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.
Days had past since the unforgettable battle that took place right in their very camp, their home, and that had claimed the lives of so many cats — ThunderClan and WindClan alike. The cut down the tom's neck had pretty much scabbed over, but it would be a while before his fur began to grow again in that spot. He didn't mind, though; it only grew painful when he turned his head unexpectedly or too quickly; it was the scratches down his legs that still bothered him at random times. Like now, they were burning with rage because they weren't resting. They were keeping Rowanstar upright as he sat at the edge of the Highledge, looking down at his cats that were, despite recent events, still doing their jobs as best as they could. His yellow eyes softened with pride at their resilience, but well, there may have been a hint of sadness in them, as well, knowing that they weren't all there.
Peregrinecry, he thought, images of her brown tabby coat and her bright green eyes flashing in his mind. She was the littermate, the sister of Aspentongue, the one cat in the whole forest that he could truly give his whole heart to. She'd been over thirty moons, but she was still in her prime and could have lived for moons to come if ShadowClan hadn't attacked. I wish I'd known you better. Not only that, but Whitestep had come to him moments before, expressing his desire to step down from being ThunderClan's deputy. Rowanstar didn't blame him; he'd been through a lot during the raid, and suffered significant injuries that would have undoubtedly caused suffering if he had taken his duties back up so soon. And right now, more than ever, they needed a deputy. Not only so they could continue with the process of rebuilding, but to help keep the clan calm during these difficult times. Trouble is, there weren't many cats who could easily replace Whitestep.
First, he'd asked Aspentongue, knowing that he would have loved to work by her side, but she was already with kits, and ultimately would have needed to devote more time to raising them than issuing patrols or helping him to investigate the lake. He thought about asking Sandflight again, but she had already turned him down once, back when he first became a leader, and so he knew that it was impossible. She would have been biased for every decision that Rowanstar made, and that wasn't a good quality for a deputy to have. No. He needed one that would call him out if he started being mousebrained, as he had been in recent moons. Maplecloud, on the other hand, had kits who were already three moons of age, almost apprentices, ones that could be left alone for periods at a time while duties could be performed. And her loyalties greatly traveled in ThunderClan's favour; she wouldn't jump at the chance to fight, but she would if she needed to, and this was something that she had never sought after. She was a mother through and through — and maybe that was exactly what ThunderClan needed now. He knew that she had had a rough start to her warrior life, but perhaps he could put her on a faster track this day.
Having no need to move from his current position, the ginger-and-white tom simply raised his chest and called out as loud as he could, "Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey, gather here beneath the Highledge for a clan meeting!" Stonestar's message still sat strongly with him. It was something that Rowanstar had known all along; ThunderClan wasn't responsible, and neither were any other clans. Extensive patrols would be assigned starting today, both along the ShadowClan border and along the lake; it was time they found out the truth about the deaths, and put a stop to it once and for all.
She had been waiting for this moment all day long, agonizing about it. Aspentongue had forced herself to get some fresh air and interact with others. She had roamed the empty forest and let several skimpy pieces of prey slip from her claws. The warrior had then gone to her sister's grave and prayed, spilling a handful of tears over the dirt that covered body. She had also avoided Rowanstar on purpose, scared one more look at him might as well cause more tears. She hated crying, being weak, being vulnerable in the state of distress. Aspentongue wanted it to stop, the tears, though they always came at the worse time. So by avoiding what caused them she thought she might get some peace. It seemed her plan was failing for being away from these things, they caused her more distress.
The stone cold warrior had enough of distress so when she heard her leader's call she picked her head up, choosing to sit at the back of the crowd. One of the first to arrive Aspentongue avoided her leader's gaze, looking somewhere off behind him. Everyone expected the deputy position to go to her, even if she was with kits. They know I'd give my kits up, my mate up, everything up to be deputy. They expect that. She smiled at that. One day she would've given that all up for her dream. Being a mother was not her dream, it was the opposite. Yet life about compromise and love. She really loved what she had - what she could have, even if it drove her so insane she didn't want it anymore. Being insane and in love was better than being sane and without happiness. So she told Rowanstar no, bluntly and cold. She really didn't want to have nine lives one day or to rule her clan, she wanted what she had.
