Welcome to The Eleventh Hour. We are a post-Firestar roleplay set in the new lake territories, and are AU after the end of the main series. Peace has reigned through the Clans for many moons, but now that peace has fractured and split among the mysteries surrounding their home. Cats are dying with only one thing in common: They are all found floating in, or laying wet and muddy around the lake. The Clans have begun to lash out at one another in fear and confusion, and only RiverClan seems to hold the key to preventing an all-out war. With an entirely member-driven (you decide the outcome!) plot, a mere two hundred minimum word count, and a friendly, active user base, we hope that you like what you see and will consider joining us.
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green-leaf: temperatures between 70° and 95°f. rain currently threatens the sky. prey is difficult to find, and skinny.
Want to learn more about our lovely staff members? Check out our bios here!
"I don't give a mouse's tail what anybody else might think of us or whatever difference in rank they might see. There is none to me. You are a dear, dear friend to me, Oakwhisker, and I'm honored you feel the way you do. To tell the truth, there is no one else, there never has been. As long as I was serving ShadowClan, I thought that would be okay. But I was wrong. I do love you, Oakwhisker, and I would be just as honored to walk with you, if that's what you want."
Site concept and skin (When I See You Again) created by Rowan for use on The Eleventh Hour only. We give thanks to Becky at Candyland Couture for the mini-profiles. CFS codes by ree. Images, characters and side plots are copyrighted to their respective owners. The Warriors series belongs to the lovely ladies known as Erin Hunter, and is published by HarperCollins. Thank you for visiting!
AUGUST 25, 2015 Hey, guys! Sorry for the lack of events; between preparing for the new year of uni and trying to get SkyClan in order, there hasn't been much time for brainstorming. The month of September will, however, be chuck-full of stuff for you guys to enjoy to make up for it. That said, the August Activity Check and OTM Nominations have been posted. Please post there as soon as possible if you plan on sticking around.
AUGUST 05, 2015 Hey, guys; don't forget to give this a look-see. We've been seeing quite an unrealistic amount of forbidden relationships (especially regarding the site's medicine cats), so this thread contains some important new information regarding that.
AUGUST 04, 2015 OTM badges are running a little late, because I (Rowan) have to reinstall Photoshop before I can make them. They should start appearing on your mini-profiles within a day or two.
JULY 30, 2015 We have added a board for retroactive threads, titled the Hall of Dreams! This board is for anything that happened in a character's past - including things pre-site or things that never got a chance to be threaded out. All of the usual site rules apply!
JULY 25, 2015 The monthly Activity Check and OTM Nominations have been posted! Please reply to the thread as soon as possible. Also, we're working diligently on SkyClan's site lore, so expect them to make an appearance before Summer's end!
JULY 05, 2015 Ohoho, so soon? Yes! Another FLASH EVENT is taking place over in ShadowClan! Go protect your territory from a desperate fox!
JULY 04, 2015 Happy 4th of July, everyone! In celebration, an adder is attacking the ThunderClan nursery! Hurry and take part in this very fun FLASH EVENT. If you don't have any TC cats, don't worry; we will have stuff for everyone at some point. Stay tuned!
JUNE 25, 2015 We ask that you all please take a look at this post within the activity check thread, as it contains some important information regarding the OTMs.
JUNE 25, 2015 The monthly activity check and otm nominations have been posted! Please reply to the thread by July 1st, or you will risk deletion.
JUNE 21, 2015 Green-leaf has officially started on EH, and with it comes another event! This event will last for about two weeks, so have at it! The deadline has also been chosen for our SkyClan high positions, and it will be on June 28, 2015. However, they will likely not be announced until a few days after that, as we have implemented a new staff voting system for these sorts of decisions.
JUNE 20, 2015 Alright, congrats to our newest moderator, Aspen! All of the applications were beyond fantastic. This has literally been the hardest decision we've ever had to make, and I truly wish we could just wrap you all up in a tiny modlet blanket and keep everyone, but there will be more opportunities in the future, I'm sure.
JUNE 19, 2015 Friendly reminder for everyone to please post in this thread once you've finished your character. Sometimes it's hard for us to be able to tell which apps are done and which are not, which then leads to us taking forever to review and accept them. We don't like to keep people waiting for too long before they're able to play their characters, so this just makes it easier for us. Thanks!
JUNE 16, 2015 Seeing as how we've been seeing a lot of this lately, the rules have been updated.
JUNE 09, 2015 We now have a weather box! It can be found right beneath our welcome message, so please look to it when starting up new threads. This will be updated daily or weekly to keep things fresh, depending on how long the weather pattern holds.
JUNE 05, 2015 Today marks one year since EH's grand opening, and we are celebrating with a brand new skin! Not only that, but be sure to keep your eye out for several goodies throughout this month, including (but not limited to) contests and events. Here's to the future!
JUNE 04, 2015 In light of Tinsel's departure for the time being, Batnose has become the new ShadowClan medicine cat. Now, the reason we didn't hold auditions is simple; because Orchidsong didn't hold the position for long, we felt it to be reasonable that we fall back on someone else who had auditioned at the same time, and therefore we reviewed the old auditions one more time. Congratulations!
MAY 30, 2015 Training Threads and Pregnant Leaders / Deputies will no longer show up as a merit, just to keep things a little bit cleaner, as we're sure a lot of people will purchase training threads. This will prevent merit repeats for items. If your Training Thread or Pregnant Leader / Deputy item is still showing up as a merit, please PM Rowan and she will fix it. In similar news, we've limited the number of a single item permitted to be in your inventory at a time to one. This will hopefully prevent people from hoarding, and allow others to have a chance at snagging the item they need. Only one more day remains in the activity check, so please post if you plan on sticking around!
