|Preceded by:||What if there was a new warrior code||Succeeded by:
A new code had come to the clans…. but not everyone is willing to accept it. Lakeshadow tries to keep it all in order, but Ivyheart is willing to do whatever it takes to stop her. Sky tries to find more of her past, and why her fur is so unusual, but to understand it, she will have to confront her real kin….
Leader: Flowerstar - ginger-and-white tabby she-cat
Deputy: Rowanhop - mottled light brown tom
Medicine Cat: Redpelt - reddish-ginger tom
Juniperstone - dark brown-and-white tabby tom
Snakestrike - yellow tabby tom
Tansyleaf - gray-and-white she-cat
Thrushfeather - mottled brown tom
Acorntail - dark brown she-cat
Leafstem - cream-colored she-cat
Heronwing - black tom
Berrystrike - yellow she-cat
Pebbleheart - gray tom. Apprentice, Nightpaw
Hawkfeather - spotted dark brown she-cat
Larkflower - black she-cat
Brackenstorm - brown tom, former ShadowClan leader
Cedarstripe - brown tabby tom, former ShadowClan deputy
Dappleleaf - tortoiseshell she-cat, formerly ShadowClan
Rootheart - yellow tom, formerly ShadowClan
Sparrowfur - brown tom, formerly ShadowClan
Ivyheart - tortoiseshell she-cat
Rainpelt - gray-and-white she-cat with darker gray flecks
Nightpaw - black she-cat with green eyes
Birdfeather - gray-and-black tabby she-cat, mother to Juniperstone’s kits, Stripekit (gray-and-black tabby she-kit), and Moonkit (gray-and-black tabby tom), fostering Sunkit (golden tom-kit), Wrenkit (dark brown she-kit), and Mousekit (dark brown tom-kit)
Smallflight - cream she-cat, mother to Rowanhop’s kits, Creamkit (cream colored she-kit), Rabbitkit (small brown tom-kit) Whistlekit (dark cream she-kit), and Mottlekit (mottled brown tom-kit)
Mouseleap - brown tom
Eaglespring - pale brown tom
Leader: Ivystar - dark tortoiseshell she-cat
Deputy: Troutfin - silver tom
Medicine Cat: N/A
Gorsepelt - brown tom
Doelight - long-legged brown she-cat
Mintfeather - small mottled gray tabby she-cat with blue eyes
Larchbranch - dark brown tom
Irisfern - black-and-white she-cat
Pouncestream - black-and-white tom
Brindlefur - mottled brown-and-ginger tabby she-cat.
Waterwave - pale blue-gray she-cat
Fintail - light brown tabby ton
Reedflash - black tom
Leopardheart - golden she-cat with darker spots and amber eyes, expecting Grasstail of WindClan’s kits
Leader: Birchstar - cream colored she-cat with dark brown stripes, like a birch tree
Deputy: Snowyfoot - white she-cat
Medicine Cat: Spottedstem - ginger,black-and-white spotted she-cat. Apprentice - Harefoot- pale gray tom
Volefur - small black tom. Apprentice, Grasspaw
Silverheart - silver she-cat with blue-green eyes
Heathercoat - pale brown tabby she-cat
Mousebright - brown tom
Crowflight - big dark gray, almost black, tom. Apprentice, Leafpaw
Sandshine - sand colored she-cat
Frondleaf - gray-and-white tom
Thymewillow - dark gray she-cat with yellow eyes
Grasstail - gray-and-white tom
Harefoot - pale gray tom
Leafpaw - calico she-cat
Eagletalon - old, grizzly, patchy brown tom
Morningshine - silver she-cat
Jumpwhisker - black-and-white tom with a leg that doesn’t work
Leader: Graystar - gray tom with darker spots
Deputy: Lakeshadow -dark gray-and-white she-cat with small darker spots and blue eyes
Medicine Cat: Brightleap - ginger-and-white she-cat. Firecloud - bright ginger she-cat
Scorchbreeze - gray tom
Needlewhisker - silver she-cat, apprentice, Maplepaw
Tinyleaf - white tom, apprentice, Thornpaw
Hollycloud - black she-cat, apprentice, Dovepaw
Seedstorm - pale golden-brown she-cat, apprentice, Jaypaw
Spiketuft - brown tom with spikey fur
Adderstrike - dark brown tabby tom
Willowbark - pale gray tabby she-cat
Thornpaw - brown tom
Jaypaw - pale tabby tom
Dovepaw - pale gray tabby she-cat
Maplepaw - tortoiseshell and white she-cat
Weedwasp - golden-brown tom
Cats Outside the Clans
Fernleaf - dark gray tabby she-cat, formerly of ShadowClan
Sky - pale gray she-cat with fur tipped with white and cyan eyes, formerly of ShadowClan and ThunderClan
The New Code
- Defend your Clan at all costs. Friendships and/or relationships in other Clans are allowed, but they must not stand in the way of battle.
- You must not trespass or take prey in another Clan’s terrirory, unless you have permission.
- Elders, queens, kits and injured cats are fed first. Don’t eat unless they have.
- When half-clan kits became apprentice, they will choose where they want to live. Until then, they stay with their mothers.
- Kits start training at four moons old, however, they can’t go to battle, patrols, missions, or apprentice rank until they are six moons old. Training must be at least six moons from apprenticeship.
- The deputy will become leader after a previous leader dies, retires, or is exiled. They new leader must appoint a new deputy before going to the Moonstone.
- During the night of the full moon, no Clan may attack one another.
- Borders must be marked and checked at least twice every day. Trespassing cats must be chased off, not killed unless necessary.
- Medicine cats, kits, and elders are not to be harmed. If one is in danger, you must not neglect them.
- Obey your leader no matter what. If this leader is not fit to run the Clan, the medicine cat can demote them. But they must have support of any other medicine cats in their Clan, and at least over half their Clanmates.
- No warrior must engage in Kittypet life.
- No matter what, their must be four Clans. Never let one fall.
- Cats are allowed to pass territories on their way to the Moonstone, or just passing through.
Medicine Cat Code
- You may have mates/kits in your Clan or another, but that must not get in the way of your duty.
- Medicine cats cannot participate in fighting Clan battles. However, all medicine cats must learn fighting skills, just in case.
- Medicine cat apprentice must at least have eight moons of training, instead of six, and they cannot be apprenticed before six moons.