So Aspentongue sat in the back, her tail wrapped neatly around her paws. She pushed her chin up as if to think she really was going to have her name called out for deputy. The newleaf air brushed against her fur, warm and gentle. I hope the new deputy is good. Aspentongue had no idea who her leader would chose as a deputy, after Whitestep's resignation. She had trusted that deputy so much and to see him go was hard. Whoever Rowanstar chose it better be a pretty darn good cat. If It's going to top Whitestep and myself.
Wasptail hadn't been herself since the raid. Gone was the calm, collected demeanor, the small smiles at her Clanmates' peculiarities, the easy way she reorganized her day to maximize her contributions to the fresh-kill pile. All of that had been wiped away in that one terrible moment, when the enemy had been close enough to touch - to claw, to wound and drive out - and she hadn't moved. She had stood, frozen, in the sea of blood and fury that rose up around her. She had stared in horror as the deputy of WindClan had been struck down in front of her. She had lived with her head down in the days that followed, afraid to meet her Clanmates' eyes for fear that would see, that they had seen, that they knew.
Wasptail knew she could not live without ThunderClan. She would never make it as a loner or an alley cat. Life as a kittypet was unthinkable. Subjugation was even worse than bloodshed. But a true warrior defended their Clan with claws and teeth when called upon to do so, and she had not. Rowanstar had given one of his lives in defense of his mate, and several other Clanmates had sacrificed their single chance at life for the same principles. Yet she, a scrawny, difficult cat with too many toes, and a coward to boot, she had lived.
She briefly looked up to watch Rowanstar's expression as he let out the traditional call to meeting. His gaze was directed in a completely other direction from her, so there was the sliver of a chance that he was not about to exile her for failing to uphold the Warrior Code. Still, the calico kept to the back of the crowd, so she could slink off unnoticed if her fears did come to pass.
This is nonsense, the small rational bit of her chimed in, its voice feeble under the apprehension. This is as bad as when Brindlefoot died. Your Clan is here for you, you must reach out again. But once again, her paws refused to move, even with their extra useless toes.
Words: 355 For: ThunderClan Notes: wasps not in a good place rn sorry for the angsty writing
Whitestep was a great deputy. Those five words ran through Maplecloud's head as she arrived, sitting quietly in the back of the meeting. She needed to watch over her kids, considering Snakekit's curiosity and insistence on trying to participate in Clan meetings. She would tell her kittens the gist of it later, but there was a reason that the call was for cats old enough to catch their own prey.
It had not been easy, recovering from the raid. Peregrinecry's death and Whitestep's resignation had deeply affected all of ThunderClan, and she still wondered which cat would be chosen to try and fill the massive pawsteps of Whitestep. ThunderClan did not need only a deputy. They needed a rock to guide them through their hard times, and Maplecloud knew that she would be loyal to whichever cat was chosen - in all likelihood, Aspentongue, or Sandflight maybe. She would continue to hunt and to patrol their territories, despite her lack of hunting skills and occasional failures at basic tasks, and help to contribute to ThunderClan as best she could. That was all the calico girl wanted with her life. Perhaps, many moons ago, she dreamed as all kits did, dreamed of having more than just a warrior's life. Of course, it was how all kits acted. Honey and Mole and Spider had shared those fantasies, and while Spiderfall was the medicine cat, it was not like their games of Honeystar or Spiderstar, the two kits who had always demanded to be in charge of their games.
Thus, Maplecloud had decided. She had had her kittens, she lived her life, she tried to make it through each sunrise without thinking about him, spending each day avoiding the memories that made up the second half of her youth. With four children to take care of, this was not difficult, her mind always focused on the location of each one and whether each was safe and happy.
Safe and happy. Perhaps those words described kits on a good day, but they also described the ideal situation for ThunderClan to be in.
