|
|Preceded by: |
The Rise of Evil: Five
|The VanishClan Games: One||Succeded by: |
The VanishClan Games: Two
Blackpaw - Black-and-white tom with amber eyes.
Lilypaw - Beautiful white she-cat with pale blue eyes.
Pinepaw - Dark tabby she-cat with amber eyes.
Shinepaw - Beautiful pale amber she-cat with mismatched green and blue eyes.
Cloudpaw - Fluffy white tom with blue eyes.
Racepaw - Brown tom with mismatched amber and green eyes.
Frostpaw - Light grey tom with amber eyes.
Palepaw - Pale cream tabby she-cat with green eyes.
Grasspaw - Dark brown tom with blue eyes.
Ashpaw - Dark grey tom with pale green eyes.
Oilvepaw - Pretty cream she-cat with pale olive eyes.
Snowpaw - White she-cat with dark amber eyes.
Mistpaw - Beautiful silver she-cat with pale blue eyes.
Hawkpaw - Brown tom with amber eyes.
Stonepaw - Dark tabby tom with green eyes.
Birdpaw - Dark brown she-cat with blue-grey eyes.
Firepaw - Ginger tom with vivid green eyes.
Splotchpaw - Black-and-white tom with blue eyes.
Cats Outside Clans
Huttor - Spanish tom with pale grey fur and mismatched pale amber and pale green eyes.
Hutch - Dark brown tabby tom with pale amber eyes.
Malestrom - White tom with blue eyes.
Bettie - Dark ginger she-cat with amber eyes.
Marina - White she-cat with pale blue-grey eyes.
Scurge - Dark brown tom with a scar over one eye.
Bernard - Dark brown tabby tom with dark brown eyes.
Many seasons ago, a young cat called Bloodfur patrolled his territory alone, deep in thought. His sister, Nettlefang, had just given birth to three kits that he just knew were half-Clan, and he was furious. When they were kits, his parents had always told him to 'be nice to his sister, because she was his friend and littermate'. Bloodfur didn't agree. He didn't believe in loyalty or friendship with your kin, and Nettlefang was breaking his treasure warrior code. Bloodfur longed to kill the traitorous she-cat and her stupid kits. He could just see it now, their fragile bodies cracking under his claws, blood pooling in the dirt...
"Bloodfur," said a regal voice behind him. He spun around, staring at the pale ginger tom standing there.
"Stretchstar," he greeted his leader. "What can I do for you?" His mind began whirring suddenly, spurred on by a brilliant idea.
"I was looking for you. What are you doing wandering so far from camp?"
"Just thinking," Bloodfur answered softly. "About lots of important things. The other Clans don't fear us, Stretchstar, and they should. I have a plan which could change all that."
"Being feared and hated is never a good thing, young one," Stretchstar informed the tom, his voice wise with age. "You would do well to curb your anger."
Bloodfur tilted his head sideways. "I'm sure you're right," he said at last. "But just imagine - we would take one of their apprentices each moon, and force it to battle other cats, and badgers... snakes, even! They would live in fear of us. And better still, we could say that StarClan told us to do it!"
Stretchstar stared at his deputy. "Force it to battle other cats, Bloodfur? You speak of these apprentices as though they were not true cats. I don't like this new side of you."
Bloodfur raised his lip in the hint of a snarl. "Is that so? Well, I have a feeling you're about to like me even less." His voice dripped with menace as he stalked towards his leader. "It's time for me to rule this Clan, Stretchstar. Old fools like you will only get in the way of a new age. My new and glorious dawn shall rise, dripping with the blood of leaders who are past." His words had the ring of a prophecy, and Stretchstar backed away, suddenly fearful of his own deputy.
Blackpaw pounced onto his friend Snowpaw, then rolled off her. He scrambled to his feet, and turned to flee, only to be brought down by Shadowpaw. Shadowpaw's sisters, Lilypaw and Pinepaw were watching nearby. Blackpaw purred, and scrambled away from Shadowpaw, running at Icepaw. The apprentices of WonderClan were having a play fight in the middle of the camp. For Dawnpaw, Cloudpaw and Icepaw, this might be their last play as apprentices. Their warrior ceremony would be very soon. Blackpaw couldn't wait until he could be an apprentice. Snowpaw was the next oldest. She would be having her apprentice ceremony alone, when she had it. Snowpaw's brother Leopardkit had been murdered by GorgonClan before he became an apprentice. Blackpaw's sister, Daisykit, had also been killed. Shadowpaw, Lilypaw and Pinepaw were the youngest, having only just become apprentices.
