|End of the Clans|
|Preceded by: |
|Wavering Loyalty||Succeded by: |
A War That Never Ends
Medicine Cat: Leopardheart
Medicine Cat: Rabbitclaw
Medicine Cat: Hawktalon
Medicine Cat: Littleclaw
I run through the trees. My name is Runningstar. I am the leader of FrostClan. My warrior name was Runningwind. I was named for my agility and speed. Guilt weighs on me, like a stone. I was sneaking out, to meet Stoneheart.We were a little more than just friends. Me and Stoneheart. I sigh. All I wanted was to give up my position as leader to Crowfoot. He would make a good leader.
Crowfoot was wise, and strong. But there was a problem. I had five lives left. I wanted to stay in FrostClan, and Stoneheart wanted to stay in StoneClan. FrostClan wouldn't trust me, if they found out about me and Stoneheart's relationship.I had heard legends about other Clans. They had been called ThunderClan, RiverClan, WindClan, and ShadowClan. There were legends about them. Legends about a cat named Firestar.
Legends about three cats who had been the most powerful in the forest. Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Dovewing. I didn't know if these legends were true. But I wanted to believe them. I didn't even know what to do anymore. FrostClan, had barely survived this leafbare. Cats had died of starvations. The responsibility of leader weighed very heavily on me these days. As I neared StoneClan territory my heartbeat quickened.
What if Snowstar caught me, and announced it at the Gathering? FrostClan would fall apart. They were very suspicious these days. Especially the queens in FrostClan. They were very mistrustful. But one cat over them all, was the most suspicious. Moonshine. He was heavy, with Eaglefeather's kits.
This would be her first litter. She would eye other cats suspiciously. If they weren't in FrostClan, of course. All the cats from FrostClan would eye cats from other Clans suspiciously. But Moonshine was different. She would act, differently. Even before Moonshine became a queen she did. She would immeidiatley act hostile and bristle, baring her teeth, never taking her eyes off of them.
Even when it was just a Medicine Cat, that was coming to speak with the leader. I don't know why Moonshine does that. I then stop at the border of StoneClan's territory. I see Stoneheart, making his way down to me. "Hello, Runningstar." Rumbled Stoneheart. "Stoneheart." I breath, nuzzling him.
Stoneheart's expression melted into one of concern. "Runningstar, I'm not supposed to tell you this, but, Snowstar is accusing FrostClan of stealing prey." My eyes widen. "My Clan has not been stealing StoneClan's prey!" She exclaimed. "I know, I know." Said Stoneheart. "But, we may have to battle." He said. I dip my head, sadly.
I look at Runningstar. My name is Stoneheart. I am deputy of StoneClan. My name is Stoneheart, because Snowstar, thought that my heart was as cold as stone itself. But that's not true. I'm probably the most loyal one in StoneClan. Snowstar has always been hungry for battle. But I'm not. I don't know why Snowstar, always wants to battle. He just does.
But I'm worried. Snowstar is on his last life, and his looking for a battle. If he dies, then I'll become leader. I want to join FrostClan, but I'm worried that they won't trust me. The warriors of StoneClan trust me with their lives. And I trust them with mine. When I really think I about, I realize that my Clan needs me more than Runningstar ever will. My Clan keeps telling me to get a mate.
I want no other mate besides Runningstar. But how could I be her mate, if she was from another Clan? And especially if she was a Clan leader? I didn't know what to do. "Let's stay here for the night." I say. Me and Runningstar curl up, and fall alseep, together. The next morning I have to wake Runningstar up. She-cats always seemed to sleep in.
"It's time to leave." I whisper to Runningstar. She looks up. "Okay." She mumbles, yawning and stretching. "Goodbye, Stoneheart," she whispers to him. I frown. "What do you mean? We'll see each other again another night." Pain fills Runningstar's eyes.
"We can't keep meeting up like this." She says. Pain tugs at my heart. "But why?" I ask. "No one knows." Runningstar looks at her paws. "But they could find out sooner or later. And it's best if we forget about each other. Especially if we have to fight each other."
