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Gustclan post 38

Postby Chamrosh » Wed May 16, 2018 10:33 pm


    xxxxHeronstar had never been a great climber, and she was far past her limber peak, so she had to struggle up to her spot. “Let all cats old enough gather under the wall!”
    xxxxSaying “old enough to catch their own prey” felt clumsy at best. Surely every cat with the strength to walk outside should be able to attend? They were hardly going to announce something inappropriate for kits in public anyway. Heronstar waited patiently as the other Gustclan cats gathered around her, her tail just flicking slightly on the other side of the brickwork.
    xxxxAnd as she’d expected even if she had specified ages, Boulderdash’s kits were all coming outside anyway. And Boulderdash was struggling to mind all five. Until they were apprentices, she was tasking Barn-owl with helping keep an eye on them, and not just relaxing as being an elder normally implied. He’d been doing a good job but his breaks to relieve himself were already noticeably more common over the last few moons. He’d always come back, Heronstar was sure he wasn’t deliberately slacking off, but she was concerned for his deteriorating state of health.
    xxxxHeronstar waited until every cat was sitting in a vaguely orderly fashion (except for Sealkit, who was fidgeting, with just one paw actually, which was rather strange but it seemed to be his habit).
    xxxxHeronstar shuffled her paws, straightened herself up and took a big breath in.
    xxxx"Ospreykit!” The molly kit hesitantly walked forwards like Mosquitopaw and Lobsterpaw had told her to, and Heronstar started talking again once she got close enough to the right spot. “You have reached six moons, and it is time for you to become an apprentice. From now until you become a warrior, you will be known as Ospreypaw. Your mentor will be Clarystorm-" Heronstar was interrupted by a collective gasp from many of the cats, so she had to pause a few seconds, glaring down, and seeing that was ineffective-
    xxxx"Silence! He’s a capable warrior, who so far has proven trustworthy, and I have had words with him about not rubbing his abrasive nature too thoroughly onto his apprentice.” The murmuring quietened a good deal. Yes, she’d made a controversial choice, but with so many kits around, it seemed important to thoroughly assess who might make a good mentor and whose skills might be useful. Clarystorm seemed keen to teach, so why not let him? Heronstar herself would be checking he wasn’t a bad influence, and Cicelypaw was nearly ready to be a warrior of whatever limited capacity she’d be able to sustain herself, so she could afford to spend the time on it.
    xxxxHeronstar cleared her throat and continued. Ospreykit didn’t seem so concerned as many of the others, but if she didn’t seem brave and stubborn, Heronstar wouldn’t have assigned the mentor she was assigning. “Your mentor will be Clarystorm. I hope that Clarystorm will pass down what he knows to you.” Her eyes scouted around her clan for a moment. “Clarystorm!” Clarystorm took only a few steps from where he’d sat at the very edge of the front line. “You are ready to take on an apprentice, and you show plenty of persistence in attempts to teach us all, so I hope you can channel that productively. You will be the apprentice of Ospreypaw, and I expect you to pass on all… everything helpful you know to her.”
    xxxxClarystorm and Ospreypaw stood awkwardly, neither of them entirely familiar with the ceremony. Clarystorm unwilling to allow himself to lose track of his surroundings by focusing on such a narrow field of view as just one face, and Ospreypaw wary enough not to let such a potentially dangerous warrior get so close to her throat with his teeth. Heronstar was sure they’d get on. If there was one thing Clarystorm loved it was being cautious.
    xxxxThere were similar objections to her next assignment too.
    xxxx("How come Vendy gets an apprentice and I don’t? You know I’m going to team up for training, don’t you?” Heronstar rolled her eyes. Yes she did, thank you Langoustinefang. But you couldn’t assign an apprentice to two mentors).
    xxxxAt least no one rejected Firepath’s appointment to Saffronpaw. He had a good reputation among the other warriors, although Heronstar was aware his focus on his insecurities would never allow him to be a good leader or deputy after herself and Chubtail.
    xxxxAnd lastly…
    xxxx"Tabbyfur!” There were only three complaints, and she could predict exactly who they were from without having to look at the new apprentices. Tabbyfur seemed honestly pleased about it. At least she was honest to herself about her ineptitude, otherwise she wouldn’t willingly take being treated as as uneducated as her kits. “Due to your background as a kitty-pet, you have sadly been unable to learn our ways yourself, but you have proven your loyalty in staying here and allowing your kits to be raised here to enough of a degree that I have no doubts in your worthiness to start to become a warrior. You no longer must mind your kits, and so I believe it due time to officially train you. I will not make you be known as Tabbypaw-" for some unfathomable reason, Tabbyfur looked bewildered by that. Heronstar really wasn’t sure what could be confusing there. “-as an apprentice may not have kits. Your mentor will be Chubtail, who aims to make you a true warrior as soon as he can.”
    xxxxChubtail followed his part of the ceremony as normal, touching noses as expected.
    xxxx"Lionkit!” There were some quiet mutterings, but not many. There was far more scepticism of the Hyenaclan cats being included in normal clan life than about a kitty-pet. The worst danger Tabbyfur could bring was soft-ness. Troutpaw and Lionpaw had been raised in a vicious environment and there was no guarantee that they were not just as vicious, and having two of them would be far more incidious than just one. But Heronstar could hardly leave either to die, as they were both found as kits.
    xxxxHeronstar was half way through when yet again an apprentice ceremony was interrupted.
    xxxxHeronstar’s eyes were drawn over to Boulderdash’s kits as a dark streak – Dipperkit – jumped away from something moving erratically on the floor. The other kits were moving…
    xxxx"Why did you kick me?!” Dipperkit demanded.
    xxxxAnd as the cats’ heads turned to get a look-
    xxxxSealkit was twitching uncontrollably on his back, one moment turning one way, the next flinging himself over the other way.
    xxxx"Sealki' sto'.” Boulderdash tried to reassume motherly responsibility for her kit. But Sealkit didn’t seem able to hear. He didn’t seem to be able to do anything except flail, with his eyes pointing directly forward no matter how his head flung around, stuck wide open, the only part of him that didn’t seem to be moving.
    xxxx"Everyone, get away from Sealkit!” Harrierpelt ordered, running over, with a fiercely protective air to his voice. Harrierpelt looked mystified but also horrified, much the same as everyone else, and Heronstar was terrified at the implications if Harrierpelt had no idea what to do.
    xxxx"Lionpaw, your mentor’s Osierfang. Apprentices, follow any orders Harrierpelt gives about what to do.” Heronstar directed quickly, before leaping down himself. Harrierpelt had finally managed to get everyone out of the way just as Sealkit slumped to the ground, still.
    xxxxThere was deathly silence for a moment, before Sealkit groaned.
    xxxxAnd Teaslekit was the first cat to run right up to his brother, nuzzling him, and muttering under his breath. “You should work up to dancing like that, but it’s definitely more than your tail that’s got a talent for it. And… you might be a Sealstep when you grow up; you remember Barn-owl talking about how seals move too, right?”
    xxxx"Teasleki’, do’ ya dare joke ‘bou…”
    xxxxBut Sealkit was smiling at his brother from a confused daze. So Boulderdash held back completing her rebuke. Harrierpelt looked across at Teaslekit – and now, also, Zinniakit – who was (were) now dealing with comforting and reassuring Sealkit, before focusing on looking after his son’s wellbeing.
    xxxx"Why? Why did you have to do this to my kit? Sealkit hasn’t done anything wrong!”
    Dad?And as always, silence.
    Dad, I can’t talk to you. I can’t believe you did that! Twice! I’m the only Starclan cat who’d want to. How to deal with you? I’m not killing Sealkit- I want him to have the life I couldn’t! I don’t know what’s wrong, and I promise if I find out, I will try to stop it… but I can’t… I can’t, dad. I don’t know how to talk to you. Just blackness, and the feeling of a single pair of eyes watching him from the darkness, raising the fur on the back of his neck.
    xxxx"Ma, did you see how good we were at helping Sealkit?” Zinniakit asked.
    xxxxBoulderdash nodded wearily. She had a feeling this was going to continue. She was starting to wonder whether these two really were going to constantly be fighting over who got to be the next medicine cat. Boulderdash couldn’t say she was looking forward to that.
    xxxx"What did you do to Sealkit?” Sparrowfoot demanded.
    xxxx"I didn’t do anything. None of us did. It’s outside Starclan’s control. If I could stop it, I would.”
    xxxx"What do you mean it’s out of Starclan’s control? Don’t you control everything?”
    xxxxIn the dream, Elmfang shook her head just slightly. It was strange, seeing her sister still as a kit. “We can’t control everything.” And then, done with the questioning, Elmfang took a deep breath that rattled her tiny kit body, and exhaled, and the dream separated away from Sparrowfoot as she stood in Starclan, and then woke to the sound of bird song.
    I control dreams, not bodies, big sister. And Starclan is only privy to so much of your future. I so wish I could help you. But until my knowledge is clearer, clear enough to give helpful warnings, sister ... Sweet waking.
    Shortly After the Apprentice Ceremony--