MAY 29, 2015 Please welcome Brandad to the EH Crew!! He is our newest moderator, so please don't hesitate to ask him questions and offer your congratulations!
MAY 28, 2015 Sadly, Tinsel has decided to step down from her position of staff. We will miss her, however she will definitely be welcomed back to the team if she ever decides she wants to help out again! She is not leaving the site, and will remain a beloved member of our community.
MAY 25, 2015 The monthly activity check and otm nominations have been posted.
MAY 19, 2015 Congratulations to Tyl and her character, Darkstorm, on becoming the new WindClan deputy! Thank you to everyone else who auditioned, too. You made the decision incredibly difficult for all of us (and Bran). We look forward to seeing how WC develops from here.
MAY 18, 2015 Don't forget to drop by our mentor and apprentice pairings thread to let us know when you've got enough posts in a thread. We try to stay on top of it, but some threads still manage to slip past us.
MAY 16, 2015 This is a reminder for everyone to please log into all your accounts daily, even if you don't post. It really helps us out when we recycle things. Also, remember that there is still a prey shortage! I've noticed a lot of threads where the hunting parties have been quite successful, however they should not be. Some prey is fine, of course, but you should not be finding large quantities of prey, and it shouldn't be large and/or plump when it is found. Yes, this applies to RiverClan, too; the fish are at an all-time low, as well, more likely to be found dead.
MAY 13, 2015 Congratulations to Tinsel and her character, Orchidsong, for becoming the new medicine cat of ShadowClan! If you didn't get it, we're sorry; there were a lot of great auditions, and there will surely be more opportunities to audition for another spot in the future. For instance, did you know that WindClan currently needs a deputy? The deadline for that has been set for May 19th, so go audition while you can!
MAY 10, 2015 Syn has chosen to step down from her role as WindClan leader. She is fine, so don't worry; she just doesn't feel like she can be active enough to hold that position. However, she will be keeping Reedwhisker, one of the RiverClan medicine cats, and Acornstar is still alive (now known as Acornbelly); we are still determining his reasons for stepping down. This means that Harenose has been promoted, and that WindClan Deputy auditions are now open!!
MAY 06, 2015 Congratulations to Nocturne and her character, Rooktail, for becoming the new deputy of RiverClan! We will be naming the new ShadowClan Medicine Cat on May 13th, so get your auditions in by then if you're interested!
MAY 01, 2015 The activity check has ended, and any inactive accounts have now been purged from the site. If you have returned, or you were somehow deleted by mistake, we ask that you simply remake your accounts and PM Rowan, so that she can restore your things.
APRIL 30, 2015 The activity check and otm voting will end tomorrow, so please post if you're still active, and haven't yet. If you don't have an active absence thread, you will be deleted if you don't post! There are also meetings going on in ThunderClan, ShadowClan, and WindClan that you guys can feel free to post in if you're looking for something quick to do. c:
APRIL 30, 2015 It's recently been called to my (Rowan's) attention that I may have handled Mericet's leaving quite poorly, and I would like to make it right. This should have been made on the day that she left us (which would have officially been April 27th, 2015), but here it goes, and I hope it's not too late for it to mean anything. Mer has decided that EH is not in her best interests anymore, and has decided to leave. However, I would like to say that she put a lot of time and effort into EH, helping me to make it the fantastic success it has been all this time, and I will forever be grateful to her for that. She drove me to make updates when I was being a bit slow, and when activity was low, she logged in and encouraged others to do so as well. She's the reason we have an automated marketplace now, and that awards system? Thank her for that. She loved the site as much as I do, so please understand that her leaving was through no fault of her own. As for her characters, she has said that they are all dead (except for adopted ones, which may be put back up for adoption), but she has requested that no details about their deaths be given, and I'd like you all to respect that wish. Thank you.
APRIL 29, 2015 Our new RiverClan Deputy will be announced on May 6th, so get those auditions in while you can!
APRIL 25, 2015 As per the usual, our Activity Check and OTM Nominations have been posted for the month of April. Please post, and vote as soon as you are able! From now on, those who don't vote in the OTMs will not be allowed to win in the category that they did not vote in. Any empty spaces will be chosen by our staff.
APRIL 21, 2015 The raid has ended with Stonestar's reveal that it is not the Clans killing off the cats... something is wrong with the lake.
APRIL 18, 2015 We now have a StarClan sub-board available for you all to roleplay the dead kitties that you've kept around! We don't want to see a bunch of freshly made dead cats, however; this is mainly for characters who have died on site. One or two cats from one of your living characters' pasts is alright, just don't go overboard please. Thank you!
APRIL 12, 2015 Due to the amount of people starting up a forbidden romance, which we feel to be quite unrealistic to the way that the warriors world works, it is now required that you purchase this from the marketplace. You will need to do this even if you've already begun your relationship, otherwise it will not be permitted to continue. If you've already given birth to forbidden kits, please PM Rowan or Mericet and they will gift you the forbidden romance, but only if you've already gotten that far. Thank you, and we hope you understand.
APRIL 09, 2015 Congratulations to Tinsel for being selected for biography moderator and to Zebra for becoming our new advertisement moderator! Be sure to give these two warm hugs when you see them. Good job everyone who auditioned, it was hard to choose between all of you!
APRIL 03, 2015 Currently, the staff team is accepting moderator auditions! They're open to members new and old, and we wish all you hopefuls good luck! We would also like to congratulate Bran, with his character Harenose for achieving deputy in WindClan!
MARCH 24, 2015 Congratulations to Golden, and Maplecloud for becoming the newest ThunderClan Deputy! Thank you to everyone who tried out; it was a truly difficult decision to make.
MARCH 22, 2015 The March activity check and OTMs have been posted! Please reply by April first. Thank you!