Suddenly, as Blackpaw and the other apprentices scuffled, a stranger entered the camp. He had a copper coloured pelt, and glowing amber eyes. He approached Oakleaf immediatly, and asked to speak with Lightstar.
Blackpaw sat up, and watched warily as the cat passed and went into the nursery. As soon as the strange cat had left the clearing, Blackpaw bounded over to Oakleaf, followed by Cloudpaw and Shadowpaw.
"Who was he?" asked Cloudpaw.
"Bloodstar, leader of VanishClan. I've never heard of him, but maybe Lightstar has." Oakleaf replied, looking grim.
It wasn't long before Lightstar emerged from the nursery and spoke to Oakleaf. Soon after, Oakleaf climbed the Rock, and called the Clan to him.
"Bloodstar, leader of VanishClan, has offered to let WonderClan partake in their annual Games. Lightstar has agreed to his offer. StarClan will send a sign to Lightstar tonight. Three apprentices from WonderClan will be chosen. They will travel to VanishClan with Bloodstar. Once there, they will be assessed, and only the best apprentice will represent WonderClan in the Games."
Blackpaw looked around at the other apprentices. He could understand that VanishClan might want other Clans to participate in their games, but he couldn't understand why they would want apprentices. Blackpaw and the others could only wait, and see what the morning would bring.
The next morning, Blackpaw, Dawnpaw, Cloudpaw, Icepaw, Snowpaw, Shadowpaw, Lilypaw and Pinepaw gathered around the nursery. They didn't have to wait long before Lightstar emerged. Blackpaw looked behind him, and realised that the rest of the Clan were there too, watching.
Lightstar stretched, and spoke, looking almost sad.
"StarClan has sent me a sign while I slept. The chosen cats are Blackpaw, Lilypaw and Pinepaw."
Blackpaw's mouth dropped open in shock. He hadn't even imagined that StarClan might choose him. Now what would he do?
Bloodstar approached. Blackpaw had just finished saying goodbyes, as had Lilypaw and Pinepaw.
"Come, young apprentices." Bloodstar meowed. "Come with me."
Blackpaw hurried after Bloodstar through the forest. Lilypaw and Pinepaw were falling behind, but Bloodstar had said that they were almost there. Blackpaw watched as Bloodstar stopped in front of a gap in some brambles, and thrust his way through. Blackpaw peered through the brambles, as did Lilypaw and Pinepaw. Bloodstar stood in front of another Clan, telling their leader, a pure black tom with eyes as black as his fur, about the Games.
"This must be GorgonClan, and that must be Fangstar!" Pinepaw hissed. All three WonderClan apprentices had heard stories about GorgonClan and their leader.
Fangstar was pacing in front of his apprentices, obviously asking them what they thought. Blackpaw strained his ears to hear what Fangstar was saying.
Tha apprentice in front of Fangstar mumbled something.
Blackpaw stiffened, peering at the spotted golden apprentice in front of Fangstar. Blackpaw had only been a moon old when Snowpaw's brother had been killed, but he still had vague memories of gold fur. Could this GorgonClan apprentice be WonderClan's missing kit? Blackpaw listened harder.
Owlpaw replied softly, and Fangstar moved on to the last apprentice.
Blackpaw's mind was in turmoil. He had no doubt that Leopardpaw and Daisypaw of GorgonClan were the missing WonderClan kits, who had vanished long ago without a trace. If he was right, then Daisypaw was his sister. Blackpaw hoped that one of them would be chosen to come to the Games.
Bloodstar pushed his way back out of the camp.
"We will spend the night here." he announced.
Blackpaw couldn't sleep. All night he tossed and turned. Eventually, he couldn't stand it any longer. Blackpaw leapt to his feet, and pushed his way into the GorgonClan camp.
"I was hoping you would come." said a voice.
Blackpaw looked up, and gasped as he saw Fangstar towering over him.
"You guessed correctly." Fangstar continued. "Leopardpaw and Daisypaw were once WonderClan cats."
"Could I speak to them?" Blackpaw asked.
Fangstar shook his head. "I am sorry, but I cannot let you do that. Who are your mother and father, young one?"