    xxxxThe apprentice den was getting a bit full now. Although all the dens were big, it was becoming hard to enter without bumping into someone else.
    xxxxSaffronpaw was the last of the new apprentices to choose a spot, largely because he’d specifically asked Firepath if he could go along on the regular border patrol today so he’d seen the whole territory already, as soon as he could. Tabitha had moved into the warriors’ den, leaving him in an unfamiliar environment with no warriors or queens.
    xxxxHis sisters had already been taken out of the den for training, and a few other had gone out to practice their skills separately from their mentors, leaving him alone with Mosquitopaw and Lionpaw.
    xxxxSaffronpaw stepped uncertainly over the threshold into the den, and saw both the eyes looking at him. Lionpaw looked as uncertain as he did about their company, and that was saying something, as Saffronpaw didn’t think he’d seen Lionpaw show weakness before. Mosquitopaw (it felt weird not being able to refer to her as Moskito, having heard that for moons from her mother) sat on the ledge by the vertical ice, looking down, and Lionpaw was at a similar height but from the human nest’s remains. Saffronpaw felt like he was being severely looked down on.
    xxxxMosquitopaw looked across at the two of them. The look of her eyes said she already knew she was in charge.
    xxxx"So, how are you two looking forward to being apprentices?”
    xxxxSaffronpaw rolled his eyes slightly. She’d only been an apprentice for a moon, he really wasn’t in a good position to be patronising them like that.
    xxxx"Your warriors are softer than Hyenaclan’s.” Lionpaw said, very matter-of-fact.
    xxxxMosquitopaw nodded slightly, acknowledging that. “Do either of you know much of the code yet?” she asked, knowing neither had been exposed properly to the code yet due to being born outside a conventional clan.
    xxxxBoth the younger apprentices shook their heads.
    xxxxMoquitopaw took a big breath in, and prodceeded to recite the code word-for-word. She'd only heard each rule strung together once.
    xxxx"Wow.”/"Wow.” Lionpaw was amazed at Mosquitopaw’s memory, while Saffronpaw was amazed at what she’d actually said, which gave a rather different tone to both of their responses.
    xxxx"Are there really that many holes in the code?”
    xxxx"Holes? I don’t see any.”
    xxxx"Well, for instance, the code doesn’t say “don’t kill” it just says you “shouldn’t need to kill”, which is very different. And even if it were more precise, why did they feel the need to specify that honourable cats will choose to act with honour? And that’s one rule!”
    xxxx"Honour’s a luxury we can’t all afford.” Mosquitopaw was working off hypotheticals, sure, but she said it so surely that Saffronpaw was sure many would have doubted her apparent level of experience. “Sometimes the best option is to prioritise something other than honour.”
    xxxx"Really. You’d rather have a dishonourable warrior-"
    xxxx"Than one who allows kits to die by not killing a cat that’s attacking them. It’s only for self defence that you can kill with honour, or one who’s broken the code. Nothing saying you can kill someone who’s about to break the code to defend someone else. Nothing saying you can kill to help save any lives by your own while retaining honour. Prioritising honour is inherently selfish.”
    xxxx"You only defend the code as it is so you can ignore what it’s telling you.” Saffronpaw said. He stepped more fully into the apprentice den, and started looking for a decent nest spot. After a few seconds, Lionpaw spoke.
    xxxx"I waited through you two brain-boxes arguing that long, and I don’t even get to see a fight? You guys are so boring.”
      - 2285
Commands wrote:
[ Lionkit is apprenticed to Osierfang and becomes Lionpaw; Ospreykit is apprenticed to Clarystorm and becomes Ospreypaw; Noctulekit is apprenticed to Vendacethroat and becomes Noctulepaw; Saffronkit is apprenticed to Firepath and becomes Saffronpaw. Tabitha is apprenticed to Chubtail and receives no name-change ]
[ Harrierpelt goes out to look for herbs ]
[ Argusheart, Pearstone, Sparrowfoot, Nettleflower, Moraine, and Langoustinefang go hunting ]
[ Martinwhisker and Troutpaw, Bugleclaw and Pheasantpaw, Shellcloud and Mosquitopaw, Lobeliafur and Lobsterpaw, Merlindash and Camberpaw, Osierfang and Lionpaw, Clarystorm and Ospreypaw, Vendacethroat and Noctulepaw, and Firepath and Saffronpaw train ]
[ Myrtleclaw and Ploverpaw, and Heronstar and Cicelypaw train; tracking ]
[ Chubtail and Tabitha train; climbing ]
[ Boulderdash stays in camp to mind the kits; Teaselkit, Ringkit, Zinniakit, Dipperkit, and Sealkit ]
[ Droseratail and Barnfish stay in camp ]
[Advent Items: Mint, Heather Nectar, Hare, Coltsfoot, Frog, Stick, Rabbit, Mouse, Rabbit, Daisy Leaf, Coltsfoot, Oak Leaf, Ragwort, (caught up to day 17). I’m waiting to do cat picks! ]
[ Gustclan consumes 1 big fish and 2 rabbits – 7 portions ]

Katrione wrote:
[ Lionkit, Ospreykit, Noctulekit and Saffronkit are now apprentices: Lionpaw, Ospreypaw, Noctulepaw and Saffronpaw! ]
[ Harrierpelt only managed to gather raspberry leaves before the blizzard came ]
[ Argusheart, Pearstone, Sparrowfoot, Nettleflower, Moraine and Langoustinefang caught two rabbits and a big fish while hunting ]
[ Troutpaw, Pheasantpaw, Mosquitopaw, Lobsterpaw, Camberpaw, Lionpaw, Ospreypaw, Noctulepaw and Saffronpaw learned the Hunting skill while training ]
[ Ploverpaw and Cicelypaw learned the Tracking skill while training ]
[ Tabitha learned the Climbing skill while training ]

Last edited by Chamrosh on Thu May 17, 2018 12:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Gustclan post 39

Postby Chamrosh » Wed May 16, 2018 11:15 pm


    ComeSparrowfoot’s eyes opened to a view of a familiar forest. And as per usual, there was the grey kit she knew to be her sister.
    xxxx"Thought I’d bring you in slightly more fully than usual; I just need your attention a bit more fully. There’s a tabby in Vixenclan that Heronstar must not meet.”
    xxxx"There’s a clan called Vixenclan? What about Foxclan?”
    xxxx"Taken, actually.” Elmfang rolled her eyes at Sparrowfoot’s astonished look to hear of two completely unfamiliar clans so quickly. “There’s a lot of clans now. But stop diverting. Just because you don’t like getting omens doesn’t mean they’re not important.”
    xxxxSparrowfoot grumbled under her breath, but she knew that she couldn’t stop her sister doing this. She’d just be here again the next night if she tried. She sighed slightly, rolled her eyes, then waited for her sister to continue.
    xxxx"You know how much Heronstar hates clans having the same name as individual cats?”
    xxxx"Yeah, there was this one time when Harrierpelt was talking about his old cl-"
    xxxx"Stories tend to stop being interesting by the fifth time you hear them.” Elmfang interrupted. “There’s a new molly around. Gustclaw-" Sparrowfoot couldn’t help hissing, and loudly. Elmfang didn’t seem surprised to have to stop for a moment. “from Vixenclan. And I think you noticed the similarity. Gustclaw, Gustclan. One sound different.”
    xxxx"But surely no leader would allow that? That’s supremely arrogant.”
    xxxx"And that’s your reaction. Imagine how Heronstar would react. You can’t let her.”
    xxxx"What happens if she does?”
    xxxx"The storm a few moons ago was an omen of her rage.” Sparrowfoot gulped slightly. “At least, I think.” That boded a little better. “I’m not involved in every decision.” Elmfang shrugged, which looked especially strange on the shoulders of a kit barely old enough to stand (as her body seemed to bend unnaturally in a way a cat just shouldn’t) – Sparrowfoot had noticed how her sister had aged just slightly more than she should have done in Starclan, and then stayed there. Like the very fabric of the forest Starclan claimed knew that to be forever weak-limbed, closed-eye and closed-ear was a horrendous notion. “But it wouldn’t surprise me if it were proportional. If Heronstar finds out, the best case is Gustclan changing its name to something so obscure, no cat would follow, and steadily increasing isolationism. The worst is that she makes sure that no one rises to such arrogance again. I think.” Sparrowfoot gave a bigger gulping noise, even if the last validation detracted slightly from the communication of threat level.
    xxxx"So… what do I do?”
    xxxx"Say you saw an omen of something… I don’t know, Betonycloud said to be cryptic, but just talking to you seemed a lot more helpful. Cryptic is useless unless I want you to mess up, and I really don’t. I don’t know! Just… anything that will stop her.”
    xxxxSparrowfoot stared at her sister, eyes wide, realising how much responsibility was seeming to be placed on her.
    xxxxAnd she huffed. Of course her sister didn’t have a plan.
    xxxx"I’ll try. I can’t promise I’ll manage, but I can promise I’ll try.”
    xxxx"It’d better be a good try. Failure won’t go well.” Elmfang slowly sagged under the weight of her worry for a second, before shaking herself slightly and springing back into the mode of a young kit again. “You’d best be up to get back on with your duties for the day. You should have enough time to start thinking up excuses.” Elmfang twisted her head slightly. Then shrugged slightly, took a deep breath in, and blew, blowing the swirling grey woodland away and out of Sparrowfoot’s sight…
    Bye bye, big sister, and good luck.Sparrowfoot’s eyes opened slowly. All the other warriors were already up and about. She groaned at her sister’s timing before righting herself from her position on her back and running out to start her duties for the day.

    xxxxThe snow reached up to Harrierpelt’s stomach, so he was more pulling himself through the snow than walking. He’d tried, initially, using forward momentum to keep his force on the snow minimal, so he wouldn’t sink, but this had quickly grown exhausting, and he’d been forced to return to trawling forward.
    xxxxThere were only a few herbs which were easier to find during winter, but it was well worth doing herb searches whenever he wasn’t preoccupied with kits.
    xxxxAs he ducked his head down to look for herbs in a well-tested spot, he was greeted by the smell of a young molly, and a face full of ginger fur.
    xxxxHarrierpelt drew his head back quickly in surprise. Clearly the snow had been covering her scent until now.
    xxxx"Hiii!” The kit called in a strange accent, and then sprang out of the bush towards him, landing clumsily and flopping face-first into the snow. She spat the white powder out of her mouth quickly and looked back up at Harrierpelt, twisting her neck backwards, brown eyes shining. “I’m Squirrelkit, and I’m looking for my mummy, have you seen Honeycreek?” Her tail wiggled awkwardly, and then she scrambled to her tiny feet, and slipped again. “Or Laurelkit, or my brothers?” And again her attempts to scramble to her feet didn’t work.
    xxxx"I haven’t, no. If you come back to camp now we can have a proper look for your family later.”
    xxxx"Okay! I’ll just follow-" really Squirrelkit was not particularly skilled at handling herself in deep snow. Harrierpelt couldn’t help an amused expression crossing his face. “Hey!” Squirrelkit protested as she was picked up by the scruff of his neck and brought back to camp.
    xxxxBoulderdash was not going to appreciate this.