MARCH 17, 2015 The deadline for the ThunderClan Deputy Auditions has been decided: March 24, 2015. If you are interested in the position, please have your audition in by then. Thank you, and happy St. Patrick's Day!
MARCH 12, 2015 New skin! As always, please let us know if you find anything out of place or awkward, or if any of the colours sear out your eyeballs. Remember to please log into all your accounts daily, even if you don't post; it really helps us out when we recycle things.
MARCH 09, 2015 Due to Fallow's current situation, she has decided to downsize. As a result, sadly, Whitestep will be resigning, and ThunderClan Deputy Auditions are now open! Be sure to get your auditions in asap. WindClan MCA will remain closed until Zebra feels like Owlberry is ready to take on a new apprentice. EDIT Fallow is alright, she just isn't able to be around much and felt that it was unfair for her to have high positions while she's on hiatus. She appreciates your concern and will be doing her best to keep us updated on how she is. <3
FEBRUARY 28, 2015 Friendly reminder for everyone to please log into all your accounts daily! It makes it easier on us when we recycle things. Thank you!
FEBRUARY 24, 2015 The February activity check and OTMs have been posted and end March third. Please post! <3
FEBRUARY 23, 2015 Due to our growing member base (and because of a recent incident on my part), you are now able to reserve names for up to one week at a time to make sure that your prefix does not get snatched up before you are able to finish your bio. Please visit the name claim to do so. On a brighter note, I am pleased by the rate at which the raid is moving! Keep it up!
FEBRUARY 19, 2015 Congratulations, Mothpaw, on becoming the newest member of ThunderClan's medicine team! A big thank you to all who applied for the position — you all definitely succeeded in making this difficult for me with your stunning applications!
FEBRUARY 19, 2015 It's about to get real over in ThunderClan, as the RAID has been started! The character excerpt contest has been closed, too, and the results of that will be posted momentarily. The ThunderClan MCA auditions are closed! Results will be posted by Moonaloo later today.
the skirmish with thunderclan has pushed shadowclan over the edge, and their anger has begun to overflow. if no other creature has come forward to take the blame for the lake deaths, then thunderclan must truly be responsible for it all. they need to be punished. riverclan has denied adderstar's beckoning, and thunderclan has called for windclan's aid. but a sinister dream from starclan, one which was kept secret at the last gathering, still haunts stonestar... and now, it just might come out.
time of day: evening, just before dark who is involved: all clans territory: thunderclan camp
• you may interact with all cats, however fighting may only occur between assigned battle pairs. this is to keep things as fair as possible.
• only post after your leader has posted.
• windclan, don't post until daisypaw has gone to get you.
• riverclan, don't arrive until i have given the okay.
• this event will end on April 21, 2015. we are lenient about word counts on posts for events, meetings and gatherings.
apple-ear, bluefeather, lavenderfoot /vs/ crowheart, sedgeleaf
icebreeze, cloudthroat, foxclaw */vs/ smokestep, sootpaw
sorrelfire, ivorytail, dawnstream */vs/ wolfheart, newtpaw, ashstrike
acornstar *x1, peregrinecry *, galepaw /vs/ swiftjaw, brindleheart
redtail, cootfoot, mousefoot /vs/ birchbelly, sagepaw
rowanstar *x1, aspentongue )(/vs/ adderstar, vultureheart
wasptail, cottonheart *, ravenstep /vs/ horsewhisker, dandelionwhisker
sandflight, furzepaw /vs/ featherfang
harenose, heatherpaw, honeyface /vs/ nightfang, mistheart
once they have arrived, those on the riverclan patrol may attack any cat or get between any battle pair in order to break up the fight, and to sustain the injuries that you want them to receive.
* = will die ! = sent for help )( = protecting the nursery
daisypaw ! and nut-tail will be helping cats get to safety, and helping spiderfall safely get to cats that need his help. they may sustain injuries.
The air hummed with anticipation and tension as Adderstar gazed across her camp at the Shadowclan cats below the low branch. She had gathered them with a particularly loud summons, and all knew what was in store. Earlier in the day the blood thirsty clan leader had announced her intentions to invade Thunderclans camp. The skirmish at the border had bolstered her confidence in Shadowclans offensive ability, and she felt at her core that these thunderclanners needed to see just what they had messed with. Her eyes were sharp as they searched for each cat she had assigned to her invasion group. Some, she had chosen, some had volunteered. "Shadowclan!! Tonight as darkness creeps into Thunderclans camp, we too shall fall upon them!" Her voice rang out across those gathered, fire in her eyes. "We will show them what their actions have wrought! We fight for those we have lost at the lake, and we fight for our clan!" Tail lashing, she looked from face to face, pausing for a few seconds at each. "We are an unstoppable force! Known for power and ferocity throughout the history of the Clans! And tonight-" Her lips pulled up into a hiss that she shouted out across her cats "WE SHALL DEMONSTRATE OUR MIGHT!"
"Those of you who will fight at my side for your clan, do not say goodbye to your loved ones! For we shall return with only victory in tow! Gather at the clan entrance and ready yourselves!" With that the muscled she cat leapt down from her perch upon the lowbranch. It was Blackfang and Shrikestorm she approached first, pride in her eyes as she gazed upon two of her most trusted Shadowclanners. "You two will watch over our camp in my absence. If a problem arise, face it with the same thirst for victory that Thunderclan will suffer at." With that, she turned from the pair and met those who had already gathered for the raid groups depature. Though her fur prickled her tail swished out to slide affectionately across Swiftjaws shoulder as she passed, making a b-line for her trusted deputy. There was no fear in her heart, only excitement and the adrenaline that raced through her veins. "Vultureheart. Fight alongside me in battle, demonstrate our power with me, friend." Her yellow green eyes almost shown in the darkness. "Rowanstar will pay."