- StarClan will send a dream/sign to approve a new apprentice. If they don’t show approval, the cat cannot become a medicine cat apprentice.
- Medicine Cats must never refuse to treat any injured cat, but they don’t have to heal enemies or rivals.
This new code life, it made it easy for some. Instead of being able to do whatever, they now had….rules.
on the other hand, one warrior hated new life.
Ivyheart longed for her apprentice days, where she never was told anything about rules. But then, Lakeshadow, with the help of Leopardheart, made the code. That dreaded code.
Ivyheart was jerked into reality by Minkhaze, who swiped at her nose. Ivyheart ducked just in time, but the Dark Forest she-cat bowled her over, slashing with her back legs and pinning the ThunderClan cat.
“Now, what do we do we do?” Minkhaze asked.
”This” Ivyheart brought her legs underneath Minkhaze, and kicked out with all her strength, flinging the pale brown cat away. Ivyheart sprung up and rammed her into a tree, repeatedly slamming her head over and over, until Minkhaze slid down in defeat. The tortoiseshell car grinned and put a paw down on her chest. “I win”
”Not so quite” Minkhaze whispered, and flipped over onto her belly, causing Ivyheart to stumble and land on her. Hissing, the two rolled around in a storm of claws. No cat could see, and when they finally broke free, both mentor and apprentice had more wounds then when they started with. Minkhaze stepped forward and congratulated Ivyheart, who nodded.
”Best go now”
Ivyheart thanked her and drifted her thoughts to the warriors den, the dark bramble bushes weaves into each other, the mossy nests filling the space up.
Before she knew it, the tortoiseshell warrior opened her eyes, watching as the chests of her Clanmates rose and fell.
Ivyheart got up, and slipped between nests, her dark pelt blending with the shadows. Outside, Leafstem restlessly paced around. Ivyheart went the other way, pushing back a wall of gorse to reveal a small tunnel, narrow enough for her to squeeze through. Once outside, she ran and ran until she passed the border, heading for the gorge edge.
The gorge’s walls were steep and smooth, but their was a pathway, not easy to climb but possible. Once past the river, she went into the tunnels and slid through the twisty paths until she reached a spot. Jumping up, the tortoiseshell cat made her way down a secret tunnel, until it came to an end in a hollow.
A big stone covered the roof, and the ground was covered in long grass. At the other end, Spottedstem was busy sorting a supply of herbs.
“Ivyheart” She said, dipping her ginger-and-black headed as Ivyheart approached. “Another successful lesson?”
“Yes” Ivyheart patiently waited as the medicine cat started dressing her wounds with chervil and goldenrod. Spottedstem wanted to be trained, but no Dark Forest cat wanted to teach her, so she decided to heal the living cats’ injuries, to try and lower suspicion. Cats always wondered why she seemed to always have herb poultices on, but Redpelt didn’t wonder why she always had them, luckily.
After the WindClan she-cat treated her, she headed back and made it just before Rowanhop exited the nursery and began to assign patrols.
“Acorntail, Darkpaw, Thrushfeather, you three will mark the RiverClan and WindClan borders. Berrystrike, Larkflower, Juniperstone, patrol along the ShadowClan and kittypet border. Ivyheart and Tansyleaf, you can choose some more cats to go hunting with you. Hawkfeather will be in charge of a sunhigh hunting patrol with Rainpelt, Thrushfeather and Juniperstone.”
Then he left to visit his kits.
Ivyheart didn’t wait to call other cats. She left camp and headed to the Owl Tree. Once there, she spotted a tiny mouse nibbling on a seed. It was unware of the tortoiseshell cat hunting it, and because it could make its next move, was dead. Ivyheart crunched on the soft bones, knowing she couldn’t do it but doing it anyways. While she ate, she drifted her thoughts to the Dark Forest and reached out to Minkhaze.
I want to get rid of code.
And you will.
You could become leader, my dear. With that power you could take the other Clans, one by one, and when the crimson blood of your enemies stain your paws, no cat would dare challenge you.
But, Redpelt could. Any ThunderClan medicine cat could.
Unless their was no medicine cat.
You’re suggesting I kill Redpelt? What if some cat get hurt?
They’ll deal with the pain.
Alright, I trust you Minkhaze.
I’m glad you do, if you are to lead the Clan one day. For now, focus on being the best warrior. Earn trust and respect.
What about killing Flowerstar and Rowanhop?
That can wait. For now, increase your chances of becoming the next deputy when Rowanhop…. has a tragic accident.
I will lure a fox to the camp.
You want to earn trust, right? You can defeat it. I have seen you train. When you hear the alarm.. well you will know what to do. Now go, go hunt and fill the prey pile. Impresses Flowerstar.
Yes, my mentor.
Sky and Fernleaf sat in front of the Highroots, their long fur groomed and their heads held high. The rest of the Clan gave silent encouragement, for this was a decision no one was against.
”Sky, Fernleaf, will you rejoin this Clan, hunt and fight for it, and protect and defend your Clanmates no matter what, even at the cost of your life?”
“Then from this moment on, Fernleaf, you will be a ShadowClan cat again. StarClan honors your kindness and insight. Sky, from this moment on you shall be known as Skysight. StarClan honors your perseverance and endurance, and we welcome you back.”
”Fernleaf! Skysight! Fernleaf! Skysight!”
The Clan chanted. Two sets of eyes, cyan and amber, glanced at the crowd, shining with pride and happiness. Lakeshadow felt so happy for them, that they were finally back. Back home, not with DirtClan and Foxheartstar, or Mousebrainflower.
Lakeshadow ran over to congratulate Sky- no, Skysight, and the two friends started purring and talking.
”Remember, you have to keep vigil tonight Skysight” Graystar said as he passed them.
”Right…” Skysight responded, her cyan eyes facing the ground.
”whats wrong?” Lakeshadow asked her. She knew the pale gray she-cat enough to know that something was wrong.
“I- want to know why my fur is so unusual, so I wanted to ask Nightpaw if she could ask Larkflower and Heronwing, but I… cant go”
”I’ll talk to her”
“Thank you so much Lakeshadow!”
”Anything for you”
Lakeshadow nodded and sent Skysight to her den to rest before her vigil. The clouds ahead showed it would be cold and long, so the new warrior would need it. Then she approached Hollycloud, Needlewhisker, Seedstorm, Willowbark and Tinyleaf, telling them they could go to the Gathering along with their new apprentices. Then she went to get some rest.