    xxxxBoulderdash woke up to the light filtering in, past the human den’s strange soft walls, onto her face. She could feel some fidgeting from her ball of kittens, but that was normal when there were five of them to mind. Her head rolled back slowly so she could feel the sun against her chin.
    xxxxShe stayed still for a moment before yawning widely, and turning her head back round and then paused for a moment.
    xxxxWhy was there an extra kit? And a bright ginger kit, very different to her grey kits. Even if the molly was about the same size.
    xxxxBoulderdash nudged the ginger lump with her nose, and it grumbled before snuggling in tighter against Dipperkit. Boulderdash nudged it again. And then she prodded it with one of her forepaws.
    xxxxA tiny ginger face emerged from between Dipperkit and Ringkit, and looked up with droopy brown eyes, and a tired expression. She attempted a greeting, only to follow up with a wide yawn.
    xxxx"Harrierpelt said you’d look after me. And the floor was cold.” The ginger fluffball made an exaggerated shiver, and then yawned again. Her voice was slow and unresponsive, reflecting more of the tiredness. "And it looked warm up, and good for me."
    xxxxBoulderdash narrowed her eyes slightly. She’d be having a word with her mate later. “Ri’.”

    xxxxSquirrelkit got on quite well with the rest of the litter she had decided she was now part of, and the six of them caused quite a lot of chaos around camp – particularly when Shellcloud and Nettleflower or Langoustinefang and Vendacethroat got involved.
    xxxxMyrtleclaw would admit openly that he loved acting father to kits, but he had to admit that eight foster children, six of whom were kits were a bit much. He’d be politely informing his friend later that eight was enough kits to father, and that her next litter would need a different male to cover up for her.
    xxxxJudging by how hard getting the original five to sleep was, and how much more tired Boulderdash looked now, Myrtleclaw was fairly sure she’d agree about the quantity. But he was going to check anyway. Eight really was enough.
      - 1302
Commands wrote:
[ Squirrelkit joins Gustclan ]
[ Shellcloud and Nettleflower try for kits ]

[ Jack of all trades, master of none,
But better that than master of one ; Ploverpaw has grown into a warrior: Ploverstripe ]
[ Cicelypaw has grown into an observant warrior, skilled at tracking: Cicelynose ]

[ Martinwhisker and Troutpaw, Bugleclaw and Pheasantpaw, Shellcloud and Mosquitopaw, Lobeliafur and Lobsterpaw, Merlindash and Camberpaw, Osierfang and Lionpaw, Clarystorm and Ospreypaw, Vendacethroat and Noctulepaw, and Firepath and Saffronpaw train ]
[ Chubtail and Tabitha train; fighting ]

[ Harrierpelt looks for herbs ]
[ Heronstar, Droseratail, Ploverstripe, Cecilynose and Langoustinefang go hunting ]
[ Myrtleclaw, Argusheart, Sparrowfoot and Nettleflower go hunting ]

[ Boulderdash stays in camp to mind the kits: Teaselkit, Ringkit, Zinniakit, Dipperkit, and Sealkit ]
[ Pearstone, Moraine, and Barnfish stay in camp ]

[ Gustclan consume 2 hares and 1 big fish – 7 portions ]
[ 18th and 25th Advent gifts not currently claimed– Day 19 -> Day 24: Frog, Beech Leaf, Alder Bark, Mouse, Hare, Hare, Lavender ]

Katrione wrote:
[ Nettleflower is expecting kits! They are due in two moons ]
[ Ploverpaw is now a warrior: Ploverstripe! ]
[ Cicelypaw is now a warrior: Cicelynose! ]
[ Troutpaw, Lionpaw, Pheasantpaw, Mosquitopaw, Lobsterpaw and Camberpaw learned the Fishing skill while training ]
[ Ospreypaw, Noctulepaw and Saffronpaw learned the Climbing skill while training ]
[ Tabitha learned the Fighting skill while training ]
[ Harrierpelt gathered bindweed and bright-eye while herb hunting ]
[ Heronstar, Droseratail, Ploverstripe, Cecilynose and Langoustinefang caught two rabbits while hunting ]
[ Myrtleclaw, Argusheart, Sparrowfoot and Nettleflower caught two big fish while hunting ]

Last edited by Chamrosh on Sat May 19, 2018 8:53 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Gustclan post 40

Postby Chamrosh » Wed May 16, 2018 11:42 pm


    xxxxAspentail was still well up to scratch at hunting and providing for herself, and since the dissolution of her own clan, these were proving very valuable skills.
    xxxxShe’d found herself among a patch of reeds on the edge of a lake for the night, and it wasn’t a bad spot. If she couldn’t find any promising clans to stay in instead, this would probably be acceptable, at least, until she got too old to continue hunting for herself.
    xxxxShe stretched lazily from her position, rolling over on her back. Her stiff joints kept her still for a moment, before she managed to turn over on her side, and then onto her feet. Her jaw opened for a wide yawn, and her teeth clicked together a couple of times.
    xxxxAspentail settled neatly onto a rock just above a slightly deeper section of the lake, multitasking – her eyes settled on the water below, looking for flashes of movement that would indicate fish whilst also enjoying the feeling of the Newleaf sun on her fur. It was good to feel such warmth again after so long out in the cold.
    xxxxShe sat not quite upright, but close to it, trying to maximise the surface of her that was facing the sun while not taking her eyes off the water.
    xxxx"Look, Vendacethroat! Look!” (Noctulepaw was pleased with herself being able to spot the strange cat before her mentor).
    xxxxAspentail’s head snapped around to look what was going on, her teeth bared wide to show her hiss towards the approaching warrior, tail up, fur out to look larger-
    xxxxAnd she stopped as she realised it was just an apprentice who had spoken, from in between the bushes. She was a brown tabby molly, surely only a few moons into her apprenticeship, and at Aspentail’s age, still decidedly a kit.
    xxxxAnd a grey tabby tom stepped out after the apprentice. He had a mischievous set to his face, his face slightly bent into a smile. The tom’s eyes flicked backwards to look at something, before stepping up to the apprentice.
    xxxx"Are you an elder?” The tom asked, tensing up slightly in preparation for possible hostility, while still not lessening his expression.
    xxxxAspentail nodded slowly. “Though I only became one recently.”
    xxxxThe tom lead a few steps ahead before the apprentice followed suit, but kept enough distance to ensure he wouldn’t be seen as threatening.
    xxxx"I’m Vendacethroat, this is Noctulepaw, and my sister, Langoustinefang, is over there.” Vendacethroat turned his head over his shoulder so his nose pointed in the relevant direction, where Aspentail could now see a ginger molly between the bushes.
    xxxx"Oh.” Vendacethroat shook his head slightly from side to side. “We’re from Gustclan, if you wanted to come with us?” Aspentail nodded slightly. “I think there’s another cat called Aspentail in one of our neighbouring clans, so it might be worth talking to Heronstar about that once we get into camp."
    xxxxHeronstar hadn’t set out to do the name change formally – after all, only three other cats had met Aspentail yet, so the ceremony would be rather meaningless for everyone else. They’d have no frame of reference for it to see how it was relevant to them. Instead, Aspenfoot was lead quietly into the leader’s den, to be introduced to the others through the day as they arrived back in camp from their duties.
    xxxxBut that plan was a little interrupted when Aspentail asked to see the elder’s den, and was greated very quickly by a curious Barnfish.
    xxxx"Morning!” Aspenfoot practically chirped
    xxxx"Hello.” Barnfish responded, noticeably less enthused to see a new comer.
    xxxx"I’m glad I’m not the only elder.” The tom’s expression softened somewhat, clearly agreeing with her. Heronstar was pleased at least that Aspenfoot seemed to have found someone already to befriend (though she seemed to have done admirably with Noctulepaw so far).
    xxxxIt was quite a surprise to come across new cats two days in a way, but that was how it happened. This time, though, there were two, coming together.
    xxxxThe guards of the camp, including a couple of apprentices who were being taught the importance of patience, because apparently Hyenaclan hadn’t thought that was useful, saw the two from a way off.
    xxxxOr rather, they saw the small white warrior poking around in the undergrowth a few seconds’ run away.
    xxxx"Lionpaw, get Heronstar.”
    xxxxA streak of ginger fur vanished from atop the wall.
    xxxxPaying closer attention now that the white fur had caught their attention, the guards could see some small ginger patches in between the leaves, but it took them all several moments to realise that they all belonged to a singular enormous, fluffy molly. She was practically half as tall again as the white tom whom she was following, and that was without her fur.
    xxxxThe white tom was clearly in charge.
    xxxxBut it was interesting to see exactly how hard to pick out the molly was, despite her huge size and pale pelt. The grey patches were almost the same colour as the human path that her paws rested on, and the ginger broke up her pelt. Most of the warriors had never seen any pelt having such a clear advantage before, but then, they’d never seen a silver tortoiseshell.
    xxxxThe two cats stopped in place as they saw the warriors, and saw the advantageous position they would hold in a fight with their higher placements.
    xxxx"Hello!” The white cat called, confidently, without any hint of malice to his voice. “We’re looking for somewhere safe we can stay. I’m Knotfish, and this beautiful lady is Narwhal?” His tone raised like in a question, showing his uncertainty as to what her name sake was, or whether she’d just picked a few syllables she liked for herself. And the molly hesitated a moment before nodding.
    xxxxChubtail dropped down from the wall and took a few steps forward, just in time for Heronstar to walk up behind him.
    xxxx"Where are you two from?” Heronstar asked, wanting to know some more details before she blindly accepted them. It was more than a little suspicious to have two sets of new cats in a row, and Narwhal’s size made her more cautious than she normally would be. It’d be very easy for Narwhal to cause a lot of harm if she turned out to be malevolent.
    xxxx"I was born in another clan, but two-legs came with monsters and destroyed our territory. We tried to stay near by, but they built huge shiny things, that screamed all day and smelt of fire, and all left one by one.” Knotfish’s ears twitched slightly, and his eyes flicked over to the side. “Narwhal was born very far from here.”
    xxxx"Spent six moons in box.”
    xxxx"And neither of you have anything to return to.”
    xxxxNarwhal shook her head very slowly as Knotfish spoke his agreement.
      - 1141
Commands wrote:
[ Aspentail joins Gustclan ]
[ Aspentail’s suffix is changed; Aspenfoot ]
[ Knotfish (18/12 – Khao Manee) and Narwhal (25/12 – Kurilian Bobtail) join Gustclan ]