Adderstar led her clan through their barrier and into the darkening forest, their numbers winding through the falling night towards Thunderclans border. "We will breech their camp at a run, overwhelm them immediately. Don't hold back."
[From Shadowclan camp toward Thunderclan -- no interaction with the enemy yet, just setting the scene and getting things rolling ]
feel so free, just believe we can come alive. we're so far from the ground, but i'm not looking down. feel the warmth of the breeze rushing over me, now we're soaring high; we can touch the sky. feel alive; we can fly.
we can fly, touch the sky
everyone | 0496
Sedgeleaf had to admit, he wasn't entirely happy with Adderstar's plan. Yes, there was tension with ThunderClan, and yes, he agreed that something needed to be done about this, but this really seemed like the worst time of the year for it. He looked over his supplies; most of those that hadn't been used in everyday casualties had been exhausted from the results of the skirmish, and he was concerned about how well he would be able to help his Clanmates with the events that he knew were about to unfold; she had had the grace of giving him a heads up before calling together the Clan, but even so, he still did not feel as though he had enough time to prepare. He had found some larger leaves in which his herbs were mostly wrapped, but he knew that he would likely need at least one assistant carrying them to wherever he was going to set up his temporary refuge on the battlefield. Shaking himself, he turned to glance out at the camp, his eyes surveying those who would likely be following Adderstar into the war while he idly listened to her speech.
His eyes fell on Birchbelly, his mother, and he hoped that she would come over to his den after Adderstar finished speaking; despite the leader's promise that they would not need to say goodbye to their loved ones, he still hoped that she would come so they could exchange words of encouragement... his for her fighting well, and her godspeed on getting to their warriors before any serious injuries went too far. He had never done something like this before, never had to prepare for full on attacking another Clan's camp, and he sincerely hoped that he would be able to figure out what he was doing. Though he had the promise that he was not supposed to be attacked, he knew that some cats might either not remember themselves and attack him anyway or just wouldn't care that medicine cats were meant to be left alone. Either way, he knew that he was capable of defending himself. He just hoped it wouldn't come to that.
Sedgeleaf felt his fur beginning to stand on end in his nervousness, and he was relieved to see the familiar grey pelt heading his way after Adderstar had finished rallying her warriors. "Hey, m-- Birchbelly," he purred gently. "Would you mind helping me carry some of this out there? I just want to make sure I have enough to take care of everyone." And when he said that, his mind flickered to the warriors they were about to attack, and he realised that he really did mean everyone -- not just his Clanmates, but those from the other Clans as well. Nobody deserved to die during this. Did that make him weak? ... debatable. But it was his duty to help any cat in need, and that included his enemies.
try to forget all about it. cut her love off, hide it in a pretty box. my heart that beats for you has got to stop. put on a smile but all the while i'm giving sweet love to you. pretend that everything doesn't remind me of you.
like disciples do
so weird calling him smokestep help. also short sorry | everyone | 0316
Smokestep inhaled shakily, his eyes searching for the camp but not aiming to focus on anyone in particular; he had hardly become a warrior what felt like moments before and he could feel the panic and fear gradually slipping into his bones, making him feel weak and pathetically lost in the throng of warriors that seemed so anxious to attack ThunderClan. At the same time, he was being honest when he told himself that he was excited. He had not gotten the chance to fiercely attack anyone, not truly, and even the spat with the fox during his assessment just days prior had been brief. However, he felt somewhat confident. Vultureheart had appeared sincere when she told him he would be a hero for attacking it on his own, and he believed in himself as well. Not a lot, but enough that he was not going to allow himself to hesitate while he was out there fighting their enemies.
He watched as Adderstar gave Blackfang and Shrikestorm control of the camp, and he felt a little bit emptier with the reminder that his mother would not be joining them. It would have been comforting to know she was only fox-lengths away, able to rush to his aid if necessary, or Smokestep to hers. However, her joining would have been a bit of a double edged sword, because he would have been watching to make sure she was safe at all times. The young warrior knew that she was a capable fighter, but his attention still would have been drawn away from his own foes to keep an eye on her. As Adderstar led the Clan out of camp, he rushed forward and briefly nuzzled his mother before turning to follow his leader. He had volunteered for this, and he was as prepared as he could be. He could do this, he knew it.
if time is all we have, i want to spend it right: no fear of what’s to come, just hold me close tonight. give me a hole to fall through, a hidden door to something more. if we get one chance to live this life, why are we still killing time?
i want to spend it right
everyone | 0416
Brindleheart couldn't exactly say she was an expert on everything, but what she did know was that she did not want Dandelionwhisker to be joining this fight. He wasn't going to be able to hear someone sneaking up behind him or her crying for help (not like that was ever going to happen, but there was always a faint possibility) and more than that he probably wouldn't vocalise a call for help because he wasn't exactly used to making noise. The instant that he had volunteered to join the raid, she jumped in right next to him to do the same, definitely not sparing him from any sort of harsh what the hell do you think you're doing glares. Part of her wanted to just ignore him for being so thickheaded, while the rest was screaming at her to not leave his side and try to talk him out of it. It wouldn't have any use, though, would it? He was set on defending his Clan and she respected that, even though she thought him a bloody fool for it.
At the sound of Adderstar's voice, she perked her ears and gently nudged her brother to let him know it was time. The two had spent the last few moments just waiting as the tension in the camp grew, and she had felt her own nervousness explode a million times larger every instant. This was it. She wasn't sure if she would be able to fight with him, and though part of her wanted to express her concern for his wellbeing, she didn't exactly know how. He was one of the few cats to understand her complicated mesh of emotions so she had to give him credit for that but StarClan knew that she wasn't sure she was really prepared for this. Brindleheart glanced at him, feeling her heart racing, but a solid determination lurked close under it. They were both going to come back and be just fine. Reassuringly nuzzling him -- not that he would probably need it, he seemed braver than her sometimes -- she pushed herself to her paws and turned to him. She opened her mouth to speak and gave him a moment to move closer to make contact with her throat, then simply said, "Run straight into camp and attack." A little bit softer, she added, "Good luck." Hesitating another moment so he could move to her side, the warrior headed after Adderstar, heart in her throat.
