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.
It was the day after the raid, and for a moment Acornstar could forget everything that had happened the night before. But the aching of his body, and the great grief that remained in his heart after the losses his Clan had sustained very quickly brought him to reality when he woke. He did not regret helping ThunderClan against the unprovoked attack, but he felt guilty for leading some of his Clanmates into a fight where they had lost their lives, and it could have maybe, potentially been avoided. The hardest thing had been naming another deputy, after they had dragged Cottonheart's body back to camp. Despite having been incredibly weak after losing his second life, he had insisted on being one of the ones to carry him back, and the ceremony for naming the next deputy had been preformed the night before. It was such a raw wound. He had always looked up to Cottonheart, and losing the tom was strange, and heartbreaking, and he knew it would take some time before he could think of the white tom and not feel like he was choking.
But, despite the hurt, both physical and emotional, he knew there was something else he had to do, another ceremony. But, thankfully, this was a much happier one, and even though he felt so drained, he managed to pull himself to his paws, give himself a shake, and with a sigh he exited his Leaf-Bare den inside the Tallrock. It was raining, as if StarClan were mourning the losses of the night before, and he felt his breath hitch, and it took a couple deep breaths to regain his composure. 'We lost a lot... But we are strong.' He reminded himself with a thought as he launched up onto the Tallrock. He stared down at the place he called home, watching as the rain splattered unforgivably on everything it could touch, and he sighed. At least it was not snow.
He did not call the Clan to a meeting right away, instead he watched the cats below, all curious but only a couple gathered automatically. No one knew what he was going to do, and the new deputy had already been named, so confusion was expected. After a few more moments, he rose to his paws, and held his head high. He was in pain and so drained emotionally, but this was a proud time, and he was proud of his Clan, and despite all the weariness, he felt a small smile reach his face as he looked down at his Clan. "Let all WindClan cats gather below the Tallrock!" he bellowed, not using the traditional call, for he wanted all cats young and old to witness his words and the ceremony.
'We are strong, and this will only make us stronger.'
At the sound of Acornstar's command, she opened her eyes and raised her head, trying to work out what was going on. She had been napping, but now, she was awake, yet a little confused. She watched a few other warriors hurry over to sit beneath the tallrock and realized, getting up herself and taking a place beside them, looking up with curiosity as to what Acornstar had to say. Perhaps it was the time for some of the kits to receive their apprentice names. No, there wasn't any kits. From what she could remember, anyway.
She could be thinking wrong, though. Again, she had only just gotten up, so her mind was a bit fuzzy right now. Waiting to see what was said, she stretched out a leg at a time, shaking herself as to if to wake herself up even more. Since Acornstar hadn't started speaking yet, she turned her head slightly and watched as more cats joined them, waving her tail in a quick hello. Specklewing didn't have many friends around here (she wasn't the kindest of cats by any stretch of imagination), but she still tried her best to keep them all on her good side. It wasn't fun to have a thousand enemies. None of the cats smiled back, unsurprisingly. It would probably take them a while before they were happy again; the battle had made them all ever so grumpy.
i've been swimming for 1000 years and i've seen more than you realize
cloverstep had watched a clan leave, no more than a sunrise ago, fierce in the face of an unexpected battle. he had seen the quiet pride in the eyes of those that had been selected to fight, called up to defend their allegiance's honour. he, too, had seen the disappointment in those that remained behind, resentful that their skills had been designated elsewhere- and he, too, would admit that he'd felt the same at first. it was hard to be part of the group that was left behind, away from the action and unable to directly help. all they could do was keep the kits and the elders reassured that all would be well.
that morning, all was quiet. any mention of jealousy for remaining back in the camp had been swiftly wiped away. the cats of windclan were shocked and confused by their losses during that fateful raid, having expected no more than a little scuffle. the duties were light; there was nothing much to do except to contemplate the massive absence where there had once been life. when they had brought the cottonheart's limp body into camp the evening before, carried by none other than acornstar, the collective wail of mourning had been soul-crushing. the loss of the two apprentices, galepaw and rosepaw, was especially deep, their small bodies lying still next to those of the warriors they had fought alongside.