So the deputy announcement was important. It would decide whether or not her Clan would truly reach safety and happiness within the coming moons, and it would decide which cat, which bloodline, would be elevated within the hierarchy of the Clan. A few words would decide the fortune or failures of ThunderClan.
words: 400 | tag: #thunderclan | rank: dep | notes:
It seemed that the whole Clan still laid in shock over the sudden attack that had happened a few days prior, and it was no surprise. It had happened so suddenly, and now, after the heat of the battle, Cloudpaw had realized that he was lucky to be alive. He had watched WindClan carry their deceased back, and helped the elders carry the bodies of their own fallen, and it gave him such a weird feeling of loss, despite the fact the Clan had survived. He was finding it hard to move on after it, even if he hadn't been directly affected like some had been with losses. He was a cowardly tom in general, and now he had the constant fear that ShadowClan lay just outside their camp borders. He shivered at the thought, shoving it down as he scanned the camp, eyes showing his sadness, his paranoia.
'It is going to take weeks to fix this damage.' He thought dully, noting the bad areas like the nursery, which had been attacked mercilessly by ShadowClan's leader. The prey that they had had been trampled, some still edible and not tainted with blood, and although none of it had been ideal, many of the cats had shoved aside finickiness and ate what they could save. 'We need prey, we need many things.' He was annoyed that he couldn't be of more use; he was only an apprentice, and he did not dare leave the camp on his own, for many reasons. He wanted to hunt, to run through the forest and try to erase the sounds of death and war from his ears and mind.
When Rowanstar called down upon the camp for a meeting, he noticed the leader up on his rock for the first time, hoping that he had not been spotted standing there idly, doing nothing of use. But after seeing the sad expression on his leader's face, he knew that he was not the only one still haunted by the attack, and his determination to do his best to help only felt stronger. He wanted to help, he wanted to try and wipe away all signs that would make his Clan feel weak. He settled before his leader, thoughts racing, suddenly realizing what this meeting would be for. 'Deputy naming.' He mused internally. His guesses were the same as the rest of his Clan, and he just hoped that whoever was chosen would do well.
if only for its sake. come on friends, get up now, love is to be made
The whole Clan still ached from the raid. Most of the camp had been cleaned up, aside from the nursery which still needed repairs, and if she hadn't known better the raid might have just seemed like a bad dream. But the haunted look in so many of her Clanmates' eyes and the absence of Peregrinecry reminded her it had been all too real. She blamed herself, sometimes-- if she had just run faster, joined in the fray sooner, known that so many of her Clanmates would have been injured...
But self pity filled no bellies, repaired no dens, comforted no cats. She dove right back into her duties, flitting around to bring moss to the elder's one second and diving into the nursery to help with repairs for the next. She hunted whenever she wasn't busy, bringing back whatever she could, no matter how small. Deep down, she couldn't have prevented injuries, so she did what she could to overcompensate.
She popped her head out of the nursery when she heard Rowanstar's call. Time to name the next deputy? she thought, padding out. She scanned the crowd and quickly sidled over next to Wasptail at the far end of camp, shooting the calico a quick smile as she settled down.
the clan had already begun to gather before rowanstar could gather his own thoughts. he didn't know how he could inspire them, not after everything that happened. whitestep was stepping down, apple-ear was paralyzed and forced to retire early, peregrinecry was dead, and so much more that he could barely comprehend anything that went on around him. but he had to remain strong. it was his job, and he had to act the part granted by starclan, or else he would appear weak in the eyes of his warriors. that's not an option, he reminded himself. there was still many things to look forward to and believe in, like the vision of his kits running and playing, training as apprentices, and watching his clan thrive despite everything. he knew this, but it was still hard to imagine anything but a corrupted future.
rowanstar cast a shallow look upon the cats gathered below him. he didn't feel proud, or happy, or angry, or sad. he didn't feel anything, because he couldn't. he couldn't let his clan see how disappointed or disheartened he had become over the last few days; what had been building up, slowly, over the course of several moons. since the first lake deaths occurred. when little kestrelkit and nightkit washed up on riverclan's shores, when everything started going downhill. nothing made sense to thunderclan then, and it still didn't. but bramblestar remained strong; he didn't waver, even after magpiestar began tossing the blame their way. he remained completely rational, peaceful even, as he tried to talk some sense into the large black-and-white tom. it was in vain, though. rowanstar didn't it know it then, but everything riverclan's old leader did — raiding thunderclan, killing bramblestar and his parents, tossing blame — wasn't irrational at all. he had been doing what was best for riverclan, just as he would do for thunderclan. he walked at least a mile in magpiestar's paws during these past few moons alone. he only wished he hadn't been so foolish while the older tom was alive. if i hadn't acted out as i did, maybe it could have been resolved before it got this bad.