"My name's Blackpaw." Blackpaw said firmly. "My mother is Hopeheart and my father is Sparkfire."
"What of the other two apprentices with you?" Fangstar asked. He looked almost desperate.
"Lilypaw and Pinepaw. Their mother is Gorsecloud."
"What about their father?" Fangstar hissed.
Blackpaw shrugged. "I don't know."
Fangstar let out a breath. "You should go now. Goodbye, Blackpaw."
Blackpaw muttered a goodbye, and slid back to his Clanmates.
The next morning, three GorgonClan apprentices emerged from the camp to join Bloodstar. Blackpaw was disappointed to see that his sister was not among them. He would have liked the chance to talk to her. Maybe she could come back to WonderClan? Blackpaw didn't know. When he left Lightstar had been talking about peace treaties with the other Clan leaders. Blackpaw was beginning to wish that StarClan hadn't chosen him for this journey. Still, there was always the hope that he would fail the tests at the GorgonClan camp.
"Hi." one of the GorgonClan apprentices meowed. "I'm Cloudpaw. That's my sister Shinepaw and our friend Racepaw."
"Hi." Blackpaw meowed. "I'm Blackpaw, and this is Lilypaw and Pinepaw."
Cloudpaw nodded hello to Lilypaw and Pinepaw, then kept talking to Blackpaw.
"Where do you think we're going now? I think we might be going to get apprentices from the other Clans!"
Blackpaw listened as Cloudpaw kept talking. In spite of his chattering, Blackpaw was startled to find that he quite liked the GorgonClan apprentice. Cloudpaw was very friendly, and Blackpaw began to feel less nervous about what was ahead. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if he had someone to talk to. Of course, there was always Lilypaw and Pinepaw, but they were a lot younger than Blackpaw, and they were she-cats. Blackpaw liked Cloudpaw a lot. Racepaw, the other tom in the little group, seemed wary, nervous, angry and sad all at the same time. Cloudpaw explained, in hushed tones, that VanishClan had taken Racepaw's brother, Skidpaw. Blackpaw was apalled by the way all these cats seemed to just accept that VanishClan stole their cats, and deal with it. Blackpaw wouldn't let any cat steal someone from his Clan!
Blackpaw was talking to Cloudpaw again when they arrived at the next camp.
"MoonClan." Cloudpaw whispered. "Told you so."
Blackpaw looked around the MoonClan camp. He had never heard of MoonClan, or VanishClan either.
"Have your three apprentices been chosen, Moonstar?" Bloodstar asked the silvery she-cat who seemed to be MoonClan's leader.
Moonstar nodded, and gestured with her tail. Three cats stepped forward.
"Frostpaw, Palepaw and Grasspaw will be joining you." she announced.
Blackpaw looked over the cats. Frostpaw was light grey, with amber eyes. He looked big, strong, and arrogant. Palepaw, on the other hand, looked weak and small. Frostpaw saw Blackpaw's glance at Palepaw, and drew closer to her, swiping his tongue protectively over her ear. Blackpaw wondered if Palepaw was Frostpaw's sister. They didn't look very similar.
"Hi!" Cloudpaw meowed.
Blackpaw turned to see who his friend was talking to, and saw the dark brown tom who was the third MoonClan apprentice. Grasspaw, Blackpaw remembered.
"Hello." Grasspaw replied.
"I'm Cloudpaw, that's my sister Shinepaw, and my Clanmate Racepaw." Cloudpaw informed Grasspaw, pointing with his tail.
"And I'm Blackpaw, and that's Lilypaw and Pinepaw, they're sisters." Blackpaw added.
"I'm Grasspaw, that's Frostpaw, and that's his sister Palepaw." Grasspaw admitted grudgingly.
Blackpaw exchanged a glance with Cloudpaw, happy that they had been able to talk to Grasspaw. Grasspaw seemed a little wary of the other cats. Blackpaw wondered why he wasn't more wary of the other Clans too. He came to the conclusion that it was just because he was a trusting cat. Maybe that was why StarClan had chosen him? Blackpaw had always believed that friendship was more important than Clan boundaries, after all, his father, Sparkfire, had given up being a medecine cat so that he could be with Hopeheart, Blackpaw's mother, and they were both very happy together. But Blackpaw guessed that other cats would be more aware of how different the Clans were. After all, it wasn't like they lived in harmony, or even that nearby each other. Blackpaw almost wished that the Clans could live near one another, maybe it would be fun.