The full moon shone ahead, casting a bright glow on ShadowClan as Graystar led his cats into Fourtrees. RiverClan and WindClan were already there. Lakeshadow made for the Great Rock, heading right below it to watch as the Clans met at a time of peace. It was her favorite time of the moon, where therr were no battles, little tension, and everyone could talk. She spotted Hollycloud brushed up against Crowflight, their tails twining, but brushed it off. Even though it was allowed, Hollycloud was the last cat to have a mate with WindClan. Her brother had died in a border skirmish with them, and she never forgave it.
Finally, ThunderClan padded in Fourtrees. Lakeshadow scanned the crowd for Nightpaw, but the black apprentice was nowhere to be found. Heronwing and Larkflower weren’t there either,
Graystar, Flowerstar, Ivystar and Birchstar leaped up onto the Great Rock.
Lakeshadow sat between Snowyfoot and Troutfin, and perkee her ears to listen to Ivystar.
”All is well” The RiverClan leader reported. “Leopardheart’s kits are due soon, and are expected to come any day now.” She stepped back and then Graystar and Birchstar made their reports. Lakeshadow cheered with the others about the new apprentices, and then finally Flowerstar stepped up to speak.
“Like Graystar, we also have new apprentices. Stripepaw and Moonpaw have started their training under Berrystrike and Thrushfeather. Also, Nightpaw has recieved her warrior name, Nightsong”
So thats why Nightsong wasn’t here.
The rest of the Gathering was a blurr. Lakeshadow anxiosuly waited foe it to end, because she had a vigil to crash
No mouse stirred. No leaves rustled. If was completly silent.
Lakeshadow quietly slid out of her nest and padded ti the entrence, where Skysight was waiting. She mouthed, ThunderClan and Skysight let her pass.
Luckily, her dark gray pelt blended in with the shadows as she quietly slunk through the territory, and then across the border.
There were no midnight patrols, no cats out, but at every rustle, every snap, it spooked Lakeshadow, wondering if it was a cat.
Finally she got to the camp. Nightsong’s green eyes met her, and the new warrior opened her mouth to yowl a warning.
Quikly, Lakeshadow darted forwards and bowled her into a small gorse thickit, covering her mouth with her tail.
“What are you doing here?” Nightsong hissed, as soon as she could speak again.
”I news your help.” Lakeshadow said. “For Skysight. She-she wants to know why her fur is so unique-but she- she will have to ask Larkflower-and-“
Nightsong nodded. “I see” She said. “I’ll help you” “Thanks” Lakeshadow whispered.
The two parted ways and Lakeshadow bounded home, to the familiar pine forest and marshes.
She ducked under the Thunderpath, entering the tunnel and padding along until she reached the other side. She was about to break into a sprint, when she heard a snap of a branch.
Turning around, Spiketuft, Hollycloud, and Tinyleaf were standing there.
”Lakeshadow?” Hollycloud asked. “What were you doing in ThunderClan territory?”
Right. The moonhigh patrol.
This won’t go so well.
Leopardheart let an agonized groan and shifted against her moss, wincing as pain shot through her,
”its ok, its ok.” Harefoot whispered. “The first kit is coming out now!”
As soon as her kitting began, Reedflash had gotten the WindClan medicine cat, and Grasstail. Leopardheart could still here her mate, anxiously asking if she was ok.
Yeah, Grasstail I’m fine. Feels like sunshine and daisies. Couldn’t be better.
With a yowl, Leopardheart bit down on a stick Harefoot had given her. She wanted to scream and yowl and as she sank her claws down jn the ground, she knew this was only the first kit.
”A little tom!” Harefoot mewed
A little more to go, It’ll be ok. Think about how perfect the kits will be. It’ll be fine.
Five kits suckled at an exhausted Leopardheart’s belly, their small paws pummeling into her fur and tiny squeaks excasing their mouths.
”They’re-perfect” Grasstail whispered as he slid into the den, curling around them. “Oh, they’re so perfect!”
Leopardheart purred. “Of course they are” She said. “Your the father.”
They spent several moments looking down on these bundles of joy, until finally they decided to name them.
”What about- Mudkit for the little light brown tom?” Grasstail asked, staring down at his son. “Yes, my firstborn will be Mudkit” Leopardheart replied with a smile. He looks like Fintail. She observed. “And-the gray she-cat with the white muzzle will be Willowkit” He said. “Our daughter is perfect”. Leopardheart said. “They all are.” Grasstail mewed. “Do you want to name the rest?”
Leopardheart curled her tail around her other three kits. There was a golden tom, a gray she-kit, and a pale gray tabby tom (or whatever you think Jayfeather looks like)
”The pale gray tabby will be Cardinalkit” She decided. “And what about Icekit for the gray she-kit?” Grasstail purred and swept his gaze over his kits. “And the golden one?” He asked. “The golden tom is Raykit, after the sun’s rays.” Grasstail curled his gray-and-white body around them, delicately sweeping his tail over the kits. “Icekit is my favorite” He decided. “So soon?” Leopardheart asked. “Yes” He said. Leopardheart shook her head. “Well, at least pay equal amount of attention to all of the kits.” “I will” He said.
Silently they spent time looking at the perfect kits, until it was broken by Harefoot entering. “Grasstail, it’s time to go home.” He said, and dropped skme herbs in front of Leopardheart. “Borage and burnet. They should help your milk come and give you strength.” Leopardheart chewed the herbs, feeling their taste sweep across her mouth. “Thank you” Grasstail said to Harefoot, and the two left the den. Leopardheart watched them go, knowing that Grasstail would certaintly be back tomorrow.
By now, all five kits were asleep and curled in a heap of furry fur. She smiled and tucked them closer to her as Ivystar’s footsteps broke the silence. “Congratulations” Ivystar purred. “What are their names?” “Mudkit, Willowkit, Icekit, Cardinalkit and Raykit” She said. As the queen looked into her leader’s face, she could tell something else was on her mind. “What’s wrong?”
“The kits we lost, on the night of the battle. I-I can’t stop thinking about it. What will happen?”
”Nothing will happen to my kits” Leopardheart said fiercly. “You’re right” Ivystar said. “Nothing. These kits will grow up safe and secure, I promise”
Mudkit let out a small mewl and shifted in his mossy nest, his light brown fur rippling in the silver moonlight that shone in. Leopardheart woke up to Mudkit's mew and curled her long tail around him, licking her son gently on the head. The moon was setting and in no time it would be dawn. Hopefully, the kits would open their eyes today. It had only been one day since they were born, but the whole Clan was waiting, waiting, waiting for the five kits to be running around with happy squeals and smiles on their faces.