Featherfang had been nibbling at the remains of a rabbit carcass, stripping the bone of what little, stringy meat remained. The bones were near clean, only tugging at the remains on the inside of the rabbit's ribcage. Soon, it was left meatless, and she found herself gnawing onto the bone for entertainment.
She stopped picking at the corpse to look up when her leader sounded, head cocked in curiosity. For a moment, she was tempted to stay in her current spot, whose vegetation had managed to hold some of the snow away from the ground. Deciding against it (as she wasn't especially in the mood to be glared at by any of her clanmates for being lazy), she gathered with the others, her wide blue eyes set upon the low branch and the brown tabby that it held.
The announcement was by no means unexpected; she had heard Adderstar's earlier barking all the way from the comfort of her den. She listened eagerly, agreeing with her leader's sentiments. If she had been unaware that her leader had chosen her to be apart of the raid, she likely wouldn't have came out of her den in the first place, preferring to listen from afar in almost any other situation. Whenever the time came, however, Featherfang was a very capable cat, both reasonably good in both hunting and, when need be, fighting. Her skills were what had given her the -fang suffix, which implied such, and likely her place in the raid as well. She might not have the best of personalities, but no one could deny the skill she put into her tasks when the molly actually decided to take one.
"Gather at the clan entrance and ready yourselves!"
With Adderstar's beckoning, she grinned smugly at her sister, Goldenwing (who only gave her a scowl in return), before quickly entering the quickly growing group of cats that were formed at the entrance, many of which were trying to remain stoic or making no attempt to hide their excitement or hesitation. Featherfang was one of the cats who wasn't hiding her eagerness, puffing her chest and lifting her tail high. Though her hunting skills were at the same level of skill as her fighting abilities, she preferred games of strength and tact rather than those of tranquility and patience.
She showed no hesitation in following Adderstar, an eager growl escaping her throat. She was just as confident in her clan's abilities as her leader. Even if they did not win, the opposing clan would be likely to lose a few of their cats in the process. Perhaps, in the unlikely situation where they did not win, ThunderClan would be weakened to the point of easily falling whenever ShadowClan fought again (though she'd rather get the damn thing done with the first time).
Shadepool had been curled by the edge of camp, watching the other cats in the clearing with a blank expression, when Adderstar called for their attention. She knew what was about to happen, even as an uneasy anticipation rolled through her. She stood with liquid grace, stalking closer to the group of cats, golden eyes flicking from face to face, trying to gauge how those around her felt. She listened to Adderstar's passionate speech, feeling it rile her pride. Normally, Shadepool didn't allow things to bolster her ego, but as she felt Adderstar's determination and faith in the Clan, she couldn't help but feel pleased. Pleased, and a little concerned for the others. She didn't want to watch any of her clanmates go down in battle, but, with a tilt of her head and a tightening of her gaze, Shadepool figured the best way to go was in a blaze of glory. Well, at least most would say so.
She moved to wait by the camp entrance - she had no one to say goodbye to. If there was one thing she was certain of, it was that she would slaughter anyone who tried to harm her or her clanmates, and she felt certain she would be coming home. Perhaps wounded, but she knew, as sure as she knew that her pelt was black, that she would do anything to survive. She flicked her tail in annoyance, silent and watchful, until Adderstar joined them to lead them out of camp. She followed at the rear of the group, close enough to hear Adderstar announce the plan of attack. Shadepool paused, glancing over her shoulder at camp, claws flexing from her paws and digging into the soft earth beneath them. Be safe. She sighed, turning away from the camp and trotting after the raid party. She gazed at them from behind, counting how many they were strong, wondering how many of them would return, and of those who returned, how many would be changed forever. This was where she needed to say goodbye. Yes, she'd do anything to protect her clanmates, but she wasn't all-powerful, and she knew she'd be losing some of them. Already, Shadepool pulled away from any emotional responses, her expression blanking out, eyes cold and distant.
Come with the night the science of fighting
The forces of gravity
As night approached, Sootpaw had felt more and more energy building beneath his grey fur, his claws itching to sink into his clan's enemy and bring the dark secrets they were surely hiding to light. There had been no time to hunt for the apprentice, time only in the rest of the day after Adderstar's first announcement for pacing the camp and sparring with anyone who would put up with him.
But now, the sun slipping below the horizon, the clan simmering with anticipation, Sootpaw sat still in the middle of the invasion group, eyes fixed upon his leader. Her passion for the upcoming battle fanned the flames of anger in Sootpaw, and he kneaded the ground as she spoke, relishing the tug of the cold ground on his claws. He was ready for this, ready to help teach Thunderclan a lesson, ready to earn his warrior name.
Every word that rang out across the camp incited a new reaction from the apprentice, a straightening of his spine, an agreeing purr, a confident flick of his tail; when her eyes fell on him he sat as straight as he could, curling his lips to show his readiness. He hoped to show her that he had been a good choice for this. "WE SHALL DEMONSTRATE OUR MIGHT!" Her shout rumbled down into Sootpaw's body, and he felt nothing but fierce pride and belief in her, in their clan, in what they were planning to do.
Adderstar jumped down from her perch, and Sootpaw quickly stood and wove his way through the crowd of cats towards the camp entrance, watching as Adderstar called upon Vultureheart to fight alongside her and then led the way out of the camp and towards their goal. He surged forward with the others, falling into place not far behind ShadowClan's leadership, his paws feeling like they hardly touched the chilled forest floor in his fervor for the fight to come.