"Blackpaw!" Lilypaw's young voice jolted him out of his thoughts.
"Yes?" Blackpaw asked.
"Look!" Lilypaw announced. "I think I can see the next camp!"
Blackpaw squinted ahead.
"You are right, young cat." Bloodstar announced. "That is the camp of RainClan. Their apprentices are waiting for us."
Blackpaw could just make out three small shapes in front of the camp. Soon, they were there.
"Hi!" Cloudpaw announced himself to a dark grey tom. "I'm Cloudpaw, that's my sister Shinepaw, and our Clanmate Racepaw."
The tom ignored Cloudpaw, and turned away.
"Bit unfriendly." Blackpaw whispered.
"Don't worry." Cloudpaw replied. "We'll be there soon."
A while had passed, and all the cats were now approaching the land where they would be tested. The VanishClan and SunClan apprentices had joined them, making three from every Clan.
"You shall be tested on your hunting and fighting abilities." Bloodstar told all the cats. "The strongest apprentice from each Clan will be the one to participate in the Games."
Blackpaw swallowed nervously. He suspected that he was stronger and faster that Lilypaw and Pinepaw, and that was what made him nervous.
"Don't worry." Cloudpaw whispered. "You'll be fine."
"You may begin with hunting." Bloodstar commanded. "Every cat shall catch as many pieces of prey as they can. You must put them all in a pile here. You have five minutes. Begin."
Blackpaw raced off, followed by many other apprentices. He didn't know half their names.
Soon, Blackpaw caught a couple of mice. He dashed back to the clearing with the mice, and laid them down in an enpty spot. He was startled to see that one pile already contained several squirrels and a vole. That apprentice must be a great hunter.
Blackpaw dashed off again, but he was too busy worrying to do very well. When at last he returnedfor the last time, and Bloodstar called a halt, Blackpaw had only caught very little prey.
Bloodstar walked around, looking through all the piles. At last, he announced the results.
"For SunClan, Birdpaw and Firepaw shall be going through into the next round. For VanishClan, I congratulate Mistpaw and Hawkpaw. The RainClan cats will be Ashpaw and Olivepaw. MoonClan shall be Frostpaw and Palepaw. GorgonClan, Shinepaw and Cloudpaw. And finally, the WonderClan cats going through shall be Blackpaw and Lilypaw. Splotchpaw, Stonepaw, Snowpaw, Grasspaw, Racepaw and Pinepaw shall be going home."
Blackpaw followed Bloodstar to the fighting arena. Cloudpaw said a brief goodbye to his brother, Racepaw, and Lilypaw and Pinepaw also touched noses. Blackpaw had no time to see what the other cats were doing, instead concentrating on himself.
"Every cat shall fight the other from their own Clan." Bloodstar announced. "The winners from each Clan will participate in the Games."
Blackpaw exchanged an appalled glance with Lilypaw, reading the message in her eyes clearly. I don't want to fight you! he yowled in his head.
"Begin!" Bloodstar announced.
Blackpaw crouched, waiting for Lilypaw to attack. She was smaller and lighter than him, but probably faster, so it would be to his advantage if he had a defensive strategy. Lilypaw crouched too, her pale blue eyes darting everywhere warily. Suddenly, she leapt rapidly at Blackpaw. He ducked, and rolled away from his Clanmate, beginning to feel a sense of normality about this. It was just like the many training bouts he had done at home, with his mentor, Beavertooth. He crouched low as Lilypaw leaped again, and she flew over his head, her paws skidding on the dusty ground behind him. Blackpaw jumped up, spinning in midair, and pinned her down with two paws on her side.
Bloodstar padded over, his eyes gleaming. "Good, Blackpaw. Lilypaw, head over there with the other losers," he sneered. His voice wasn't so nice anymore.
Blackpaw narrowed his eyes, then touched his nose to Lilypaw's. "Daisypaw and Leopardpaw from GorgonClan," he hissed. "You have to tell Lightstar about them. Understand?"
Lilypaw nodded. "I promise," she said softly. "Good luck."
Blackpaw watched as she padded away, then he sat down on the dusty grouns, tucking his tail around his paws, and wondering what was going to happen to him.
End of Book 1
Book 2 is called The VanishClan Games: Two.
The whole series can be found here.
Thanks for reading.