[ Martinwhisker and Troutpaw, Bugleclaw and Pheasantpaw, Shellcoud and Mosquitopaw, Lobeliafur and Lobsterpaw, Merlindash and Camberpaw, Osierfang and Lionpaw, Clarystorm and Ospreypaw, Vendacethroat and Noctulepaw, and Firepath and Saffronpaw train ]
[ Chubtail and Tabitha train; swimming ]

[ Harrierpelt looks for herbs]
[ Heronstar, Myrtleclaw, Droseratail, Sparrowfoot, Nettleflower, and Langoustinefang go hunting ]
[ Argusheart, Pearstone, Bugleclaw, Moraine, Knotfish, and Narwhal go hunting ]

[ Boulderdash stays in camp to look after the kits; Teaselkit, Ringkit, Zinniakit, Dipperkit, Sealkit and Squirrelkit ]
[ Ploverstripe, Cicelynose, Barnfish, and Aspenfoot stay in camp ]

[ Gustclan consumes 2 Hares and 2 Frogs - 8 portions ]

Katrione wrote:
[ Troutpaw, Pheasantpaw, Mosquitopaw, Lobsterpaw and Camberpaw learned the Fighting skill while training ]
[ Ospreypaw, Noctulepaw and Saffronpaw learned the Tracking skill while training ]
[ Tabbyfur learned the Swimming skill while training ]
[ Harrierpelt gathered ivy leaves and parsley while herb hunting ]
[ Heronstar, Myrtleclaw, Droseratail, Sparrowfoot, Nettleflower and Langoustinefang caught two frogs while hunting ]

Last edited by Chamrosh on Sat May 19, 2018 8:55 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Gustclan post 41

Postby Chamrosh » Thu May 17, 2018 12:09 am


    xxxxThe grey tom’s head whipped around to look at Boulderdash from where she continued to rest within the nursery, six – six – kits around her. Well, around her in the loosest sense. They’d reached the stage of being willing to sleep on their own already, and the stage of “ignoring when mum says it’s bed time” long before that.
    xxxxBut it was Zinniakit instead.
    xxxx"I’m gonna be medicine cat and I’m gonna be an amazin’ apprentice.”
    xxxxAnd predictably, Teaselkit glowered at his sister. How had they both kept insisting?
    xxxxHe’d been a kitty-pet when he’d joined his old clan, and he’d instantly wanted to be a medicine cat as soon as he’d found out there was a role that didn’t need him to be a good fighter. No one had told him about the repercussions of that decision. Surely one of his kits would change their mind if they knew?
    xxxx"Only if Heronstar chooses you to be.” Harrierpelt turned his head back to his mate. “Do you mind if I have a quick word with you, Boulderdash?”
    xxxx Boulderdash looked back at her kits (and Squirrelkit) a moment with concern in her eyes before nodding – they were big enough to hopefully not murder each other within a few moments. She stepped into the medicine cat den after her mate, feeling the cold of the strange black-and-white squares beneath her paw pads.
    xxxxHarrierpelt took a deep breath to brace himself for what he had to say.
    xxxx"We need to discourage one of them. I can only have one apprentice at once, and by the time that one has finished their training so the other can start, they’ll be moons behind, and constantly jealous the rest of their life. At the very least, we need to do something that definitively proves one as unsuitable for the role of medicine cat.”
    xxxxBoulderdash briefly glanced at the den roof, and her mouth formed a perfect “oh” for a moment, before telling her idea…

    xxxxSaffronpaw’s nose dropped near the ground, like a dog, his tail curled over to one side awkwardly as he didn’t like having it out behind him. His forepaws shuffled forward carefully.
    xxxxHe kept moving forward until he smelt the putrid scent of dog drifting his way on the wind. He started to move upright and straighten out, but he stopped himself as quickly as he could. If there was a dog around… what could he do to hide himself? Their noses were very strong – Firepath had told him – so he needed to do something to hide his scent.
    xxxxHe wasn’t far from where he knew there to be a large crop of wild plants that might hide him, near a rabbit warren, and with the rain coming down (and Firepath insisting he needed to train anyway…) perhaps his scent would be masked by the environment around him.
    xxxxKeeping low, Saffronpaw’s feet started to move furiously, pulling him forward into roughly the right direction, before suddenly teeth dug into his side, and just before he yelped out in pain, something else hit him in his side.
    xxxx"Shush.” Came the muffled voice from around his fur, which, together with the black and white dart was still dragging him – oh! Dragging him into cover. He felt the grip on him releasing as he relaxed, and travelled with the direction he was pulled.
    xxxxThey were under a patch of brambles, just a tiny entrance at one side allowing them to see out properly, the height far too low to allow any dogs that could threaten a cat inside. Merlindash crouched near the entrance, Camberpaw further in.
    xxxx"What are you doing here?” Saffronpaw whispered. “And where’s Firepath, is he alright?”
    xxxxThere was a bark in the distance.
    xxxxSaffronpaw’s blood chilled.
    xxxxHis shoulders and haunches pushed low (lower than the tight space required) into the dirt. He wanted to go out to help his mentor, but Merlindash fixed him with a firm look. He knew he’d be stopped.
    xxxxHis heart and mind raced, treacherously considering all that might happen to Firepath if he took to long.
    xxxxThe rain slowly began to seep through the growth over his head, new leaves dripping water drops down, onto the ground, leaving narrow kit-streams that flowed uncertainly down the slope to Saffronpaw’s rear, or onto his body and through his fur. And he already shivered from concern.
    xxxxThere was a flash of ginger fur outside the bramble patch.
    xxxxSaffronpaw moved forward to help, before Camberpaw and Merlindash pushed him back down.
    xxxxHe saw the ginger silhouette stop, and a twitch where he thought his mentor’s head was, moving in their direction.
    xxxx"Firepath! Saffronpaw exclaimed, pushing his way up to the entrance despite the other cats, and needing to be shoved more firmly back.
    xxxxFirepath’s ears moved first, then his eyes, which widened as he span to the entrance. He’d heard it too. There, still running at full speed was the dog, a huge beast with dripping drool, somewhat crab-like, so its whole body was made of its stomach and its legs were mere deformed, in-turned stubs, and its face was a horrid, wrinkled, deformed mess, its eyes over-wide, crossed and blood-shot, its breathing rasping even considering its sprint. It didn’t even have a tail.
    xxxxCould it really be a dog? What Dark-Forest cursed thing was it?
    xxxxIts… gaze fixed on Firepath. Firepath was further from the entrance than the beast. It was more of a monster than anything Saffronpaw had seen on the Thunderpath to the south.
    xxxxHe saw Firepath’s blue eyes widen in fear, and then clench in determination.
    xxxxHis mentor was icicle rigid, unquavering, as he bent forward and let out a mighty hiss and charged-
    xxxxstraight at the mouth of the beast.
    xxxxThe beast was still moving, and with their combined momentum-
    xxxxFirepath’s claws collided with a squelching noise against the beast’s face.
    xxxxIt yowled in agony, barking furiously, and then-
    xxxxFirepath’s scream tugged against Saffronpaw’s stomach-
    xxxxAnd Merlindash flung himself out of the entrance, just long enough to smack the beast straight in the ribs with his claws, to see Firepath’s injury was to his leg, and start to push Firepath to the entrance.
    xxxx"ahhh-oh!” The voice of a human. The beast’s face moved, with a loud howl.
    xxxx"Firepath! You need to get into shelter quickly, there’s a two-leg coming.”
    xxxxIt was as much luck and willpower – both from Firepath and the human – that got Firepath out of the way before the human met their beast again. There was a dreadful screeching from the human, and more screeching, and a serious of strange, unnatural bird-tones from them, along with the dreadful, pained crooning of the beast.
    xxxxFirepath bit down on his lip, trying not to express his pain in case the human should notice them and send the dog after them again.
    xxxxCamberpaw saw the blood flow from Firepath’s shoulder, from the puncture from the beast’s tooth, and seeing that it needed to be stopped, quickly licked one of his over-sized paws to make sure it was clean, and pressed down on the injury, trying to keep the blood in. He didn’t know the significance of what he was doing – he was more concerned about stopping the dog smelling the wound than the effects of blood loss – but Camberpaw’s thinking made him proud even in the moment that his polydactyly might prove useful.
    xxxxIt was altogether too long before first the dog and human left and – with the four cats not wanting to leave their safe and relatively dry refuge just yet – they were found by a patrol. Ploverstripe was sent back to camp to fetch Harrierpelt.
    xxxxThe first thing Harrierpelt said; “You need to take a month off of training, Firepath.” And he cast a meaningful glance at Heronstar.
    xxxxSaffronpaw and Firepath might have missed it, but Camberpaw didn’t. His mentor was staring doe-eyed after the ginger tom.
    xxxx"You’re like Noctulepaw, fanning after toms like that.”
    xxxx"Huh?” Merlindash didn’t even try to hide it. Camberpaw tried not to look too amused.