He would prove himself this battle, prove that he was no longer just an apprentice; prove that he could fight, kill and die for his clan just the same as Dandelionwhisker, the same as every other cat in the clan.
Just the same as Tigerstar once did when he was but a deputy, but unlike the legendary tom Sootpaw was following his leader's wishes, and surely StarClan's wishes. This would be a battle of legend in generations to come, ShadowClan's victory assured and the mysterious deaths coming to an end at last.
dear love, i'll miss you much. i'll miss your smile and i'll miss your touch, but i found a place where i can erase my past. maybe someday when you're old and grey, when your hair falls out and your tattoos fade, you might see me standing, hand in hand. i have to go away. i've got no reason to stay here. you said someday you'll change, but
even a fool will tell you
484 words for the raid
The day had been so long, but Swiftjaw had been anxious the entire time. He stood near the entrance to camp, fighting the urge to pace around. His heart racing, he was pumped to get a move on. It had, after all, been moons since his last real fight. He didn't even get to participate in their recent skirmish with ThunderClan, and he cursed Vultureheart for not placing him on that patrol in the first place. At the time, he'd been glad; he hated patrols because they meant he had to follow orders, which he wasn't very good at. Now he regretted not volunteering. But that wouldn't be happening today. no, indeed he would be there, and he would make them... suffer. The black-and-white tom wasn't sure if he blamed ThunderClan for the lake deaths or not; in truth, he might not have cared. He just wanted to bite some cat. Make them bleed. Make them scream.
Swiftjaw watched his leader address the clan from atop the lowbranch, his eyes narrow with anticipation. His claws found their way out of his paws, digging into the soft, snow-dusted earth of their shadowy home. WE SHALL DEMONSTRATE OUR MIGHT! He let out a growl, announcing his readiness to move out. Adderstar was so powerful, so awe-inspiring; her very presence demanded respect. He idolised her. He wanted to serve her to the best of his ability. In the entire clan—no, the entire forest—there had never been a cat whom Swiftjaw was so ready to die for than her. And he couldn't explain it. Perhaps it was her commanding authority over the clan which attracted him to her. He found it hard to imagine that any cat, ShadowClan or not, had the power to disobey her. His head bowed with respect as he thought about this, and he didn't care who saw. She was, indeed, the only cat in the forest who would ever receive such notions from the tom. Even their previous leader hadn't been able to earn quite the amount of respect that Adderstar had. She wanted to do right by her clan, destroy any who threatened it, and Swiftjaw found this to be her most attractive feature.
His yellow eyes narrowed further, never leaving her brown tabby figure as she brushed her tail against him. They exchanged no words, as they were not needed. He craned his back in response to her touch, and that was that. That was all the communication they needed at that time. Somehow his eyes were then lured towards the inky black pelt of Shadepool for just a moment. He felt as though she would be useful to him tonight, somehow. The exchange lasted for only a moment. Then, he turned to Adderstar, who was now done trading pleasantries with Blackfang and Shrikestorm. And once she charged her way out of camp, Swiftjaw did not hesitate to follow.
"WE SHALL DEMONSTRATE OUR MIGHT!" Adderstar's words rang loud and clear. Birchbelly drank in Adderstar's words despite her apprehensions. How would ThunderClan ever manage to kill that many cats? And what about the cats in ThunderClan who died?
Not that any of that mattered. One look at Sagepaw's terrified face set her resolve in stone. She needed to protect her family-- her mate, her children, her friends, all of them-- and nothing, absolutely nothing, could ever stop that. Even if there was the tiniest, most minuscule chance in the world that ThunderClan was responsible, she would happily take all of them on at once or die trying.
She got to her paws, murmuring a soft "I'll be right back" to Horsewhisker before she padded off to the medicine cat den. No doubt Sedgeleaf knew Adderstar's news already (heck, Birchbelly had an inkling already-- she watched him sometimes, helped out when she felt like a nuisance. Did he really think she wouldn't notice all the extra preparations?), and she wanted to see him before she left with the patrol.
Sedgeleaf looked up at her, and while her gaze softened when her eyes met his, the fire in her belly only blazed brighter. She would protect him too, keep him safe, flay absolutely anyone who dared try to touch a single hair on his pelt. "Hey, m-- Birchbelly," and when he called almost called her mom she melted a little and had to blink back a few tears. Birchbelly still found it amazing sometimes that he forgave her after all these moons, that he actively wanted her around and called her mom. "Sedgeleaf," she purred warmly, blinking affectionately at him.
"Would you mind helping me carry some of this out there? I just want to make sure I have enough to take care of everyone." he asked, and she merely nodded. Of course she'd help. She always would.
Before she bent down to pick up the leaf bundles, she gave him a half-smile. "I'll come back in one piece, all right?" She tried to keep her tone light, but as she continued she became more serious. His health concerned her far more than her own ever would. "But you stay safe, okay? Do your best, and we'll all come home okay. After all, we have the greatest medicine cat in all the Clans." She licked his forehead, the way she did when both he and Sagepaw were born, and smiled again at him before picking up a few bundles in her mouth.
Ashstrike had been expecting this, and made special pains to keep his mind calm and focused when he heard the announcements about the attack. He knew Adderstar would want to go through with a full-scale invasion of Thunderclan's territory, and quite a few among the clan were eager to take part, namely the well known battlers and the younger ones who did not yet comprehend the costs of such things.
The Shadowclan warrior kept his thoughts to himself however. Darkness was already descending, a cold, winter chill following it. He only prayed to Starclan that the heat of the battle would drive away the deathly cold of the night. In this moment, Ashstrike looked up to the sky, hoping to see their stars reflected in the darkened pelt above him. There was no such light. Even the moon was covered. A perfect night for an ambush, but it did not ease his worries.