Pain fills my heart. "Why have you changed? Last night, you wanted to be with me." I say. Runningstar sighs. "I had a dream. If we stay together, it could be a disaster." She says. I want to cry out in pain. "This is hard for me too," Runningstar continues, "but we have to do what is best for our Clans. We have to listen to the code." I can't meet her eyes. The worst part about this is, that I know she's right.
"I'll never stop loving you." I whisper. Runningstar looks away from me. "It'll probably just be easier for you, if you move on." She says. I look back up at her. "But-but, I love you." Runningstar looks back at me, pain fresh in her eyes. "I love you too. But I have to move on. I'm sorry, Stoneheart." She turns and runs back into FrostClan territory.
I can't look back. Not at him. I just have to get back to FrostClan. It all happened so fast. I had rejected him. For my Clan. I couldn't love him. I had to forget about him. He had to forget about me. If only I weren't a leader. Then, maybe I could have joined StoneClan if I was just a warrior.
When I get back to camp, the Clan was just waking up. Crowfoot is awake. "You're up early." Said Crowfoot, as he came out of the warriors den. He hadn't seen me sneak back in. Good. I nod. "Has the dawn patrol already left?" I ask. Crowfoot shakes his head.
"No. I was just about to lead one to check the border by PineClan." I nod. "Okay." A loud yowl sounds from the nursery. Leopardheart runs out of it, into the Medicine Den, grabs something, and then runs back into the nursery. Eaglefeather, is pacing back and forth, anxiously. "Moonshine is kitting?" I guess. Crowfoot nods. "Yup." He then goes to the entrance of the camp, where Icetail, and Hazelwhisker are waiting.
I decide to send a hunting patrol out. "Willowleaf will you lead a hunting patrol with Brindlefrost, and Silverpaw?" Willowleaf nods. "Yes." She said. Silverpaw's ears pricked. "Hunting!" She exclaims. Brindlefrost pads over. "Calm down, Silverpaw." She says. Willowleaf leads Brindlefrost and Silverpaw out of the camp. I can't stop thinking about the dream I had.
In my dream, me and Stoneheart had been sitting together. All around us the Clans were battling. The stench of death had been overwhelming, and blood had been spilled everywhere. Then, me and Stoneheart had been separated into our separate Clans, and everything was normal. I had taken it, as a sign that me and Stoneheart shouldn't be together. No matter how much it hurt to push him away.
Leopardheart rushes back out of the nursery and into the Medicine Cat den, before running back to the nursery. Eaglefeather opens his jaws to ask her something, but she pushes past him, into the nursery. I can sense the panic and distress coming from Eaglefeather. Flamewhisker, Eaglefeather's friend, nudged him reassuringly.
I watch FrostClan, proudly. How could I think about leaving? These cats respected, and trusted one another. A yowl of fear erupts from Silverpaw, as she hurtles into camp. "Silverpaw, what is it?" I ask, urgently. Silverpaw looks up at me with wide eyes. "StoneClan is attacking!" She yowls. "They're heading for the camp!" My eyes widen. Stoneheart had warned me about this.
"How big is their attack patrol?" I demand. Silverpaw hesitates, trying to remember. "I don't know, maybe, nine, or ten warriors being led by Snowstar!" I nod. "Good work Silverpaw." Crowfoot's border patrol bounds into camp. "We heard." Growls, Crowfoot. Willowleaf and Brindlefrost bound into the camp. "They're coming!" Yowls Brindlefrost. "We need to stop them before they reach camp!"
Cold fear creeps up along my spine. Why did StoneClan have to attack now? Leopardheart wasn't available, and FrostClan was weak. Oh, StarClan help us! I think urgently.
I trot beside Snowstar, as he leads us into battle. Three FrostClan cats had seen them, and had gone to warn Runningstar. I'm guessing a battle patrol will meet us halfway to FrostClan's camp. I then hear paws racing through the foreset, coming towards us. "I hear them!" I hiss. Snowstar pricks his ears, and bares his teeth. "StoneClan, attack!" He screeched, as Runningstar's patrol came into view.