that shadowclan would ever stoop so low as to murder the young was the last straw, cloverstep could tell. the hit had been low, allegiance and duty or not. but at that moment, all the tom wanted was for everything to return back to a certain semblance of normalcy. it was hard to see the medicine cat den so full and the camp so quiet. with normalcy, they could keep moving on, avoiding the tempting lure of revenge.
so when cloverstep heard the call for a meeting, he was one of the first cats to arrive to the tallrock. he nodded at acornstar when he caught the leader's gaze, noting his injuries. it was rumoured that he had lost a life in the battle the night before, but if he had, it was impossible to see a change. cats of all ages settled in around him, waving to him if they locked eyes. there was a promising energy in the air- curiosity tinged with hope. cats were looking for all of the good news they could possibly get, soaking it up like dry moss. perhaps normalcy would return to the camp faster than i imagined, he thought, glancing patiently up to wait for acornstar's unexpected announcement.
His eyes were peering around as Dawnfang tried to inconspicuously search for his mate. Repeatedly, he had been told that he was overprotective of her. She never voiced these concerns, but his clanmates had. And of course he was protective. Shellnose was beautiful and smart and talented. Dawnfang paled in comparison to his mate, and he was okay with that. But he was not okay with sharing her with anyone else. He had to kept her. She was the only really good thing that he had going on in his life and he needed her.
The ginger tom didn't want to seem too anxious about Shellnose not being right here, because he did not want to have to sit through another lecture from one of his clanmates claiming that he needs to back off of her and let her breath. If he gave her too much slack, she would most certainly discover just how terrible Dawnfang truly was compared to the rest of the world, so he simply had to keep her close.
He was sitting near the edge of the camp on a higher incline, trying to see as much as he could without being too "stalkerish" as somebody had put it. Suddenly, his orange eyes picked up a flash of white. This very easily could have been one of the late Cottonheart's relatives, but Dawnfang was going to check it out anyway. His eyes located the snowy pelt and he started toward the figure. Just as he took the first step, he was interrupted by Acornstar's voice calling together a meeting. Dawnfang let out a perturbed hiss, but obeyed his leader nonetheless. Glancing around as he slunk over to the group of slowly gathering WindClanners, he saw all of the injuries of yesterday's battle. Dawn believed that WindClan should not have interfered, but part of him understood why Acornstar had led a patrol over to help.
Last night, Acornstar had named Harenose as his new deputy, so what could this meeting be about? Would they be remembering the cats that they had lost? Wishing their spirits eternal happiness in StarClan? Dawnfang shrugged inwardly and chose a spot near the outside of the group to sit. His eyes still searched for his mate, but he was trying to stay focused on his leader.
The patter of rainfall woke her, but Lavenderfoot could tell that behind the clouds the day had long been wasted. She sighed, hoping Acornstar had just decided all the battle patrol members could have the day off and that was why no one had woken her. Sure, she was fairly well known for being a slacker, but she did have some standards.
But it had been an awful night. She and Bluefeather had done their very best, and had gotten home with minimal injuries, but they had been some of the lucky ones. Cottonheart, who had been a fixture around camp since before she had even been thought of, was dead, and his death had not been a good one. But what weighed most heavily on the little tabby was Rosepaw. She'd caught one fleeting glimpse of the brave little apprentice as they'd charged ThunderClan's camp, but brushed it away, thinking it was impossible for her to have followed them. Fragmented thoughts of, I should have listened to my instincts, I should have told someone, she might still be with us had floated in her head during the deputy ceremony, and had only been chased off when she'd given in the need for sleep afterward. But would Rosepaw ever have been all right without her father? There was never going to be an answer to that question.
Lavenderfoot shook a bit of damp moss from her paw and poked her head outside. Rainclouds stretched on as far as she could see, and the rain had a steady beat that meant it wasn't stopping anytime soon. It would atrocious hunting in this weather, so maybe she could find something worthwhile to do around camp instead. Though if Bluefeather decided she absolutely had to go try her luck, Lavender wouldn't turn her down.