    xxxxCamberpaw spotted his mentor looking after Firepath several times. After he became sure that Merlindash was definitely being distracted from reporting about the patrol by it (and sure as well that they’d be cute together, and it’s hardly rare for a student to want their teacher to be happy, if only so they’re laxer during lessons), he waited for a moment when Firepath was distracted.
    xxxxMerlindash stopped several times to look over at Firepath. Camberpaw was sure that the infatuation had been at least a little present before – he’d seen some of the looks – but that had greatly intensified since Firepath had been injured.
    xxxx"Go on, you’re an awesome warrior, and an awesome mentor, I’m pretty sure Firepath’ll say yes if you ask him out! It’s not jut you saying it either, I thought that as a kit, you actually are. Just live up to your reputation and do it.” Merlindash looked at him like he wasn’t entirely sure how to feel about apprentices giving him romantic advice, before slowly nodding, and realising that yes he was awesome, and he could totally rock this nodded more firmly.
    xxxx"Yeah. You need to learn about asking cats out in time too, and what sort of mentor would I be if I didn’t teach you that too?” It was that question which made Camberpaw very sure he was about to witness a spectacular failure.
    xxxxMerlindash puffed out his chest and strode over to Firepath. Or at least, he strode two steps before gradually starting to curl in on himself, so that he was eventually only kept going by blue eyes being fixed on him by the ginger tom.
    xxxx"Hallo, Merlindash.” Firepath said, tone subtly inquiring what in Silverpelt Merlindash was doing.
    xxxx"Uh… hi, yeah, uh, Firepath, I have a… a qu- question for you?”
    xxxxFirepath raised an eyebrow. “Yes?”
    xxxx"I… I uh… I’d li-, I mean, I li-, I… um…” Merlindash took a breath in, trying to psych himself up for getting the correct words out this time. “I’d like it if you could show me how you’re planning to teach Saffronpaw how to track?” WHAT HAD HE JUST DONE WHY HAD HE SAID THAT NO NO NO HE’D RUINED EVERYTHI-
    xxxx"Um? I hadn’t really planned to cover that yet, actually. And why are you panicking like that?” Firepath sounded a lot like he’d been expecting something entirely different.
    xxxx"I’m not panicking, of course I’m not panicking, what reason would I have to panic about something as… as eheh normal as uh mentoring, yes, I asked about mentoring. Which is what I meant to ask about. I’ll just go now
    and die in shame in a badger burrow.” Merlindash turned to leave, moving slowly and unsurely.
    xxxx"Yes.” Firepath said after. Merlindash looked back in confusion.
    xxxx"Yes what..?”
    xxxx"Yes to being your mate. You might not have realised, but every cat’s hearing is pretty good and Camberpaw got a little excited. I thought you were just loud and abrasive before, I won’t lie, but Camberpaw sees a lot in you, and I can definitely see that for myself from how, frankly, adorable you are when you’re flustered.”
    xxxx"Oh.” Merlindash beamed. “Oh!”

    xxxxHarrierpelt didn’t hesitate before walking into the leader’s den.
    xxxxHeronstar jolted from her position, flacked out asleep on the edge of the raised human platform.
    xxxx"What is it?” Heronstar asked groggily, her paws readjusting back into a sleeping position, her eyes slowly closing again.
    xxxx"Both Zinniakit and Teaselkit want to be medicine cats.”
    xxxxHeronstar’s ear twitched, and her head turned to Harrierpelt. Her blue eyes opened just a fraction to look somewhat suspiciously at him. Harrierpelt tried not to look too guilty. “Oh?”
    xxxx"I can’t train two apprentices at once. I suggest a test to discern between them. There are plenty of young cats who might be meaning to have kits soon, not just Nettleflower. If I can see how each of them handle a stressful situation, then I might be able to judge how they’d fare as medicine cats, and choose the best from there. Until I have decided, they both will go through normal warrior training – not in fighting.”
    xxxx"You’d be betting that they did not resist that.”
    xxxx"Better than betting on choosing the best one.”
    xxxx"True.” Heronstar paused, her tail flicking slightly. “Alright. As long as they are told strictly not to interfere with your actions – interfering will remove them from the option of training with you, I presume?” Heronstar’s gaze fixed on Harrierpelt until he nodded. “without your current instruction, they have permission to sit in on whatever situation you’re needed for until you choose.” Harrierpelt nodded again.
    xxxx"And can I tell them both about the sacrifices of being a medicine cat? – it might help put one off without disappointment.”
    xxxx"Of course.”

    xxxxMyrtleclaw didn’t want to be put in charge of the training session for Tabbyfur’s kits. But somehow Vendacethroat seemed to have decided that was necessary, and Clarystorm was quite frankly so over-cautious of his surroundings that he needed someone to keep him focused.
    xxxxFirepath had wanted to come along to watch, but Harrierpelt had said that walking too far would open up his wound again. So Myrtleclaw had chosen to get the others to teach the apprentices something that Firepath didn’t know how to do, so he wouldn’t feel so bad about missing this training session later. Swimming had been the obvious choice, with the rains coming soon – that is, the heavy rains.
    xxxxSaffronpaw had taken to it surprisingly well (if Myrtleclaw had anticipated how well, he wouldn’t have chosen it. Saffronpaw had clearly found his own explanation unclear, but must have had some natural talent as he took to it like a duck to water anyway). He’d feel bad if Heronstar chose for him to be a -stream, but he was sure they’d each get to talk about what their future suffix might end up being in due time. And he was sure that Saffronpaw held his mentor in enough prestige to not put him in an awkward position.

    xxxx"Those toms really are rather sweet together.” Aspenfoot remarked, the first time she heard of Merlindash and Firepath becoming mates. “Though I imagine it’s fairly rare. Most of us care more about the kits than the mate, unfortunately. And most warriors seem to think we’re too old and confused as elders for it either."
    xxxxBarnfish tilted his head slightly in a cat equivalent to a shrug.
    xxxx"My sister was into mollies. We were born into a clowder. When I was… driven out, she said there was no way she was following, as no where was more perfect for her than with a large group of beautiful mollies and surrounded by kits.” He sounded a little hurt even after all these moons. “The young don’t seem to suppose that they’ll still have feelings many moons later.”
    xxxx"Which makes no sense. I’m sure I’m not the only elder to still want that.”
    xxxx"I’m very sure you’re not either.”
    xxxxAspenfoot smiled in amusement, though her amusement softened slightly as she realised the implication of what Barnfish had just said.

    xxxx"I brought you a mouse, Barnfish.”
    xxxxBarnfish gave Aspenfoot an appreciative look and a little nod before tucking into it. When he was done, he shuffled sideways over to her, and looped his tail around hers as best as his old joints would allow him. Aspenfoot responded by leaning in against him, her head resting on his shoulder.
    xxxxSometimes words weren’t needed to know you were mates.

    xxxxHarrierpelt had not been looking forward to doing this, but he knew he had to. Boulderdash had played along to set it up – she said she needed to make sure each of the kits really knew how to groom themselves properly before they could go out to play, and she just so happened to leave Teaselkit and Zinniakit for last.
    xxxxAnd he “just so happened” to walk into the nursery at that point. If they weren’t kits, they would definitely be aware of how this was being staged for their benefit.
    xxxxSquirrelkit trotted after her adoptive mother out of the nursery moments after Harrierpelt entered and – his mate being the master of subtlty she was – Boulderdash gave him an extremely pointed look with very stern eyes.
    xxxx"Harrierpelt! Are you going to say who’s going to be your apprentice?”
    xxxx"Will it be both of us? Mosquitopaw says some clans have three or four medicine cats, so could we?” Zinniakit asked hopefully. Teaselkit pulled an astonished look – was that an option? That they could both have the rank they wanted?
    xxxxHarrierpelt shook his head very slightly, and then sat at the entrance between the nursery and the medicine cat den, his tail curled around his legs.
    xxxx"You need to know what being a medicine cat actually means.” Harrierpelt said in a deadly serious tone. The kits exchanged glances – nervous for Zinniakit and Confused for Teaselkit. “It’s a life of sacrifice. You cannot learn to fight or fend for yourself if someone attacks you – you become a symbol of health and peace, and so are expected to be perfectly safe walking across other clans’ territories; but how can another clan trust you to do that if they know you’re able to fight and kill if you got too close to their camp? You can’t change away from it, either, as you’ll be so far behind your clanmates as a warrior that you wouldn’t be able to catch up in any way.
    xxxx"You’re not allowed to take a mate-" ah, the irony of him saying this. “-unless your leader gives you express permission. Having kits would distract you too much, and you wouldn’t be able to focus on your duties. If having kits is important to you, you should not be a medicine cat. Having kits is one of the greatest honours a cat can have, and others will always be wondering why you chose to be deprived of it. The strong warriors will see you as an outcast all your life, as will any queens who don’t come to know you well. Not to mention how hard resisting the desire itself is.
    xxxx"A warrior gets to train with their siblings and remain denmates. A medicine cat choses isolation and loneliness, and to sever that bond of siblinghood – having any family you are close to may hamper your ability for good judgements.
    xxxx"You cannot afford to get hurt. You are Starclan’s messanger to your clan, as well as the only healer. You dying means the clan is without those assets. Your ability to heal yourself is far lower than your ability to heal others. You cannot afford to get hurt at all in case that leads to the clan losing you, and the skills you alone know. You can’t make risks with where you go, you must be as cautious as a rabbit pushing its nose out of its burrow for the first time all the time.
    xxxx"To be a medicine cat, you give up a fundamental part of what it means to be a “cat”. You lose your right to explore, you lose your right to fight, you lose your right to a family or kits of your own.
    xxxx"It should not be something you chose to pursue just because you think it’s “cool”. Becoming a medicine cat requires careful thought. From both of you. If one of you chooses to become a warrior now instead, I will not be disappointed. That just means you were paying attention.”
    xxxxHarrierpelt stood, noting now how his kits’ eyes were transfixed on him. If Boulderdash would task him with that speech then he was fine tasking making sure the kits would feel okay again shortly to her in turn.
    xxxxHe turned, flicking out his grey tail as he stalked back into the medicine cat den.