Leopardheart remembered when Haystalk was alive, and how often the queen had asked for someone to watch her kits, and during those times she would head to the nursery and collapse with tiredness. Haystalk never had much energy, but she had three kits to take of and Leopardheart has five. Not to mention Grasstail was in a whole other Clan. Big difference. The golden spotted she-cat wished Haystalk was here, to give her advice and maybe help look after the kits. But she was gone, her life taken by ThunderClan's claws. Lionkit, Swiftkit and Barkkit? All three living away from their birthplace- with no memories of it.
The dawn light filtered through the den, and cats started to get up and move around, with Troutfin setting up patrols and giving orders for the day. Leopardheart left her kits in the den curled up in a heap of fur, and headed outside.
Waterwave and Brindlefur were sharing prey by the fresh-kill pile, and aside from Fintail, they were the only ones in camp. The others had gone out or were in their dens. Leopardheart crossed over to Fintail, who she noticed, had several herb poultices on his flank but weren't there yesterday. "What happened?" she asked, examining them. "nothing" he said sharply, and pulled away from her, walking back to his den.
"Hey. Hey!" She called, running after him. "You don't have to hide when you get hurt" She said. Fintail spun around, his yellow eyes staring into her amber gaze. They stood like that for a long moment, brother and sister, queen and warrior, regarding each other as the wind wisped in the trees. "Just-go check on your kits" Fintail said before padding into his den. Taking his advice, the golden queen walked back, and saw her place in the nest had been taken by Grasstail. His tail was curled around four of the kits, while he was washing Icekit and stroking her gently with her paws. "I thought you said you pay equal attention to all of them" Leopardheart said. Grasstail opened his mouth to respond, but was interrupted by a squeak from Cardinalkit. Leopardheart and Grasstail whipped their heads around to see what was going on. Slowly but surely, Cardinalkit was opening his eyes.
Ivyheart stared at the kits frolicking and squealing in the clearing. Would they ever stop? They were so annoying? and yet- more to come. She groaned and was relieved when Rowanhop ordered her on Dusk Patrol. Rowanhop. He was so nice to her, so obedient, a good deputy...It was too bad he would die tonight.
The day couldn't pass more slower. Not at all.
Finally, as the whole Clan settled in bed, Ivyheart opened her eyes and scanned the den for any cat who might be awake. No one. Good. Quietly, she slid out of her nest and creeped to the middle of the den. Rowanhop was lying their, flanks rising and falling with each breath. Not for long. She smiled and unsheathed her claws
"Rowanhop is dead!"
Ivyheart jerked awake at Leafstem's cry. Dead. Dead! She remembered her plan and scrambled over to his nest, where he lay , not moving. Crimson blood poured out of a wound on his throat. Suddenly, all the cats made way for Flowerstar and Smallflight to pass. They stopped and stared at the body. Smallflight let out a low wail and pressed herself against Flowerstar. Ivyheart moved her head in rainpelt's direction then gasped and said, "Flowerstar! Flowerstar! I know who did it!"
Flowerstar looked at me and I grabbed Rainpelt's leg. Everyone gasped, her paws were coated in blood. I slid by claws between two of her claws, and pulled out a tuft of fur. Rowanhop's fur.
"It's not me!" Rainpelt wailed. Her amber eyes were confused as ever. I smiled. It was going perfectly. The whole Clan thought it was her now, and no one would ever suspect I framed my own sister.
"We'll see about that" Flowerstar growled. She fastened her teeth gently into Rowanhop's scruff and dragged him outside, I grabbed his shoulder and held her, while Smallflight and Thrushfeather grabbed his hind legs. Gently, we lowered him down, and Flowerstar jumped up on the Highrock.
"All the cats old enough to catch their own pry gather beneath the Highrock for a Clan Meeting!" She yowled. I took a seat close to the deputies spot, fixing my attention on her and toning out the surprised wails and yowls from those who just saw Rowanhop's still form
"Rainpelt has murdered Rowanhop" Flowerstar growled. "Rainpelt, I banish you from this Clan. If anyone spots you again on our territory after sunset tonight, they will kill you" Below her, the cats of ThunderClan yowled in agreement, hissing threats to Rainpelt. My littermate had never been in more defeat. Suddenly, her gray ears perked up. "Flowerstar!" She exclaimed. "It wasn't me, it was Ivyheart! Ivyheart is killed him, she just wants to be deputy"
"Nonense" Flowerstar said. "Ivyheart expelled your plot. I would make her deputy-
-but I'd rather wait."
"She only became a warrior three moons ago. Now, Rainpelt, unless you want to leave limping, go now"
Rainpelt's amber eyes glistened with tears and she folded her ears. Head ducked in defeat, she walked out of the camp silently and slowly, her fluffy tail swishing up some stray leaves. And then she was gone.
"I say this under the spirits of StarClan, so that Rowanhop may hear and approve my choice. Thrushfeather will be the new deputy"
Ivyheart chanted too, but her emotions were a mix of anger. She was so close! Why didn't Flowerstar make her deputy? why? She gave out a small sigh and left camp. Flowerstar did say, wait, so she decided to patrol the borders. She took off a sprint, and stopped only as she saw Lakeshadow leaving her scent mark on a gorse bush, diving ShadowClan and ThunderClan. "Hello" Ivyheart said. Lakeshadow looked at her. "hi" she said warily. Obviously remembering how Ivyheart had attacked her and Mistpaw when she was an apprentice. "How's your punishment?"
Lakeshadow head darted up. "How did ou know?' The ShadowClan cat asked. "I have my ways" Ivyheart responded. "I came to see a friend. In peace. May I come?"
Obvoiusly the deputy didn't want her in the camp. But Ivyheart looked at her with pleading amber eyes and spoke with such a soft voice, that soon, the two were traveling in the pine forest, feeling the couch of pine needles under her paws.
How did Lakeshadow become deputy before becoming a warrior? How?