Acornstar's call solved her immediate query of what to do, and the she-cat drifted over toward the Tallrock resigned to becoming drenched. She spied a bit of raised root and perched her tiny paws atop it. It wasn't much, but it was something. Her leader's expression was weary but strong, and she wasn't sure what to make of it. Could be bad news, could be good. But whatever was coming, Lavenderfoot had proved herself in battle, so she could handle any challenge.
Bluefeathers throat was still raw and ragged from her shouts and screeches that she had released during the raid. Her front left foreleg ached dully from having been pinned by that nasty shadowclan tom she and Lavenderfoot had battled. Scratches down her shoulder stung, but she had received nothing compared to others. Their deputy was dead. In her minds eye she could still see the fluffy white tom assigning patrols. Hopefully, in starclan, he would be recognized for his achievements. From the silence and pattering of raid on their den roof, her former mentors voice broke through her thoughts. She considered staying in her nest...pretending to be asleep. Had she done all that she could for the Thunderclan she cat that she had attempted to save? Perhaps, if she had been faster...
The rustling of nests around her could be heard as warriors rose to her feet. Cracking one eye open she spied Lavenderfoots tail as it vanished through the den entrance. With a heavy sigh she too got to her paws. She supposed if her usually less motivated friend could attend the clan meeting, the former apprentice of their mentor ought to make an appearance as well.
Soon enough she was padding across the camp, head low in the rain as it soaked into her long coat. She didn't pity those with more plush fur and was thankful that her own locks were more lengthy than thick. Bluefeather came to a stop near Lavenderfoot, close enough that their shoulders touched. Her mind was plagued with doubt over her actions in the raid, and there was nothing more that she wished for than the consolation of a friend. Perhaps she could speak to Lavenderfoot over the matter...but then, surely Acornstar, their leader and her former mentor, would have more wise words to offer than another young warrior...
volecloud hadn't been called to participate in the raid. at first, he was shocked, even slightly angry that he hadn't been chosen; but now, he was thankful. the aftermath was horrendous, and the bodies of the cats that had once been windclan warriors shook the tom to his core. perhaps the saddest of them all were the corpses of the two apprentices who'd been called instead, so tiny in comparison to the fallen warrior. he shook his head bitterly, dreading his melancholy thoughts.
the morning was slow, and the sky was grey, fitting the mood that had transfixed in the tom that day. the clan was still and quiet, still overcome with the shock that always followed such a harsh battle. he had heard the cries of family members and friends all night, mourning the losses of their beloved. it was selfish, definitely, but volecloud couldn't help but thank his stars that he hadn't been close to anyone that had been pronounced dead and buried the few nights previous.
a curious sight stood atop the tallrock, volecloud noted, as he set about waking up. the rain pattered down lightly on the tom's striped head as he looked up toward his leader. he expected the words of a meeting to fall from the tom's mouth, but couldn't quite place a reason as to why any sort of meeting or ceremony would be called. harenose had been announced as deputy the previous night, after the traumatic loss of cottonheart. this had to be one, just to pull them together. to remind them that, even with their trials and tribulations, they were still as whole as they were before.
the silence of the camp was nerve-wracking, at the very least. volecloud shifted his weight from paw to paw, lying in wait, until acornstar spoke from atop the tallrock. finally, the warrior thought, his body sagging slightly after he exhaled. still, the anxious thoughts lingered, as those weren't the traditional words for a meeting. something was missing - the tail end of that statement, the one that called for all cats old enough to catch their prey to gather beneath the tallrock. surely, this was something important.
a familiar coat began weaving its way to the front of the crowd that had begun to gather. things were tense with cloverstep, at the moment, but volecloud felt that in this moment, they would need each other more than ever. with another sigh, he quietly padded toward the ginger tom, sitting down next to his still frame without a sound. he glanced at him, shyly, but tore his eyes away at the last second, as if he were embarrassed. he titled his head forward, reveling in the rain, once again waiting for acornstar to speak.