"FrostClan, attack!" Yowled Runningstar, flinging herself into battle. I let out a furious hiss, as I throw myself at a FrostClan warrior. I recognize them as Flamewhisker from a Gathering. Flamewhisker scrapes his claws across my back. I yowl in pain, as he then pounces on me. I fling my hind legs up into the air, knocking Flamewhisker off my back. While Flamewhisker was on the ground, I pounced, tearing at his belly.
Flamewhisker hissed, clawing with his forepaw at my nose. I let out a furious hiss, and tear at Flamewhisker's chest. I felt someone tear me off of him. I whirl around to face my attacker. I realize it's Runningstar. "I can't fight you I whisper." Runningstar's eyes widen, as she realizes it's me. "Watch out!" I shriek as Snowstar pounces on her, grabbing her neck, and biting down hard. Snowstar is bigger than Runningstar.
She was dying. I saw as Runningstar's legs buckled and collapsed. "NO!" I yowl, flinging myself at Snowstar. I hear a gasp from StoneClan, as I knock him off of Runningstar, and claw at his face. Everyone had stopped fighting. My brother, Foxfern looks at me, with a confused expression on his face. "Stoneheart, what are you doing?" He asked. All of the StoneClan and FrostClan warriors were staring at me.
I'm speechless. "I-I-I didn't...It-it's not what it looks like!" I stammer. Snowstar glares at me, unsheathing his claws. "Stoneheart, what is going on?" He asked, his voice cold and deadly. Everyone in StoneClan was glaring at me. I stand tall, and straight. "Snowstar, was breaking the code. You do not have to kill to win battles, and he was killing Runningstar! She was dying, and he knew it!" I snarl.
I don't know if I'm just seeing things, but I see a flicker of fear cross Snowstar's gaze. But it was gone, just as quick as it appeared. Blossompelt glares at me and snarls, "It's also against the warrior code to have friends from other Clans!" Snowstar nods in agreement with Blossompelt. "Blossompelt is right!" He growls. Foxfern gives Snowstar and Blossompelt a sharp look.
"But Snowstar, was about to kill Runningstar. KILL." He said. The StoneClan warriors began whispering with one another, casting glances, at me or Snowstar. Finally Thorncloud lifts his head high. "Both Stoneheart and Snowstar have broken the warrior code." Thorncloud looks straight at me. "How long have you and Runningstar been meeting together, secretly." My jaw drops. "How did you know?!" I ask.
Thorncloud's whiskers twitch. "I was just guessing, but I know now." He said. Anger surges through me. Thorncloud had always been quite clever. I meet his gaze. "For a couple of moons. But Runningstar had a sign from StarClan last night that we should stop visiting each other. So we did." I say. There was a long silence, before Snowstar hissed one word at me. "Exile."
Anger surges through me. Snowstar had broken the code just like Stoneheart! He didn't have the right to exile Stoneheart, when he had done the same thing! I see Stoneheart's brother Foxfern, glares at Snowstar. "You can't do that! You broke the code just as well!" He hisses, mimicking my thoughts. I nod. "Foxfern is right," I say. "Snowstar, you have broken the code as well! If you exile Stoneheart, you exile yourself!"
Murmurs of agreement rose throughout StoneClan. I hear Mosspelt hiss behind me, "Snowstar has never been a fair leader!" I see anger flash across Snowstar's face. I see Blacktooth glare at Snowstar. "Snowstar...you have tortured StoneClan ever since you became leader! You should be the who's in exile!" Yowls of agreement rose throughout StoneClan. Wolfclaw walked to stand beside Blacktooth.
"I'm with him!" He yowled. "Who else?" All the warriors of StoneClan stood by Blacktooth and Wolfclaw. Stoneheart did as well. Snowstar pinned his ears against his head. "What are you doing? You are loyal to me!" Stoneheart glared at him. "Not any more." He hisses. I glare at Snowstar. "FrostClan, never took any prey from StoneClan's territory! You set it up! Just to settle your bloodthirsty, quest for power!"