The gray-and-white deputy and the tortoiseshell warrior ducked under the bramble bush to camp. Brightleap and Scorchbreeze were sharing prey by the fresh-kill pile, while Firecloud dried herbs on a boulder. Jaypaw and Maplepaw were play-fighting nearby, with Divepaw urging them on. Perhaps one of them could be trained in the Dark Forest
Ivyheart said her goodbyes to Lakeshadow, who went outside to hunt, and greeted Graystar. She thanked him and went outside, claiming to help stock the fresh-kill pile. Instead, she ducked down underneath the camp border. A dark shadow slipped after her.
"How is the plan?" The other cat asked.
"Well" Ivyheart responded. "I've killed Rowanhop and expelled Rainpelt, the 'murderer'. My sister may come to another Clan, and that wold be the end of it"
"I'd keep her out, but its better to have your enemies close by. Back to the plan, will you be deputy next?"
"yes" The ThunderClan cat said. "After I get more experience. You?"
"i don't want to kill Lakeshadow" the other cat says.
"well, don't. Try to exile her, make her fail. Steal her catches. Mess up. Have lives be at her paws, and slip away" Ivyheart tells them. "Should I inform Brackenstorm about the Clan?"
"yes" they say "maybe we could start a Gathering fight? Anger Lakeshadow? She's been under stress, been caught trespassing, accidentally brought deathberies to camp, she thought they were juniper. Can you increase border marks?"
Suddenly the cat's name is called. "You must go" Ivyheart says. "Tell Graystar I left"
"I will. Good luck"
"Good luck. Oh, and the new apprentices? try to get them in The Dark Forest"
They slid out of out the hideout and they both start heading back. Ivyheart yowls out, "Fourtrees, Moonhigh" and they nod, their eyes flashing in the shadows. And she races back, but no one else is out, or close enough to see her
She takes a slight detour back along the RiverClan border, where the tortoiseshell she-cat spots Leopardheart fishing by the river. 'Hi" she mews. "How are the kits?" The RiverClan looks at me, and responds, saying they all alright. With a hint of pride she says that Cardinalkit, Icekit, and Mudkit have already opened their eyes. We chat for awhile, but as Ivyheart turns to leave, she says, "Oh, and I know who your real mate is"
Leopardheart's amber eyes widen in shock and fear. "You- won't tell, right" She says in a small mew. What is she worried about? We all know its Grasstail. Strange. Maybe she thinks Flowerstar won't want half-clan kits and try to get rid of them, at the mention of them she said she would never allow it.
"We all know. Even Flowerstar. Its Grasstail" Leopardheart relaxes. "I'm sorry-i...i...i somehow think its a secret at time. Thats he my mate" And without another word she turned back and walks away.
Ivyheart watched her go, revering the look of fear, her ally's eyes narrowing, Lakeshadow's expression, before remembering what she has to tell Brackenstorm, and heads back to camp.
"How is the plan?"
"Well. I've killed Rowanhop and expelled Rainpelt, the 'murderer'. My sister may come to another Clan, and that wold be the end of it"
"I'd keep her out, but its better to have your enemies close by. Back to the plan, will you be deputy next?"
"yes. After I get more experience. You?"
"i don't want to kill Lakeshadow"
"well, don't. Try to exile her, make her fail. Steal her catches. Mess up. Have lives be at her paws, and slip away. Should I inform Brackenstorm about the Clan?"
"yes. maybe we could start a Gathering fight? Anger Lakeshadow? She's been under stress, been caught trespassing, accidentally brought deathberies to camp, she thought they were juniper. Can you increase border marks?"
"You must go" "Tell Graystar I left"
"I will. Good luck"
"Good luck. Oh, and the new apprentices? try to get them in The Dark Forest"
Paws cruched on the pine needles, and Lakeshadow pulled away from the bramble wall, ducking into the warrior's den. It was empty, the ground filled with soft nests filled with moss. Lakeshadow bounded over to the wall, and stared through the small gaps, trying to get a glimpse of her Clanamate. The stems were woven too tight, and all she caught was a glimpse of dark green eyes. Suddenly, the cat's gaze flickered to the den wall, and Lakeshadow quickly pulled back, and exited, not looking back.
Someone's conspiring with Ivyheart and Brackenstorm of ThunderClan. It was almost unbelievable, that any cat here would do such a thing. But who? She knew they has dark green eyes. But, that could have been the shadows. Most of the cats here were green eyes. Spiketuft, Hollycloud, Needlewhisker, and..... Scorchbreeze and Adderstrike her kin. She couldn't even trust her own father and brother. Sighing, she turned her attention to the barrier. The branches trembles slightly, and a moment later Seedstorm, Needlewhisker, Willowbark, Jaypaw and Maplepaw emerged, their jaws full of prey. Lakeshadow narrowed her eyes at Needlewhisker as the silver she-cat dropped a fat thrush on the fresh-kill pile. Could she be the impostor? And if she was, what about Maplepaw?
"Hey! You stepped on my tail!"
"Sorry not sorry"
Whistlekit pounced on Mottlekit, who just barely ducked. With a tiny squeak, Whistlekit landed on the ground with a thump, and Mottlekit wasted no time swatting at her nose.
Nightsong stared more intently at the play fight, wondering what Whistlekit would do. But the she-kits next move was stoped by Smallflight, who called the kits to the nursery. Nightsong got up and headed towards her den, as the sun started to set. Her mind drifted on the kits, trying to focus on them, and not about her task.
Whistlekit was much smaller than Mottlekit, who inherited his father's big size, but she was faster and smarter. Mottlekit, was much better at battle moves, but was as loud as a badger. Both of them would one day be good warriors.
Nightsong's head snapped up as a familiar black form slid into the den. Larkflower padded to her nest and settled besides her, who relaxed as her mother gently stroked her dark fur with her tail. Larkflower's kind yellow gaze stared deep into Nightsong's green eyes. Nightsong knew now was the time to ask, but as she tried to summon the words to do so, their were none.
"I have something to tell you" Larkflower said, just as Nightsong was about to get up and leave. She settled back down and calmly asked, "What?"
"I'm-I'm expecting another litter of kits" Larkflower said.
Nightsong's eyes widened in surprise. Kits? She was going to have siblings! "That-thats- amazing" Sh said breathlessly. "Yes" Larkflower said, an edge happiness and pride in her voice. "You'll have new brothers and sisters!"
Nightsong nodded, and soon found her mind drifting to Darkpaw. Her brother, who died in the forest fire. Would her new siblings lose their life like him, or be stolen before they open their as, just like Skysight?And- would any of their fur be tipped with white?