He did not have much time to think of it regardless, his gleaming amber eyes catching the gathering swell of Shadowclanners preparing for battle. With a small, shaky exhale, Ashstrike steeled his mind, mentally going over a few battle moves and counterattacks in his head as he padded with them. This was more meditative than pragmatic, as any good warrior would have trained their body and mind to make it more instinctual and second-nature anyway.
In the meantime, he would note any who would appear nervous or uncertain.Falling in line, he would eventually be padding with Smokestep as the clan would congregate out the clearing. Silent for a while, his amber eyes would flicker to his clan mate, considering him before he rasped softly, "You have that look about you. Is this your first major clan battle?"
Tension and excitement lay heavily in the air. Cats were bustling about, pouring into the clearing in the middle of camp to hear what Adderstar was going to say. There had been rumor of a ThunderClan raid spreading around camp, and everyone was ready to hear the truth. Crowheart stayed at the edge of the group, kneading the ground with his paws. He was practically shaking with anticipation. He had no clue whether or not this would be a good thing or a bad thing, but he was excited to get out there and show his worth in whatever way possible. He mostly wanted to impress Shrikestorm, but it would not hurt to get on Adder's and Vulture good sides. He was sick of being despised. Though he did not always understand his leader's methods and decisions, he needed to learn how to be more respectful toward her. She held a large role in ruining his life, but he knew that it was primarily his fault. Crowheart would try to focus on the future instead of dwelling on his past.
So he stood waiting as Adderstar climbed up to her post, preparing herself to address ShadowClan. The pure desire that flooded from her eyes told Crowheart all he needed to know. This was war. Before she even opened her mouth, he knew that the rumors had been true. Now, all he had to do was wait until she made the call. This would be his chance to prove to his clan just how powerful he was, just how important he was.
"WE SHALL DEMONSTRATE OUR MIGHT!"
Crowheart- along with a number of his clanmates- let a growl erupt from his throat. The crowd was getting extremely worked up every every word that dripped out of Adderstar's mouth. Some cats were silent and brooding, perhaps even worried about this development, but the majority of the clan was loud and rambunctious, ready to go. He barely even listened to the rest of Adderstar's speech, and her probably couldn't because of the blood rushing in his ears. As soon as the she-cat jumped down from the Low Branch and headed toward the entrance, he was ready to follow. Crowheart was not certain whether or not this would be a good thing, and he did not know her intentions, but he was ready.
Without thinking, Crowheart pushed through the crowd in order to get closer to Smokestep. At the young tom's ceremony, Crowheart had beamed with pride over his son. He couldn't remember ever being this proud of anyone or anything. Crowheart did not crowd his son, but he kept his pace steady next to the black and white warrior. As they were passing Blackfang and Shrikestorm, Crowheart couldn't help but reach out his tail to softly touch his ex-mate's flank. It was a bit of a silent goodbye, just in case he did not return and they were unable to talk things out. And perhaps it was sort of an "I love you" because he had not said in so long and he just needed her to know.
His bushy, black tail rested on Shrikestorm's flank for only a moment, and then they were off, and he was walking away from her, possibly to die. The large group of cats thundered through their territory. They would quiet down once they passed the border, but for now the excitement in the air was palpable. Some cats yowled into the steadily dimming sky, others stayed silent, but they were all headed straight toward ThunderClan, ready to spill the blood of their enemies.
Vultureheart had spent the morning sharpening her claws, gnawing on old bones to get her teeth in peak form as well, trying to keep her fur flat. Her position gave her advance warning of Adderstar's intentions, and she couldn't say she hadn't seen it coming since the skirmish. And honestly, the deputy was nervous. She had little desire to meet Sorrelfire in battle once again, and it felt like a step backward to be willingly engaging in battle so soon after her little relevelation that ThunderClan was not purely the vicious monsters she'd been conditioned to believe they were.
But at the same time, fighting was where she excelled, and she loved the rush that came with it. By the time Adderstar let out her call, Vultureheart had made what peace she could with the bloodshed to come. Her leader's word was law, and this was about more than revenge. This was atonement, this was blood money for all the cats that had been killed by ThunderClan's malicious maneuvering. If not every ThunderClanner was directly guilty for Rowanstar's cowardice, they were all complicit in the cover-up. Oh, they would never have been able to hide behind "the lake" forever. And hadn't she done what she could for her strange new friend, warning Sorrelfire that Adderstar had declared war and that as warriors they were obligated to fight fairly should they meet again? It was war after all, a warning was all she could give without making herself a traitor. And she would never be that.
The lanky she-cat dipped her head to Blackfang and Shrikestorm as she dirfted toward the exit. The camp was in good care under their command, and she was glad Adderstar had assigned this important duty to her old friend so that he wouldn't be tempted to follow them out. She had no desire to watch him die in battle, no matter how obligated he felt he was to fight. She took her place at the head of the battle force, meeting eyes with each of her Clanmates in turn. Sedgeleaf, herbs wrapped in leaves in her jaw, seemed not entirely content, but with the casualties to come who could blame him? Birchbelly stood beside him, giving words that did not make it to the deputy's ears. Smokestep, still surfing the high of his warrior ceremony, uncertain but determined, that same focus on his face that he had worn as he had faced off with the fox. Ashstrike's dark form took up position alongside him, offering encouraging words. Brindleheart took care to translate for Dandelionwhisker - Vultureheart was relieved that someone was looking out her former apprentice, she was much too on edge to be able to sign coherently. Featherfang, Shadepool, Sootpaw, all eager, ears alert and eyes bright. Swiftjaw had eyes only for Adderstar, and Vultureheart wasn't sure whether she envied her leader such attentions or feared them. It felt sacrilegous for a cat to look at another like that, with an awe generally reserved only for StarClan and their forces of nature. Crowheart, miraculously, watched her with only scraps of distaste. They held no love for each other but they were drawn together in the name of righteous action, and she welcomed this change, however temporary it turned out to be.