Crowfoot nods. "Runningstar is right!" Stoneheart glared at Snowstar. "Exile." He hissed. Snowstar let out a furious hiss, "You can't exile me!" Foxfern let out a hiss of anger. "You've been bullying us, for many, many moons, Snowstar! Your reign is over! It's time the other Clans know about your abuse, and unfairness!" StoneClan then, chased Snowstar. I smile. I know that with Stoneheart as leader, StoneClan will thrive.
"FrostClan, back to camp!" I yowl, leading my Clan, back to our camp. When we got back there were panicked yowls, and cries of grief. "What is going on?" I demand. Tawnystripe came over to them, eyes wide and panicked. "It's Moonshine!" Yowled the queen. "Something's wrong! Leopardheart, can't do anything about it!" Eaglefeather gasped and raced to the nursery.
"Can't do anything about what?" I ask. Tawnystripe shrugs. "I don't know, Leopardheart won't tell anyone." Eaglefeather raced back out. "It's okay, everyone! Moonshine is okay, now!" Mummers of relief flooded the camp. Eaglefather sees my confused look. He comes over to me. "Apparently, something went wrong, while Moonshine, was giving birth. Everything's okay now, though." He said.
"How many kits are there?" I ask. "Two." Replied Eaglefeather. "Their names are Nightkit, and Wolfkit. Nightkit's the female, and Wolfkit's the male." I let out a soft purr. "What about Moonshine?" I ask. "She's okay as well." Said Leopardheart, coming out of the nursery. "Leopardheart!" I exclaim. "Are you alright? You look exhausted." The Medicine Cat shrugs. "I'm fine. Did you win the battle?" She asks.
I nod. "FrostClan won." I say. Leopardheart nods. "It looks like I have some wounds to treat. Let me see your neck." She says. I shake my head. "Check, the warriors first. I can wait."
I run with Foxfern, at the head of the group as we chased Snowstar, out of the Clan's territories. Me and Foxfern began nipping at his heels when he slowed down. After a long, hard chase, Snowstar left the territory. Foxfern nods in satisfaction. "Good thing we're rid of him." Hisses Pikeclaw. Tigerblaze nods in agreement. Foxfern looks at me. "Tonight, you'll receive your nine lives." He purrs. I then suddenly remember.
I was going to be Stonestar! "Let's get back to camp." I say, leading the warriors back to their camp. Lionpaw bounds forward as they enter the camp. "Did you win?" He asks eargly. Lionpaw is my apprentice. I look at him. "Yes, we won." I say. "And Snowstar is gone. He's become a rogue." The Clan begins to gather around me. "Snowstar tried to kill Runningstar. He's been banished."
Yowls of happiness, and freedom arose through the crowd. The elders and queens began to exchange looks full of relief. Foxfern sat beside me. "You did it, Stoneheart!" He purrs. I nod. "You're right! I did do it. I freed StoneClan from Snowstar!" Littleclaw came up, to sit by me. "Tonight, I'll go with you to the Moonpool to receive your nine lives." He says. I nod. "I know." I reply.
That night, me and Littleclaw trekked up to the Moonpool. When we got there, I ask, "What do I do?" Littleclaw looks at me. "Touch your nose to the water." He says. I nod, and do so. When I open my eyes I'm a field. The ranks of StarClan were all around me. "Welcome, Stoneheart." Purred at cat. I turn around. Confusion filled my head. "Who are you?" I ask, the gray tom. He purrs. "You do not know me. My name is Graystripe."
I gasp. "I've heard stories about you!" I exclaim. Graystripe purrs. "I bet you have. With this life, I give you the power to make the right choice." Graystripe touches his nose to mine. I gasp in shock, as grief overwhelms me. I stagger, before standing upright again. I then see a familiar face com forward. I recognize him. "Smokepaw!" I exclaim. He had been teased and framed by Snowstar his entire life.
"With this life, I give you humiliation." Says Smokepaw. My legs buckle at the strength of this life. Smokepaw fades back into the crowd. I then see another cat I've never seen before. "I am Crookedstar." Said the cat. He had a crooked jaw. "With this life I give you endurance." He touches his nose to mine once more. Exhaustion floods me like a wave. Crookedstar slinks back into the crowd.