Tipped with white, ask her Nightsong! Why is Skysight’s fur tipped with white?
But as she was about to ask, her mother gave her a quick nuzzle, and left the den before Nightsong even had the chance to open her mouth.
Look on the bright side. After Darkpaw and Skysight, your parents need a win. New kits is perfect! And you’ll be a great big sister.
Nightsong curled up deeper in her nest of moss and ferns, and slowly drifted to sleep.
But she couldn't. Her thoughts were filled with the knowledge that she had failed Skysight, failed her. The perfect opportunity was moments away, but yet it slipped between her paws.
I can't get anything done.
She sighed. What a failure I am.
Her ears perked up, and suddenly she was bolt upright. Soft paw steps sounded, getting closer and closer. Closing her eyes, resting her head against her paws, her heart beated with fear. Who was this cat?
Those paws steps, so familiar, but the way they sounded against the den floor filled Nightsong with discomfort. Somehow, she knew, this cat was up to no good.
Just go to sleep. Go to sleep, or they'll catch you. It'll be fine, just fall asleep. In the morning, track this cat, and who knows? It may just be a dream.
It may just be a dream.
But yet, it felt so real
Pale dawn light filtered through the nursery, shining brightly down on Leopardheart and her kits.
The queen woke up, blinking sleep from her amber eyes, and glanced down at the soft nest, where five tiny kits curled up besides her. Careful not to wake them, Leopardheart slid out of the nest and padded outside.
No one was awake yet, but Leopardheart knew that soon Troutfin would slid out of his nest and start organizing patrols. For now, he was asleep, and the clearing was empty.
Yawning, Leopardheart walked over to three stump where the fresh-kill pile was, grabbing a minnow from up top, and carrying it to the shelter of a willow tree by the Meeting Rock.
She sank her teeth into its soft flesh, feeling the taste seep into her mouth. It wasn't fresh, but she was hungry, and soon the kits would wake up demanding for food.
The kits. Her sweet, precious babies, who she knew she would defend with her life, if necessary. They were everything to her, but she could still never shake off the thought that Haystalk's kits were stolen by Flowerstar and ThunderClan, and RiverClan didn't have the strength to get them back. She sighed, wondering what those three kits felt like. Did ThunderClan lie about their RiverClan heritage? Did they tell them about Haystalk? And, were they treated alright? A million question about them flashed through her head, none answered.
Finishing her minnow, Leopardheart walked back to the nursery and entered the den just as she heard Troutfin exit his. She wouldn't be in trouble, but wanted to get back to her kits.
Cardinalkit was already awake, his blue eyes staring deep into hers. He gave a soft mew as Leopardheart slipped back into the nest and curled her fluffy tail around him. He fidgeted and pushed the tail off, so that it landed on Raykit, who gave a small squeak and shifted uncomfortably. Leopardheart lifted her tail out of the way and stared at her son, who was crawling out of the nest.
"Where are you going?" She asked softly, and he turned around to stare at her.
"Explore" He squeaked. "I want to explore!"
He's so bold, getting out of the nest that quickly. He'll make a fine little warrior. She thought. "No" The queen said gently. "Wait for Willowkit and Mudkit, at least." The two had opened their eyes, light blue and amber, and she didn't want her son going out on his own.
"But I don't want to wait!" He pouted. "I wanna go outside! Now!" Leopardheart almost felt sorry. He was so cute, but yet grumpy. He still only was a few days old. Better to wait so that he wouldn't be alone. "Come back" She said, and he crawled back, sliding under her paw and curling his tail over his nose.
Raykit shifted and mewed slightly, and her mother bent down to gently lick the kit's head, and settle it down. As she pulled back, Cardinalkit squirmed and backed out from her paw, then gently bit down on Willowkit's ear.
"Cardinalkit!" She said sharply, and the pale gray tabby stared at her innocently. "She's up now!" he said as his sister slowly stood up, tiredness showing in her pale green eyes. "Can we go outside now" Cardinalkit toppled her over, and she squealed as he pinned her down. Leopardheart grabbed his scruff between her jaws and set him away from Willowkit, who curled up against her.
I might just have to let him go. He won't listen until he gets what he wants.
"I can take you"
Leopardheart looked up from her daughter and saw Irisfern slink into the nest, and bend down to gently touch Cardinalkit between the ears, giving him a small kit. "really?" He squeaked. "It won't be a problem" She looked up and Leopardheart felt a wave of gratitude sweep to her.
"Go on, Cardinalkit" She said, she her son ran out of the den, his pale gray tail high above him. Irisfern turned to follow, but stopped before exiting.
"If you need any help, please tell me. I'd be happy to look after these five."
"Thank you" Leopardheart said, and pulled Willowkit closer, her tongue rasping against her soft kit fur. "Why are you doing this?"
"I've always wanted to have kits." The black-and-white she-cat said. "Oh, and Grasstail is outside. He told me to ask you to send Icekit over"
Again with the favoritism? He promised he would pay equal attention to all the kits! Icekit hasn't even opened her eyes.
Willowkit gently pushed her mother away with soft paws, and wiggled out of her grasp. "Can I go see father?" She asked.
"Of course" Leopardheart said. "Oh, and, Irisfern? Could you stay here? Grasstail can look after Cardinalkit and Willowkit, I'm going outside to hunt"
Her Clanmate nodded and walked towards the nest as Leopardheart got up. She needed this time away.
The rushing water of the gorge filled Leopardheart's ears as she walked along the side, carefully of every place she put her pawsteps. One mistake and she would fall in, to her death.
She opened her mouth to taste the air, and caught, surprisingly, ThunderClan scent on the wind.
ThunderClan! They could be after my kits!
Snarling, she broke into a run, her mouth open to taste the foul scent on her tongue. It was heading away from the camp, along the gorge.
The wind in her fur, Leopardheart quickened her pace, determined to catch this invader before something happened to her kits.
The scent continued to the passageway where Leopardheart used to meet with Grasstail, back when they were apprentices. She bounded along the trail, her paws slipping into the places they had been so many moons before. But the circumstances were so different.
The scent ended at the edge, where the raging river was, the water frothing and swirling, each current with the force to carry a grown warrior away, forever.
The scent drifted from across, from where the tunnel entrance was.
No way to cross it now, but Leopardheart caught another scent, one so familiar she almost lost her balance along the bank.