    xxxxAspenfoot and Barnfish were sitting calmly together, only exchanging words when they both felt them needed.
    xxxxMerlindash was flirting with Firepath, out in the open, with Firepath acting flustered, but it was obvious to any observer he really did appreciate the many compliments he was receiving.
    xxxxAnd Zinniakit and Teaselkit sat together in one corner of camp, looking at the two new happy couples.
    xxxx"You’re not going to let what Harrierpelt said stop you, either, are you?” Zinniakit, asked.
    xxxx"Of course not. Why? You scared of losing the competition to be the next medicine cat?”
    xxxx"…no, never.”
      - 3402
Commands wrote:
[ Barnfish and Aspenfoot become mates ]
[ Firepath and Merlindash become mates ]

[ Heronstar, Pearstone, Sparrowfoot, Cicelynose, and Knotfish go hunting ]
[ Droseratail, Moraine, Ploverstripe, and Langoustinefang go hunting ]

[ Martinwhisker and Troutpaw, Bugleclaw and Pheasantpaw, Shellcloud and Mosquitopaw, Lobeliafur and Lobsterpaw, Merlindash and Camberpaw, and Osierfang and Lionpaw train ]
[ Clarystorm and Ospreypaw, Vendacethroat and Noctulepaw, and Myrtleclaw and Saffronpaw train; Swimming ]
[ Chubtail and Tabitha train; Tracking ]

[ Nettleflower is in her 2nd moon of gestation ]
[ Boulderdash stays in camp to mind the kits; Teaselkit, Ringkit, Zinniakit, Dipperkit, Sealkit, and Squirrelkit ]
[ Harrierpelt stays in camp to mind his patients ]
[ Argusheart, Nettleflower, Barnfish, Aspenfoot, and Narwhal stay in camp ]
[ Gustclan consumes 1 Frog, 2 Mice, 1 Rabbit, and 1 Big Fish – 8 portions ]

Katrione wrote:
[ Heronstar, Pearstone, Sparrowfoot, Cicelynose and Knotfish caught two mice and a frog while hunting ]
[ Droseratail, Moraine, Ploverstripe and Langoustinefang caught a squirrel and rabbit while hunting ]
[ Troutpaw, Lionpaw, Pheasantpaw, Mosquitopaw, Lobsterpaw and Camberpaw learned the Stalking skill while training ]
[ Ospreypaw, Noctulepaw and Saffronpaw learned the Swimming skill while training ]
[ Tabitha learned the Tracking skill while training ]

Last edited by Chamrosh on Thu May 17, 2018 1:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Valentine's Cat Competition

Postby Chamrosh » Thu May 17, 2018 12:41 am

Troutpaw - 1360 words

xxxxMartinwhisker had made a crucial mistake while setting up his idea of teaching Troutpaw about stealth. Which was, of course, checking if Troutpaw cared.
xxxxIf he had checked, he’d have heard how much Troutpaw despised subtlety in all things.
xxxxHer previous clan had not been much about subtlety, and so she’d had it drilled out of her. Any rule breaking lead to death – no subtlety of caring for an individual outside their use as a pawn. Any hiding of death from kits was punishable by death – no subtlety of more discrete topics from sensitive kits, even newborns. Queens couldn’t stay with their kits for more than a few scant moons and mates were for kits, not love – no subtlety in the leader’s contempt of positive emotion. The leader’s orders go above everything – no subtlety needed in anything, as if the leader ordered something obviously evil, the clan would be compelled to do it or else they’d be killed. Not to mention the name… Troutpaw had no idea what hyenas were (she’d seen a skull of something with a huge jaw embedded in the roof of a cave on her journey to Gustclan, and had assumed that the ancient cave-bear it belonged to was actually a hyena, having heard their fearsome reputation from the cats (not the elders) in her birth clan) but she was sure they were huge and could easily rip a cat – even a two-leg – in half in one go.
xxxxAnd if Martinwhisker had checked….
xxxxMaybe Troutpaw wouldn’t have taken the first possible opportunity to use the bare minimum of training knowledge she’d been forced to sit through to sneak away instead.
xxxxOr rather, maybe he’d have trained her somewhere where it would be harder for her to do that, or brought along a batch of experienced warriors to stop her getting very far.
xxxxBut Martinwhisker was not cynical enough to really know how to deal with Troutpaw.
xxxxGrass wrapped itself around Troutpaw’s stomach as she walked, slowly getting higher and higher up the slope on the East side of the territory, up where, if she craned her neck backwards, and sat up on her haunches, (despite what the other cats said) she could just get her nose to scrape Starclan’s border. It was a beautiful view, looking right down on where the twolegs shifted between, well, two legs, and their strange stiff fish tails.
xxxxBut the wind was blowing from the east today.
xxxxTroutpaw was very near the top (and as a sense of the scale of Martinwhisker’s mistake, he had been trying to teach her about stealth among the trees at the very bottom of the hill) when the easterly wind caught her nose.
xxxxAnd probably a fairly young tom too, he smelt - mmmm.
xxxxHe smelt beautiful.
xxxxAnd subtlety was not in Troutpaw’s lexicon.
xxxxTroutpaw charged up the hill, her legs pounding furiously, and leaped into place beside him, as he looked down the hill. Heronstar didn’t require mates to be assigned by skill, she just let cats choose (which was strange, to say the least, as she couldn’t imagine that Nettleflower’s litter would be the most skillful or pretty, and that wasn’t to say she had hard feelings for Nettleflower or Shellcloud, but they were both too soft and any of their kits would be completely incompetent). Right now, Troutpaw wasn’t going to complain about the lack of rule that had given her such culture shock. She was sure she’d found the right mate.
xxxxHe was beyond words up close to, dreamy blue eyes and noble face turned away to the lake far below.
xxxx“Why hellooooo, pretty boy, I’m Troutpaw, and you are gorgeous.”
xxxxThe tom looked across at her, with a very unimpressed looking expression. Which Troutpaw read as intently curious-
xxxx“What do you mean, no?” Troutpaw demanded, trying to sound as fierce as she could.
xxxx“You’re, like, half my age. You can’t call me “pretty boy”. That’s just weird at best
xxxx“Maybe I just have a thing for older toms, and when they look as good as you, gorgeous-"
xxxxThe tom outright hissed his name: "Adoniscloud.”
xxxxTroutpaw tried for her most alluring sounding tone. She had not had much practice.
xxxx“I don’t know what “Adonis” means, but it must be something big and powerful, just like you, with those big, tomly muscles of yours. I bet your mother saw you and knew how handsome you'd grow up to be and named you because of that.”
xxxx“…” The tom was silent for a moment, his expression getting gradually less grumpy and more amused as she waited, unsure whether she was meant to interrupt or not. “It’s a type of butterfly.”
xxxx“Pffffft, no.” Troutpaw waved her paw around dismissively. “No way. I bet, when you were born, your mother couldn’t think of anything pretty enough to describe you, and so Starclan themselves gave her the right sounds to describe you.”
xxxxOh yes, that was definitely disapproval in his expression. Troutpaw stepped closer to him, and then curled herself into a ball, her head leaning into the soft fur on his shoulders. Adoniscloud attempted to carefully extract himself from underneath the surprisingly heavy weight of the apprentice’s head. It was almost like she was trying to pin him there.
xxxx“I’m not sure you, like, entirely get the idea of flirting?” He tried to nudge her away with his paw, but he was sure after his attempts that to actually get her off he’d have to resort to his claws, and somehow clawing an apprentice on a clan territory didn’t seem like the best plan. “You’re meant to be trying to make yourself look like an appealing mate.”
xxxx(“Which I am doing, and well.”)
xxxx“But you might have like, spotted your name ends with -paw, and mine doesn’t, and even if that weren’t a pretty big issue there that should really have got you to end, you might want to work on it a bit.”
xxxx“Oh okay, I can do that. You… must have a heavenly personality because your eyes look like the sky?” (Adoniscloud’s paw met his forehead in a gesture both physically similar and semantically similar to a face-palm). “Starclan must have sent you to me, because they marked you as their own?” (And she jut had to point out the marking he was somewhat embarrassed by.) “Or or! If you count the stars, that’s how high I’d rate you- Oh, it’s morning, okay, um. If I were leader I’d spend nine lives with you?”
xxxxAdoniscloud sighed heavily, and continued trying to extricate himself.
xxxx“Troutpaw?!” Troutpaw heard very faintly in the distance. She didn’t go toward it.
xxxx“Hear that? That’s my mentor, Martin…claw, the strongest, and so, the best cat in the clan. He was specifically selected as my mentor so I could be the best fighter the clans have ever seen!”
xxxx“Dude, I’ve heard less obvious lies from literal kits. Give it a few seasons, maybe, but you’re about the size of a finch right now, and like, I’m not a creep. No. And shouldn’t you be going to Martin"claw” now so you can “be the best fighter”?”
xxxx“Well, then, I’ll see you in a few seasons-"
xxxx(“You won’t”)
xxxxAdoniscloud, I’ll be waiting for you.” As she said “Adoniscloud” her voice made an audible little sighing noise.
xxxxTroutpaw scampered down the hill again, heart pounding, but with her face bearing an ecstatic smile – yes, that was definitely a yes. She didn’t even bother hiding her smile as she returned to her mentor.
xxxx“Are you okay, Troutpaw?” Martinwhisker asked, as he saw her, and was alarmed at what could have set her off running down the hill so – or what even made her go up the hill in the first place.
xxxx “Oh, I just met the prettiest tom ever, and he’s called Adoniscloud, and he’s the size of a whole sheep, and he said he’d come back for me in a few seasons, and we’re going to have the cutest kits, just you wait!”
xxxx“…sure.” Martinwhisker said, demonstrating he could have mustered the cynicism he really should have 15 minutes before. A much older Troutpaw would later wish he’d managed it earlier.
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Gustclan post 42