Adderstar came to her side, radiating power, her gaze almost feverish. "Vultureheart. Fight alongside me in battle, demonstrate our power with me, friend. Rowanstar will pay." Vultureheart was caught up in the adrenaline now, hackles raised, blood on fire though they had not yet set paw outside of camp. "Gladly, Adderstar," she returned, her voice nearly a growl. "RiverClan are fools to spit in the face of our alliance, but we hardly need their support anyway. We have force enough to spare. We will show the cowards of this forest what they are content to remain blind to! All of ThunderClan will pay, every cat who has murdered another with get their due. Of course I stand with you in this, as in all things."
She understood from Adderstar's few words that the two of them were to target Rowanstar directly, and this pleased the deputy immensely. There was little chance that young Sorrelfire would be part of the leader's guard, so she no longer had to worry about causing her friend harm. But Aspentongue, that was a whole other story. She and Rowanstar had long seemed close, and Vultureheart would more than willingly meet her in combat, especially if she could get her claws in Rowanstar's pelt as well. He was the force behind ThunderClan's despicable actions, there was no doubt about that.
All around her, ShadowClan lifted their voices in a proud battle cry, and Vultureheart raised her head to yowl with them. The call set every hair on her black pelt on edge, and her claws scraped the cold ground. The heart for which she had been named beat fiercely as the deputy pushed herself forward in the growing twilight, always one pace behind her leader, ears turned back to hear the soft roar of the many paws that followed in their wake. No matter what happened tonight, this was going to be a battle to remember for as long as she lived.
All of my old friends aren't so friendly
All of my old haunts are now all haunting me
Darkness enraptures him, he who is darker than night. He moves on silent paws with ears perched erect upon his head, brow furrowed wrinkling the scars across his muzzle. He listens in silence to the noises of his comrades, the noises of nature herself. So silent is he that for an instant the tom thinks he can even hear the owls in phantom flight.
Yellow eyes, gleaming from a face so blackened it absorbs the darkness around it, catch sight of his Daughter. She's grown so fast, and stands so strong in readiness for battle. Nightfang considers for a moment that what he feels is pride, a burning warmth in the pit of his belly. Pride or nerves. Neither Son is present and he curls his lip at the idea neither is brave enough to stand with their Sister, in the darkness, for just a moment he searches for their Mothers. The biological and adopted. He sees neither and moves further toward the gathering, head lowering as he stalks upon the scene.
In the back of his mind are his Leader's words, victory. Nightfang imagined nothing less. Never did this tom enter into battle thinking he would not come out on top, be it a fox or something larger Nightfang always intended to rise as victor.
Pausing the shadow lifts his skull to the sky, he watches for a moment as the stars blink down at him, his own eyes blink twice as he considers them. For a moment, in his heart, he wonders if Foxtail is watching him. Does she look down on him with the strange warmth in her belly that he feels for Brindleheart? Or is she simply waiting for the moment when he proves hismelf worthy of that warmth?
Nightfang does not approach his Daughter, he never has. He simply watches in the silence of shadows as she grows into an adult, until recently he hadn't felt anything for the kits at all but now he was growing to regret the cold nature he'd shown them. Tipping his ears forward the black tom moved off toward another darkened male, Ashstrike had caught his eye. Another hardened fighter who would make the difference between success and failure. "Looks like a fine young warrior to me." His gaze flicks from Smokestep to the way ahead toward the camp they seek to infiltrate, soon it will hardly matter if this is their first or fiftieth battle. "And if he's not, it'll hardly matter."
All of my old friends aren't so friendly
All of my old haunts are now all haunting me
The sun was beginning to dive behind the treeline, and ShadowClan was wide awake. Cats crowded into the center of camp, looking up to Adderstar for guidance. She was radiating with something that Newtpaw couldn't quite put her paw on, but it was starting to make her uncomfortable. The gleam in her leader's eyes made her want to shiver. Adderstar's voice rang out over the mass of cats, calling them to ready themselves for battle. Her words were met with immediate assent as many of the ShadowClan cats roared to life.
The cats around her were closing in, but Newtpaw shoved back just as hard. She did not have a problem with the rowdiness of her clanmates, but she would prefer if they were not so close to her. She was beginning to feel claustrophobic. The spotted she-cat crouched down and backed up until she was out of the group of cats. Quietly, she caught her breath and listened to the rest of Adderstar's words. It was all a little overdramatic for Newtpaw's taste, and that was saying something, but she could understand her leader's fervor.
She wasn't quite as riled up as some of her clanmates, but she was not looking away with horror like a few of the others. Newtpaw was somewhat excited about this. She was young, but she was certain that Horsewhisker had taught her enough in order to participate in this raid. When Adderstar finished speaking and jumped down to lead the way, Newtpaw hesitated ever so slightly. She looked around her, searching for someone she knew wouldn't be joining them.
Spotting the pale gray apprentice, Newtpaw moved to place herself within earshot. She hissed in Asterpaw's direction, resisting the urge to laugh as the she-cat drew back slightly. Tail raised high, Newtpaw pushed her way into the flood of cats making its way out of camp. Anticipation radiated through her lithe body. Once they were out into the territory, Newtpaw had to spread out from the herd of cats barreling through. She kept to the outside of the group to avoid being stomped on by a larger cat, and so she could breathe in the scent of the woods instead of the musty odor of her clanmates. Paws slammed against the earth in no pattern at all, making the ShadowClan cats sound like a pack of uncivilized dogs romping through the forest. Newtpaw mirrored her paced to a warrior's near her, trying to keep up.
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