Skysight whipped around, squinting her eyes from the light that seemed to reflect off of everything, the trees, the fallen log, the ferns, moss, and stalks of so many different plants that stretched across the clearing she was in.
Where am I?
Skysight turned her head around, trying to locate the sound.
It sounds like-
Skysight blinked, and saw him, standing there. His dark fur, black as night, waving in the wind. His yellow eyes, gleaming with kindness, and the stars that shimmered in his starry outline.
“Darkpaw” Skysight mewled, her voice thick with grief. Why was he here? She failed to save him, so why was he here?
“Its Darkheart now” he purred. “StarClan gave me a warrior name. They said I deserved it”
“That-s thats great” Skysight said, but she couldn’t shake the thought that his warrior ceremony had been in the stars, where it should have been, and could have been, in ThunderClan, where he belonged.
“Its my fault!” She blurted out. “I-I- I should have saved you! I could have! But-but you burned alive.” Her light blue eyes welled up with tears, as she remembered her brother’s body, burning right in front of her. Being consumes up in flames, because she wasn’t fast enough. It was all because of her.
“No its not” Darkheart said. “It was my destiny to go out this way. If you had gone back, you would have died, too, and the Clans”
Skysight was confused. How would the Clans die if she did? What was that about? Surely they could survive without her. She opened her mouth to ask how, but Darkheart cut her off
“You’re special, sister. Remember that, and good luck”
“Wait!” She called out. “How am I special? What do I need luck with?” But Darkheart was already fading into nothing as she woke up. He yowled something to her.
Skysight jerked awake, just as her ears picked up Darkheart’s words. But they slipped from her mind, leaving her before she could make sense of them.
Skysight tried to focus her mind on those words, trying to call them back.
I remember now! It was-
“Skysight! Time for dawn patrol!” Lakeshadow yowled, from where she was standing at the entrance to the den.
Skysight growled and dug her claws into her mossy nest, as yet again Darkheart’s message escaped her. Why couldn’t she just find out what they were?
“Skysight!” Lakeshadow said impatiently. Skysight growled and hopped out of her nest, walking over to her friend, who saw her ip and turned around.
“Hollycloud!” Lakeshadow said. “Can you and Dovepaw go on a patrol with Skysight and Willowbark?” She asked the black warrior.
“Of course!” Hollycloud said sweetly. “I’d be happy to” She beckoned to Dovepaw, who was play-fighting with Thornpaw outside the apprentices’ den.
Skysight scanned the clearing for Willowbark, and located the tabby sharing a lizard with Spiketuft. Skysight padded over to them, and then followed Hollycloud and her apprentice out the bramble tunnel after fetching Willowbark
Skysight’s ears were filled with the sound of crunching leaves, and she knew that soon it would be leaf-bare, where the snow would fall down. She didn’t remember her last leaf-bare much, hut remember how cold it was, tons of snow, and being hungry.
As she walked, she spotted something that caught her eye. Paw prints, set in mud, but recent enough that it could have been laid this morning.
The paw prints however, normal as they appeared, seemed to call out to Skysight. Glancing behind her, she could see Hollycloud pointing something out to Dovepaw, and Willowbark marking a tree. No one was glancing at her.
Skysight pulled her gaze back to the paw prints, and bounded along the trail, determined to find out where they went.
They crosses the border, and while Skysight was hesitating, she turned to go back, but her nose caught a whiff of ShadowClan scent. Coming from the paw prints.
If she was quick, no one would know, right?
Skysight leaped across the border, and followed the trail.
She stopped. They led into WindClan territory. It was bad enough to cross the border, worse to invade another Clan.
I’ll come back. After this patrol, I’ll come back. I will find out who those paw prints belong to.
“Why are we here again?” Fernleaf asked. Skysight glanced back to look at her mother, tired from being pulled out of her nest at dawn.
“I told you. We need to find out who the paw prints belong two, and I don’t want to do it alone” She said, and broke into a run. They were getting nearer.
“Yes, but why so early?” Fernleaf yawned, and increased her speed to catch up.
“We’re here” Skysight stopped at the space she knew the paw prints were at. And yet, their were more. More fresh ones.
“There’s another trail, more fresh, coming back.” Fernleaf pointed out. “Lets just head back to camp. I can’t smell a scent through the garlic”
Garlic? Skysight looked around, and now she noticed leaves of garlic spread all around. Alot of them, enough to cover up a cat’s scent when rolling. But even though some patches grew here, the majority of the garlic was laying around, picked.
“Yeah, well, the shredded garlic had to have been placed by a cat. Come on, please?”
Skysight stared at her mother’s pale green eyes, and the tiredness that shone in them. Perhaps she shouldn’t have asked her this early. But she wanted to do this with her mother.
“Please? Ever since we got back, I know some cats are still distrustful of us. I don’t know who else to ask.”
“Alright” Fernleaf said. “I’m coming, dear”
“Yes!” Skysight said. She was coming! “We will find something, I promise”
“Just don’t get too overexcited” Fernleaf said, a loving glint in her eye.
“I won’t, I promise” Skysight said.
Ivyheart ducked down as the WindClan tom, Mousebright, a fellow Dark Forest trainee, leaped for her, but missed and barely stopped himself before crashing into a tree.
“Climb the tree!” His mentor, Stonewave, a big and burly gray tom yowled. Mousebright hooked his claws into the rotting bark and hauled himself upwards, scrambling to a low branch. Ivyheart hissed at him.
“Dont worry, he can’t stay up there forever, he’ll come down soon” Minkhaze said from where she was sitting next to Stonewave.
She was right. Surely Mousebright would come down to attack her. Ivyheary knew she could climb up after him, but when her limbs would be occupied scaling the tree, he’s attack.
“Jump down!” Stonewave yelled.
“Jump up!” Minkhaze yelled.
As Mousebright fell down, his claws unsheathed and looking down at her, Ivyheart sprung up and barreled into him when he was clowe, knocking him asides and sinking her claws into his exposed belly. He yowled in pain and a smile crept over the tortoiseshell’s lips.
“Thats all for today” Stonewave said, stepping forward. “Go now”
Ivyheart and Stonewave nodded.
"Wait." He said. "Wait. There is a danger in your hiding spot. Hurry!"
Ivyheart didn't know what he meant. But before she could ask him anything else, she felt moss brush aside her and Nightsong's tail drape over her. Scowling, she sprung up and raced out of her den.