but that was all in the past now. there was no point in arguing against himself; he could only move forward, learning from his mistakes. "even a leader makes mistakes, rowanfur." the ginger-and-white tom took solace in bramblestar's voice, even if it had only been a figment of his imagination. learn from them. move forward. do right by your clan in the future. "cats of thunderclan," he began, his voice strong and confident, a betrayal to the feelings he'd been fighting only moments before. "i understand how all of you must be feeling; worn, tired, afraid. but though we are wounded, the attacks and harassments of shadowclan do not define us." rowanstar's yellow gaze fell over each and every cat who had seated themselves before him. "we are thunderclan. we do not bow to adderstar, nor vultureheart, nor any cat. we rebuild, we grow stronger, and we survive. no —" he began to pace along the edge of the highledge, his own speech flowing through his veins, making his blood boil at the very thought. "— to say we merely survive is an understatement, because our clan thrives. we have the best territory, the most variant prey, and the most talented warriors. our future is guaranteed!"
the thunderclan leader's tail lashed from side to side, not out of anger but out of pride for his cats. if one looked closely, it would appear as though he held his chest high as such. "and it is with these notions that i must regretfully announce the resignation of our faithful deputy, whitestep. his wounds were too great, and it will be many moons before he is back to being himself." rowanstar's gaze found his fellow ginger tom, his head bowing to meet him; a gesture of respect. whitestep had been thunderclan's deputy for many moons, longer than his first deputy had been, and to imagine a day without him dutifully organising patrols, assessments and hunting parties was hard. lifting his head back to the crowd, he knew he had to make his decision now. the new deputy. it wasn't his job to worry about if the clan accepted his decision, but he still couldn't help himself in doing so. "i say these words before starclan, so that the spirits of our ancestors may hear and approve of my choice." he paused, more so that he could pinpoint his target of conversation before he announced it. and once the calico form was spotted, he continued. "the new deputy will be maplecloud."
this was not all that he had to announce, for a certain other apprentice showed great courage during the raid as well. he waited for the crowd to calm down, and then he moved forward with the meeting. "that isn't all," he announced, lifting his tail to silence any remaining murmurs from the crowd. "daisypaw showed amazing courage during the raid. it was her who went to call for aide from windclan, even though she didn't know the way. without her, we may have been hurt worse than we were. it is time for her to receive her warrior name."
"daisypaw, please come forward," he motioned to the smaller ginger-and-white cat in the crowd, his voice lighter than it had been that entire time. he always grew proud when he named a new warrior; they were all his children, from the oldest elder to the youngest kit, and so he couldn't help but feel as a father would during these times. "i, rowanstar, leader of thunderclan, call upon my warrior ancestors to look down on this apprentice. she has trained hard to understand the ways of your noble code, and i commend her to you as a warrior in her turn. daisypaw, do you promise to uphold the warrior code and to protect and defend your clan, even at the cost of your life?" he waited, giving the young cat time to speak up. after all, he knew that sometimes, nerves could prevent one from saying anything at all, no matter how much they might have wanted to. it had happened a couple of times during his own apprenticeship. if she would say the traditional "i do," then he would continue. for the past days, he'd thought long and hard about what her name would be, and it was one that suited her well. he was quite proud of it. "then by the powers of starclan, i give you your warrior name. daisypaw, from this moment you will be known as daisybreeze. starclan honours your speed and compassion, and we welcome you as a full warrior of thunderclan." he climbed down from his perch atop the highledge, resting his nose gently to the newly named daisybreeze's forehead, a gentle purr flowing from his throat.
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