Postby Chamrosh » Thu May 17, 2018 1:42 am


    xxxxSealkit wiggled his tail vigorously, forelegs braced firmly against the dirt in front of him.
    xxxx"Come on, Sealkit, you can get up here, you can do it! You can do it!” Squirrelkit encouraged. Her name did suit her in a way – she was a good climber, even if her running skills were too low to let her be a Squirreltail when she grew up. Ringkit nodded vigorously beside her.
    xxxx"Go on, I can’t go until you go!” Dipperkit begged. “I want to practice climbing, and if we don’t hurry Heronstar’ll notice and we’ll get told off!”
    xxxxThe kits had chosen to try climbing the tree at the back of their camp. It was dry now, but it had been raining for several days, and the branches were slippery. Heronstar had said it was dangerous. But the kits hadn’t wanted to wait. They’d be apprentices soon, and they wanted to get in some useful experiences so they could live up to the current apprentices.
    xxxx"Geronimo!” Sealkit practically yelled (“Shush!”/"Shut it!”/"Quietly!”), as he pushed as hard as he could off the ground. His claws connected to the trunk of the tree, and his tail whipped below him, twitching wildly in the way he dubbed “dancing”. Slowly he scrabbled up, so that, without hesitation, due to her impatience, as soon as the spot was clear for her to make the same manoeuvre, Dipperkit followed after.
    xxxxSealkit beamed widely as he reached the first branch, where his siblings sat. He could feel inside his chest almost like something was pushing his stomach forwards. But that was just pride. Probably? Sealkit thought it was just pride, as he was feeling it now, and he was proud now so… that just had to be part of feeling proud. He strutted along the wood, his tail still flicking wildly, and then placed himself beside Ringkit.
    xxxxSealkit smelled the air, wondering if being above the flowers, up here where he was sure Starclan had to walk, the air would smell any cleaner.
    xxxx"It smells weird up here. It’s like… it’s like a cross between Harrierpelt’s herbs and rabbit!.”
    xxxxSquirrelkit giggled quietly.
    xxxx"You’re so weird. It smells like dust after rain, and like trees, and like the wild-flowers down there! No herbs.”
    xxxx"Yes!” Dipperkit cheered, and Sealkit opened his eyes (he’d closed them to smell better without meaning to) to see her paw curling over the bark near the trunk. Ringkit and Squirrelkit still shushed her, not wanting to be spotted while they’d only just got up there. “I like climbing a lot. I want Droseratail as my mentor, then I’ll learn how to climb really well!”
    xxxx"You don’t get to choose who you go with, Dipperkit.” Ringkit said. “Heronstar chooses for you. If she thinks we need another good-climbing cat, then you might but, we have Droseratail and Chubtail already.”
    xxxx"But when Chubtail retires, we’ll need another -tail cat – a Dippertail – and Chubtail’s ancient! There must have been no flowers here when he was born!”
    xxxx"That’s really old, Dipperkit, I don’t think anyone’s old enough to be older than the flowers.” Squirrelkit said.
    xxxx"Moraine said she remembers living somewhere without flowers.”
    xxxx"Wow!”/"How old is she?”/"Maybe she used to be a Starclan cat ! from the very first clan, and she got reborn, and she was alive before there were any flowers!”
    xxxx"That’s silly, Sealkit, there’s always been flowers.”
    xxxx"Moraine said her old home used to be too rocky for proper flowers, and there were only flowers for a few days every year.”
    xxxx"I’m glad Moraine doesn’t live there anymore, it must ! be really sad ! to live somewhere with no flowers.”
    xxxxSquirrelkit leaned forward on the branch, her claws digging firmly into the bark. “What’s that weird noise you’re making, Sealkit? Can you teach me?”
    xxxx"What ! weird noise?” The world was going blue. “I’m no- !”
    xxxxSealkit slowly opened his eyes. It was very dark. He whipped his head around, trying to work out where he was. It must have been very cloudy, as there were no stars. Moonlight shone down through the branches, but somehow dissipated against the mist at head height above him, so that there were no shadows on the ground. Or rather, everything was shadows.
    xxxxSealkit slowly rolled onto his stomach, pulling his legs underneath him.
    xxxxHe could smell something… wrong in the air.
    xxxx"Ka wa wa wa wa!”
    xxxx"Rawoooooooooooowawaoooooo! Ka wa wa!” That’s what the fox says.
    xxxxSealkit shivered. He couldn’t smell any other Gustclan cats. He couldn’t smell any other cats at all!
    xxxxThe other cats had said kits weren’t allowed out of the camp at all until they were apprentices. Was this why? Because the outside world was so horrible outside the stone walls the humans had built? That the only thing holding back the all-pervading mist was those little red stones? Were they magic? He couldn’t think of anything he had encountered that could hold anything against the mist.
    xxxxIt felt damp against his fur, like something was pushing against him from all around him.
    xxxxThere were footsteps! And from the same direction as those strange howls had come from.
    xxxxSealkit’s eyes opened wide, and he whimpered, his legs refusing to move for a moment, before he screamed and ran!
    xxxxBut he didn’t seem to be going anywhere, his feet just kept hitting the same spot of ground while the barking grew louder. He leaped towards one of the trees like he had earlier, only his claws slid down the bark, and wrenched backwards, and he screamed in pain. The bark was as hard as rock, with no purchases on it at all. It was smoother than the vertical water the humans had left for Gustclan’s camp.
    xxxxThere was no way to escape…
    xxxx"Ka wa wa wa wa wa! Ka wa wa! Ka wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa!” That was definitely closer! So much closer he was sure that he’d be able to smell the thing’s breath soon.
    xxxx"I don’t want to be freshkill! Anyone, help me!
    xxxxHis foot was trembling again, and he stared down at it, terrified of the treachery of his own body. There wasn’t anything to hide behind, but he couldn’t even look for it, because he knew that his paw wouldn’t let him step down on it in order to s-
    xxxxNo! No, he could search. Sealkit picked his foot as high off the ground as he could manage, and then hopped, rabbit-like, looking for anything!
    xxxxBut there wasn’t anything. There wasn’t anything, he couldn’t run, and he couldn’t climb, and if this were a nightmare, he’d have woken by now so- Heronstar must have banished him from Gustclan for disobeying orders, and that was why he’d been dumped here, out outside of camp, where everything was terrifying and Starclan themselves couldn’t see him!
    xxxx"They can’t hurt you.” Came a torn-sounding voice, faintly, from the same direction as the monsters. It was distorted and harsh-sounding, like whatever had said it had suffered some sort of injury to its throat which was only now recovering.
    xxxx"What do you mean? They’re right there! There’s no one to defend me, and I was never trained how, and I don’t know what to do! I can’t run, I can’t hide, Starclan save me!
    xxxxThe other kit pulled a slight face and lifted one paw, spinning it slowly for a moment, as if considering something, before placing it down firmly and giving a slight nod, her mind made.
    xxxx"Alright, I was lying. They can hurt you. But not for long. What’s the use in eternally being hunted if it ends when you get caught?” The voice was getting louder, but it was so disfigured that Sealkit was sure its bearer couldn’t be safe to be around. They had to be deranged. They’d be dangerous, and there was nothing he could do to stop them. But it was better to- to die quickly…
    xxxxTears started spilling out of Sealkit’s eyes as he actually comprehended what he thought he was facing.
    xxxx"What do you mean “eternally being hunted”?” Sealkit’s voice quivered. Would he have to- to face those monsters his whole life? They had to be the monsters the warriors meant.
    xxxx"Oh, you don’t have to worry about that.” Sealkit’s ears perked up. “You won’t be here for that long, and certainly not eternity.” Sealkit’s crying started to reduce, although his breathing was still definitely hitching and he couldn’t breath and the air was poison.
    xxxxSealkit flopped onto his side, coughing horribly and wretching.
    xxxxThe other cat seemed unaffected, now that she came into view.
    xxxxAnd it was strange. She was smaller than him, and yet sounded battle hardened. She was... maybe half his age? Maybe a little more than that. But about that. She had brown tabby patches on mostly white fur. She looked a little like Ploverstripe, actually.
    xxxx"I’ll look after you properly. You called for anyone, who could help you, after all.”
    xxxx"Thank you.”
    xxxx"No, no, thank you.”
    xxxxThere were piercing eyes in the darkness, staring out at Sealkit, and he bolted into the only available cover – behind the smaller kit. But the molly just stared back into the shadows.
    xxxx"Wawawa!”/"Wewewe!” It sounded like… laughter? Could monsters laugh? And even if they could- what would they be laughing at?
    xxxxAnd the monsters kept their distance. Whatever this kit could do, Sealkit was not complaining.
    xxxx"Well what?”
    xxxx"Aren’t you going to ask what this place is?”
    xxxx"Um?” Sealkit wasn’t sure whether he was supposed to. He had a few bigger questions like “how can I get back” but he wasn’t sure anything else would get answered. He wasn't sure anything else could get answered. “Where is this?”
    xxxxActually… that wasn’t a bad question. He’d never seen black mist before. His feet hadn’t been able to move. The trees were made of rock. Monsters stopped as a kit glared. But… most jarring… now that he thought about it, at least. The light from the stars was blocked, but not the light from the moon, or at least, not at the same places. Wherever they were, there just weren’t any stars, and he’d never heard that as a feature of being outside camp.
    xxxx"I’ve been watching you, Sealkit. And you’ve finally come to me! You finally did it, but then, I knew you would since the day you were born, so it’s hardly a surprise. Welcome to the Dark Forest, Sealkit. You won’t be here long.”
    xxxxSealkit fell backwards over the edge of the branch. Dipperkit had tried to catch him, but he had started flailing wildly by that point, and she didn’t even have the strength to hold him without that. His fur slipped through her claws, a few scant hairs staying trapped between her pads.
    xxxxHe hit the ground head-first, his body making a horrible sound as it followed after, and flopped painfully to the side, his neck twisting at an angle beyond what Dipperkit could have ever managed. His back legs stopped flailing, along with his tail, but his front was still twitching, and the convulsions in his chest were powerful enough that his back legs were moving anyway. But even if his paws were connecting to the ground, the way they were moving – there was no possible way he could move forwards at all.