My face lights up as I see my mother, Mintfrost come forward. "With this life I give you love." I stand erect. I recognize Weedfur as he comes forward. He used to an elder, but died of old age. "With this life, I give you wisdom, use it well." He says. I feel a calm sense of peace wash over me.
Three more cats came forward. Lionblaze, an ancient cat, gave me pride, Stormwhisker, my father, gave me trust, and finally, Bluestar, another ancient cat, gave me hope. "Where's my ninth life?" I ask, confused. Mintfrost looked at me. "Snowstar still has one life left. You will only receive eight." I nod as StarClan begins to chant my new name, "Stonestar, Stonestar, Stonestar!"
I bounde across the tree bridge, to get to the island, where the Clans held the Gathering. It had two moons since StoneClan had launched the attack on FrostClan. Well, I say StoneClan, but what I mean is Snowstar. It had been Snowstar's fault. But now, Stoneheart, now probably Stonestar, was leader. I know he will make a good leader. I then bound up onto the tall oak. "Is everyone here?" Asks Barkstar, the leader of TreeClan. "StoneClan, has yet to come."
Replies Lionstar. "I see them!" I exclaim. Stonestar is leading StoneClan across the tree bridge. He bounds up onto the oak tree, where me, Barkstar, and Lionstar sat. "Sorry I'm late." Says Stonestar. Barkstar sighs. "Where is Snowstar?" He asks. Stonestar flicks his tail. "He's a rogue now. He left the Clan." Says Stonestar curtly. Gasps arise from around all four Clans except StoneClan.
"But why would he leave?" Calls Silverstripe, PineClan's deputy. Stonestar shrugs. "I don't know. He has his reasons. But I've gone to the Moonpool, and have received my nine lives." He says. The Clans start the chant his name. "Stonestar, Stonestar, Stonestar!" Stonestar, looks a little flattered. "That's all that's happened in StoneClan, recently." He said, dipping his head.
Lionstar nods. "Prey has been running well, and PineClan has been doing well." He says. He motions for Barkstar to go. Barkstar nods. "Prey has been running well, for PineClan as well. We also have two new apprentices. Patchpaw and Sunpaw!" The Clans congratulated them. "Patchpaw, Sunpaw, Patchpaw, Sunpaw!" Barkstar motions for me to go. I dip my head, respectfully to him.
"Prey has also, been running well for FrostClan. Two new kits have been born. Nightkit and Wolfkit." I say. It was part of the tradition to chant the name of new kits, apprentices, warriors, deputies, or leaders. The Clans chant for Nightkit and Wolfkit. "This Gathering is over!" Yowls Barkstar. The Clans then seperate to follow their leaders. I see Stonestar glance at me, and beckon for me to come over. I nod, and turn to Crowfoot.
"Crowfoot, could you lead the Clan back to camp? There is some business I need to take care of." Crowfoot nods. "Of course." He says. "FrostClan, follow me!" He yowls and leads them away. I see Stonestar hiding behind a bush. I run over to him. "What is wrong with you?" I hiss. Stonestar gives me an odd look. "You know what this is about." He says.
"No, I don't!" I hiss. But deep down, I really do. Stonestar still wanted me to be his mate. "When I gained my nine lives, I was given a life for love, and I want to use it." He says. I glare at him. "Then go find a mate in StoneClan!" I snarl. "But I want you." He says. If I'm being honest, I want him to be my mate as well. But I remember my vision. "I can't." I whisper. "If I we do, it will be the end. I had that vision for a reason." I say. Stonestar gives me a pleading look. "Just give me a chance. Meet me here tomorrow night." He says, bounding away. I sigh.
I walk across the tree bridge to meet Runningstar. I hope she decided to come. I want her to tell me about her dream, and why us being together could cause horrible things. I wait behind a bush at the island. I see her walking towards me. She came! Relief floods through me. "What was you dream about?" I ask her, as she sits down by me. "It was a horrible dream. We were sitting together, and all of the Clans around us were battling. Blood was everywhere."