Pale dawn light shown through the trees at the edge of the ravine. Several cats looked up as Ivyheart burst through the warriors den, her tortoiseshell fur standing up.
"Hey Ivyheart" Leafstem said. "What's-"
But she didn't finish. Ivyheart had already bolted past the gorse tunnel, her long tail whisking up leaves and sending them showering down as she ran.
I have to get to the tunnel. Something's wrong!
Normally she would have enjoyed the leaf-fall morning, the dry terrain always brought fires, gorgeous, beautiful fires., like the one that sprung up when she was an apprentice. But right now she just needed to run. Get to her destination.
Finally she saw it, and she gracefully leaped from ledge to ledge, until water lapped at paws and she bounded along tiny stepping-stones at the bottom of the gorge. Not caring when her paws slipped or water drenched her pelt, she drew closer to the tunnel, and the screams of cats battling filled her ears.
Oh StarClan, if we have been discovered...
Ivyheart quickened her pace and entered the tunnel. In front of her, she could see she had been right. They had been discovered. By ShadowClan. She could see Graystar fighting Mousebright and Cedarstripe, fighting like a whole patrol. Firecloud was tending to Jaypaw, sheltered by Willowbark, and Spottedstem was dragging a cat from the fray.
Ivyheart gritted her teeth. They were lucky that ShadowClan was small, and yet they still were outnumbered. She unsheathed her claws, scanning her yellow eyes along the battle, trying to find a victim. She spotted a young brown tom cowering between Volefur and Scorchbreeze, and lowered herself to the ground, her long tail swishing behind her.
Scorchbreeze lunged for Volefur, his eyes ablaze with fur. Volefur sidestepped and hooked his claws into the gray tom, springing up and pushing him down. Ivyheart saw the apprentice's gaze flicker worriedly to his Clanmate. And then she pounced.
Her curved claws dug into his pelt, and a flicker of satisfaction sparked as the tom yowled in pain. She stepped off him, and he scrambled to his paws, attempting to run, but effortlessly, she grabbed his tail with her teeth and pulled him closer. His pained screeched got louder and louder, and then she had her jaws clamped around his neck. Fresh blood filled her mouth, and he dropped, limp, in her jaws.
Good job. Minkhaze whispered from her mind. But to win, you'll need to kill bigger victims.
She nodded and spun around, where Willowbark was staring at her and the body, shock filled in her teary gaze. "What, never seen an impostor before?" Ivyheart asked.
"You monster!" She yowled, and sprung towards her. The tortoiseshell suddenly remembered that her kits were now apprentices, and she must have killed one. Which meant she broke the queen's heart. It would make her a stronger opponent, but if she survived she would be more broken than ever.
Ivyheart yowled in pain. She had been distracted, and now was crushed underneath the gray tabby. She opened her mouth to bite Willowbark, but all her teeth caught was gray fur. She coughed and spat the fur out, glancing at the she-cat. Her blue gaze was filled with fury.
"This is for Thornpaw!" She yelled, and her claws slit Ivyheart's ear. Pain filled her thoughts. She lashed out, but her claw marks did nothing. Willowbark's grief clouded her pain.
Ivyheart twitched her left ear, and a jolt of pain shot through her at her failed attempt. She tried to do it again, but the ear was so stiff she couldn't. Willowbark's claws dug into her deeper, and Ivyheart yowled in pain.
Suddenly she felt the weight being lifted off of her. A cat grabbed Willowbark from behind and dragged her off the tortoiseshell, who took the time to scramble away, blood staining her pelt. Willowbark fell on the ground, toppling the cat who crushed her. Willowbark jumped off of the cat, a brown tabby, and revealed his face.
Adderstrike of ShadowClan.
Adderstrike's eyes widened in surprise, and he was about to say something when a dark gray-and-white blur rammed into him. Lakeshadow pushed the tom over, the two a tangle of brown, gray, and white fur. "You!" The deputy yowled, her eyes alight with fury.
Ivyheart padded away from them, and slipped through the storm of teeth and claws that was the battle. She spotted Spottedstem struggling to hold her own against Needlewhisker, and Ivyheart quickly ran towards them.
Needlewhisker's long tail stuck out, and she gripped it in her teeth. The silver she-cat yowled and spun around, only for Ivyheart to slash her cheek. Ivyheart ducked the ShadowClan warrior's blow, and crouched down, landing on her paws, and swept her back leg around, tripping Needlewhisker.'
"Run," she hissed to Spottedstem, who nodded and scrambled away quickly. Ivyheart watched her go, making sure she made it to the tunnel exit safely, then crouched down, ready to leap back into the battle.
A loud cry of triumph pierced the air. Ivyheart turned her head towards the sound, anxious to see who was dead. Not that she cared, unless it was Lakeshadow.
It wasn't. Larkflower stood triumphantly over the body of Fernleaf, blood pooling from a large gash in the tabby's throat and staining the black queen's paws. Larkflower had given birth a few days ago, but still kept up with her training, and helped in the battle, helped with the risks. That was true loyalty.
The tortoiseshell padded over to the ThunderClan cat, who was staring at the body happily. "Good job," Ivyheart mewed calmly. "You fight....well,"
Pride and fury shone in Larkflower's green eyes. "I finally got my revenge for stealing my kit," She growled, and kicked the body away hurriedly, as if it had fleas. Ivyheart purred. Revenge was a wonderous feeling. She just wished she had some of her own right now.
Ivyheart twitched her tail and fixed her attention on Skysight, who was staring at the two cats and the body. Her pretty, cyan-blue eyes watered, and she folded her ears down, her tail tucked between her legs. She flung her head up and cried in grief, wet tears streaming down her cheeks.
Ivyheart growled in impatience. Grief. It was just a waste of time, to sit down and think about dead cats. You lose someone, you go on. Never think about them again, because it didn't matter. It got in many cats ways, and she knew better than to cry, or wail, when anyone died. Perhaps it was because she was never close to anyone. Perhaps it was something Minkhaze taught her when she was a kit. Or perhaps it was how she grew up.
A flash of pale gray fur filled her vision, and before she could react, Skysight had tackled Larkflower to the ground, pressing her paws on her mother's throat. The ShadowClan cat whispered a few words to her, and before Ivyheart, or any cat, could react. Larkflower lay limp under her paws, her head rolling down onto the stone ground, her eyes staring straight into nothing. Forever.