He had known this day was coming for such a long time and it had had him excited, though now, he wasn't sure if he wanted it. His mother and father were dead and he was never going to see them again. Six moons of training. But now it had come to the day, he was sort of dreading it. He felt sick with nerves. Since he was getting his name, did that also mean, in a way, he was recovering from the passing of his parents? No, he didn't want that! Yet maybe it would make them proud of him. At that, he decided he was only doing this for that very reason. Not to feel accomplished.
Out of the apprentice den he walked, glancing around at all of the warriors around him, until he got to where he should stand and sat down, looking up at Acornstar. He was desperately trying to hold himself together, even though he could feel the storm lashing at him from the inside, over time worsening with great pangs. He was about to be a warrior and yet here he was, letting the grief consume him when his parents wouldn't want it to. I didn't want this day to be like this, Badgerpaw thought, Today definitely isn't the day to celebrate. Why did you have to go? I still needed you here and yet you abandoned me. I can't fight the bad days on my own. I can't live up to the ferocity of the name that you gave me. I know that now, I know I'm weak - I don't care, though, I just want to go back in time where we can be a whole family. Are you even listening to me? Don't leave me on my own. It didn't matter how much he pleaded and questioned. It was too late. And with every passing moment, he realized that.
His throat felt raw from all the action that had gone on the day before, and his chest was tight with grief. But despite all the negative emotions and physical aliments he felt, he forced himself to hold his head high as his Clan gathered. No doubt they would see the pained way he held his body, and that lingering expression of deep loss, but they would also see their leader, ready to encourage them to stand for another day. The loss of their Clanmates was not for nothing, and he had reminded them all that the night prior; they were WindClan, they were strong.
He watched as the last cats came crawling out their dens, and his eyes found the particular apprentice he had been seeking out, a soft smile spreading across his features as he spotted his own apprentice. He could tell with a single look that the young Badgerpaw was still struggling with all that had happened lately, as parents had been lost just before the raid had begun, and so Badgerpaw was feeling double the amount of grief everyone else felt. Acornstar would've left the ceremony for later, but he wanted to give something to make the tom happy, even if briefly, and in the past two moons since the leader had recovered from sickness, he had seen such amazing results from the apprentice.
"Before we preform a certain ceremony, I want to thank all of you again for your hard work yesterday." He mewed, in a voice much softer than before. He cast his eyes across each individual member of WindClan, for even if they all had not gone to actually fight, every cat had held a risk, for the fighting could've been brought back home. "We lost some great cats, but their efforts will not be forgotten, for WindClan and ThunderClan live to see another day!" It ended in a shout, words of encouragement. They were WindClan. They were helpful, and they were strong. There was no more time for regrets.
"Badgerpaw, please approach the Tallrock." He then called calmly, wanting to do nothing more than give the tom licks on the muzzle, prepare him for the ceremony much like a parent would. But, sadly, he had a position to uphold, and he would make it up to him later. It was time for his second apprentice to get his name, and he was so proud he felt he could burst.
When Acornstar praised the clan, Badgerpaw acted as though he was listening, but actually, he was still thinking about the two cats, until he was summoned forward. For a few moments, he stood there, his breathing shaky. And finally, he got to his paws and slowly approached the Tallrock. He was probably making a right fool of himself, that was what everyone else was most likely thinking. He couldn't bring himself to care. Once upon a time, he would have been so embarrased at something like this happening. Ashamed for acting so... undignified. But he was hurting too badly.
Please do it quickly, Acornstar, he pleaded silently as he looked up at the cream tom. Now it was at that very moment, he was feeling sick, the weight inside of him getting heavier and heavier. Even with this grief, nothing could stop his heart being fast as a glimmer of excitement rised in him. He would get vengeance for what them rogues had taken from him. He'd find them and shred them to tiny pieces. There would be nothing left of them to go to whatever they believed in. They would spend the rest of their days grounded, howling for the pain that he had caused them and regretting every little thing that they had done. Never again would they get to take anyone else's lives. He would be the one to stop them, even if it meant having to one hundred times. This was Badgerpaw's planned revenge and now, he was hungry to have it.
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