Runningstar has a longing look in her eyes. "I want to be with you. I really do. But...I think StarClan gave me that vision as a warning, that if we're together, something terrible will happen." I nod, understanding. "Runningstar, will you be my mate?" I ask. Runningstar nods. "Of course I will. I love you Stonestar. I always have." I'm surprised. "What about your dream?" I ask. She shrugs. "I could have just been a nightmare."
Our tails twine, and our noses touch under the full moon. "Let's get back to our Clans." Says Runningstar. "Let's meet here again in two nights." I nod. "Okay." I say. We then walk back to our seperate Clans.
I wait on the Highrock, impatiently. Littleclaw was coming back from his half moon meeting with Leopardheart, Hawktalon, and Rabbitclaw. He bursts into camp, his eyes wide. "Stonestar, I need to talk to you." He growls. This seems serious. "Come into my den, and we can talk." I say. Me and Littleclaw go into my den. Littleclaw narrowes his eyes. "StarClan, has been more direct with me than ever before." He says.
I nod. "Go on." I say. Littleclaw glares at me. "I saw you and Runningstar at the Gathering Place last night! How could you betray us?" He hisses. My eyes go wide. How did Littleclaw find out? "I can explain!" I say, quickly thinking. "Runningstar, was telling me, that she scented some StoneClan warriors on FrostClan territory." Littleclaw narrows his eyes. "And why would she just not announce it at the Gathering, when everyone was listening?"
I'm trying to think of an excuse. While I am Littleclaw continues talking, "After everything Snowstar did to us, how could you betray us, Stonestar." Littleclaw spits the word 'Stonestar'. "I'm going to tell FrostClan everything!" He hisses. Littleclaw runs out of camp. StoneClan has angry, hurt looks on their faces. Especially my brother, Foxfern. "We heard everything!" Hisses Blossomheart. "How could you do this?" Wails Foxfern.
Guilt pierces me like a thorn. I run out of camp. I have to get to FrostClan, before Littleclaw does. When I get at their camp, Littleclaw has already told them everything. FrostClan glares at me and Runningstar. StoneClan has come over too, following me. They corner me and Runningstar, hissing and spitting. "StoneClan attack!" Yowls Foxfern. But StoneClan doesn't attack me. They attack FrostClan.
"FrostClan attack!" Hisses Crowfoot. I realize that StoneClan would easily overpower FrostClan's weakened warriors. But why would they do this? And then it hit me. StoneClan wanted to rule the forest. Snowstar had such an effect on them, they had gone crazy. And after what they found out I had done....This was bad. I still didn't know the entire reason they were doing this. But they were. "We have to get help from TreeClan and PineClan!" I yowl to Runningstar.
I nod at Stonestar. "I know! Let's go!" I don't even bother to check if Stonestar is following, as I run full sprint into PineClan territory. It doesn't take me to long, as I burst into their camp. "What is going on?" Hisses the confused deputy, Silverstripe. "No time to explain, but we need help! FrostClan, is getting destroyed by StoneClan. It happened very fast, and StoneClan attacked FrostClan. We need help!"
Silverstripe nods. "There have always been four Clans in the forest. There's no reason for that to change now." He summons some warriors. "Where is it at?" He asks. "In FrostClan territory." I reply. Silverstripe's eyes narrow. "How do I know that your not trying to set us up?" He growls. I roll my eyes. "Have you seen my warriors? They're weaker than yours! You'd win easily if I was!" I hiss.
Silverstripe sighs. "Okay, let's go." Him and his patrol lets me lead them to FrostClan territory. I gasp. TreeClan is there too. Foxfern bared his teeth. "We figured you'd ask PineClan for help." The battle was in the field, in FrostClan territory. "TreeClan, StoneClan, attack!" He hisses. I raise my head high. "FrostClan, PineClan, attack!" The Clans lunge at each other, screeching and hissing.
And me and Stonestar are in the middle of it all. My vision has come true.