    xxxxDipperkit gave her siblings one quick glance before screaming. And as soon as she screamed, Squirrelkit joined in too, only, somehow louder.
    xxxx"Let me past, Dipperkit, let me past, maybe I can get Harrierpelt, maybe he can help!”
    xxxxBut Dipperkit couldn’t move. She was left, stuck, staring at the remains of her brother. And – she could feel a broken, frozen lump in her chest where her heart should have been - she was sure those were just remains.
    xxxx"I told him he couldn’t go climbing!” Harrierpelt practically screeched.
    xxxxDroseratail shook his head.
    xxxx"There’s no use scolding now, you need to get out there!”
    xxxxHarrierpelt scowled fiercely at Droseratail, such that, had Droseratail not known he was a medicine cat and so bound to peace, he would have feared for his own life.
    xxxxAnd then Harrierpelt was gone, a bundle of herbs in his mouth, faster than even Sparrowfoot ever seemed to manage, whipping through the nursery and out to the spot where he’d just been told that Sealkit had fallen.
    xxxxAnd Droseratail, due to adrenaline and his own sharp hearing – he was a cat, after all – could hear exactly what they were saying.
    xxxx"I told him he couldn’t go climbing!”
    xxxx"He said that we all couldn’t climb!”
    xxxx"And that’s better, is it?”
    xxxx"Yes! We thought that was you being over-protective, we know how you’re friends with mummy, we thought she’d put you up to that, we didn’t think you meant him specifically.”
    xxxx"But you should have known. M- Your brother was having fits and you couldn’t see the danger in taking him up somewhere where a fit could kill him.”
    xxxxIt sounded a lot like Harrierpelt was fighting tears. And as he barrelled past where Droseratail still stood, bound to the spot, a moment later, Droseratail was sure Sealkit had been more than just the youngest son of a friend to Harrierpelt. He must have got very fond of the kits while caring for them so often.
    xxxxDroseratail looked down between his paws. Dipperkit had said she’d wanted to be like him before. If he’d just discouraged her, maybe Sealkit would…
    xxxxWell, he wasn’t dead yet, maybe he’d live. But…
    xxxxHe wouldn’t be able to be a warrior. He wouldn’t be able to be a medicine cat. He’d have to go straight to being an elder. He’d had his whole life snatched away, just because Droseratail had set dangerous asperations for him.
    xxxxAnd whatever anyone else said, he knew that to be true.
    xxxx"But! Isn’t the Dark Forest the place where evil cats go when they die?”
    xxxxSaddle"stream"’s claws clicked against the rock-hard-tree.
    xxxx"I don’t know what determines it. But you have to have realised; if Starclan is caring, why would they send hardship on the clans? Why, why, why would they – unless they’re not sending them? But after some discussion on the rare and so extremely valued occasions that I met another cat here before – and it’s amazing, when your normal company is no one how refreshing the company of those, frankly, raving madcats is – I learned that there are some things Starclan can’t control. And if a medicine cat happens to be having multiple litters while lecturing his own kits on how medicine cats can’t – I love irony – it becomes a little bit easier to get the control I want. And now that I’ve done it once, it’ll be a lot easier the next time.”
    xxxx"The next time?” Sealkit was getting less and less sure the longer they talked (and it must have been hours now) that he should spend time with her, but whenever he tried to leave, he found his paws couldn’t move, or, more terrifyingly still, they’d spasm in such a way as they’d lead him right back to where he’d been before he started.
    xxxx"One down, seven to go.”
    xxxxTroutpaw was grinning to herself all the way back to camp. Yes, she’d totally rocked it with that tom, she had a mate set for life and everything was looking good-
    xxxxExcept the expressions on the camps’ guards’ faces.
    xxxxTroutpaw looked up at her mentor to work out what she was meant to do. He shook his head gently.
    xxxxFaces like that already meant it was past recovery.
    xxxx"Who are you?” Sealkit demanded, frustrated with the lack of knowledge he had about his surroundings, and annoyed at himself that he was too scared to leave this obviously dangerous cat alone.
    xxxx"You- you don’t know? Well, that’s dreadfully rude of you. I think that’s my new least favourite part of being dead.”
    xxxx"I haven’t actually been out of camp yet-"
    xxxx"Hah! I know.”
    xxxx"-so I haven’t exactly met every cat ever. You can’t expect me to remember everyone, can you?”
    xxxxThe molly tilted her head in the cat equivalent to a shrug. “It’d’ve been nice if someone had mentioned me, and you’d’ve thought that someone would. But I guess- yeeees, Heronstone, of course she’s a stoic. Which sucks, you know? Forgotten by your own mother. That’s probably hmm, my joint least favourite part of being dead.” She twitched her shoulder muscles, puffing out her chest. “I’m Saddlestream. Saddlestream now anyway, as I would have been, and then Saddlestar, if it hadn’t been for your bumbling buffoon of an older sister. Which is a pity now. I can’t show off Gustclan as a paragon for how a truly code-abiding clan should behave. I have to settle for letting someone else do it.”
    xxxxSealkit shivered, and tried to step away, but somehow his paws refused to move him further away from Safflestream. “What do you mean? And why are you telling me this? You said I’d be going back, why couldn’t I just tell them there’s a dark forest cat scheming?”
    xxxx"The code was meant to make us strong, not de-claw us, firstly. And I never said you were going back did I?”
    xxxxSealkit’s stomach dropped.
    "Then where am I going?”
    xxxx"I don’t know. I honestly don’t care, in the long run at least. But in the short run, you’ll be my little helper.”
    xxxx"I won’t.” Sealkit tried to say defiantly.
    xxxxThe molly snorted.
    xxxx"You’ll be my little helper or I’ll let the fox-beasts at you next time they come back.” Sealkit shrank back on himself, arching his back at the idea. As much as he hated Saddlestream, he was sure she’d gone so bonkers because of what was out there in the Dark Forest. “Right. Well, leaders need nine lives, and I’m not giving them. I don’t know if Starclan will, but if they don’t, I’d really rather have a back up plan. Do you know how many plans fail because there wasn’t a back up?" Sealkit shook his head very slowly, but Saddlestream didn't even pause to glance over to check his response. "I don’t either, but I bet it’s a ton. The biggest enemy of a good plan is the hope of a perfect one, and, yeah, the perfect plan is for me to not even have to do anything but, it’s not that hard to capitalise on what nature does anyway. I’d really rather be safe than sorry. And it gives me something to do for now as well, which, I personally prefer to the mind-numbing boredom that’s the best you can get here.” There was a tiny quiver of fear as Saddlestream said “best”. Boredom was indeed the best emotion anyone could feel in the Dark Forest. It was the least negative, at least.
    xxxxSaddlestream looked at him, like there was an obvious response, even though Sealkit’s tongue was tied with his worry for his clan, and he couldn’t speak. She rolled her eyes, but clearly wasn’t too skilled at that, so her head bobbed back as well. “No ‘how’?”
    xxxxSealkit shook his head slowly to say ‘no’, before realising that the only possible way he stood to be able to escape from what was planned for him was to learn more and outsmart. His shaking head slowly changed direction into a nod.
    xxxx"Good boy. Right. I’ll show ya, come on.”
    xxxxSealkit didn’t have much choice.
    xxxxBoulderdash refused to leave the body. She curled around her kit. He’d been cooling down when she’d started, but now he was her body temperature again. She licked him furiously. Myrtleclaw rested his head on her shoulder, trying to provide comfort, while Harrierpelt looked on, guilt seeming to pull his heart down through his ribs.
    xxxxIt had to be an omen from Starclan. A punishment for his… his breaking the medicine cat’s honour-code.
    xxxx"Boulderdash, he’s gone. No amount of grooming him will stop that.” Myrtleclaw urged. “You need to let him go. There’ll be a new star in the sky tonight for him, I promise. He’ll be with Starclan.”
    xxxx"I-I can’, Myr’leclaw, I can’. I- I already los’ Elmki’, I… I wan’ed ta see ‘em all grow ta be strong warriors, and now, one of ‘em, 'e-" Boulderdash’s breathing hitched, and now he looked more closely, Myrtleclaw could see that Sealkit’s fur was wet with tears. “’e’ll never ge’ tha’ will ‘e?”
    xxxx"He’ll be with his sister, Boulderdash. He’ll be fine. I promise you, he’ll be fine, someone will take care of him, up there. He was fantastic. There's no way that no one will be caring for him for your sake.” He sighed just a tiny bit. Sure, the kits weren’t technically his, but they felt like it. He was talking as much to reassure himself as his friend. “Maybe he’s watching over us now.” Myrtleclaw found he didn’t know what else to say that might help Boulderdash accept the reality of the loss of her son, so instead, he leaned in close against her fur, and stayed with her outside until she finally moved, several hours later. Boulderdash had only stopped crying as she had no more tears left.
    xxxxThere was some sort of hollow in the dirt in front of Sealkit. He was tempted to say it was a pool of water, but most water was not a scummy yellow colour, and he’d never smelt water that strange before, nor water that slowly gave off vapours like that.
    xxxx"It’s the only water around here, and it’s a long way to the right place.” Saddlestream said. Sealkit tried to back away. “Go on, drink. You’ll need it.”
    xxxxThe pool seemed to shift closer to Sealkit.
    xxxx"It’s either drink from the pool or die of thirst.” Sealkit shook his head very slowly.
    xxxx"I don’t trust you. How do I know that you’re not lying, and there’s clean water just over there?” Sealkit nodded his head in one direction.
    xxxx"You think there’d be a place to quench your thirst which tastes nice here? That’s part of the deal of this place. Constantly chased around by monsters, and there’s nothing to drink, so your mouth is punishing you, too.”
    xxxxSealkit sighed. That made sense, he supposed, and if Saddlestream really did need him, then she was unlikely to kill him now. He bent his head to the water.
    xxxxAnd as his tongue touched the water to lap some up, Sealkit simply dissolved.
    xxxxNot from the site where his tongue made contact, but his whole body. He simply was no more.
    xxxxBut the corner of Saddlestream’s mouth twitched upwards as she saw the change in the pool’s surface. The vapours rising off it were a tiny bit more distinct now.
    xxxxShe’d probably have enough time to get herself a drink from the clean spring of water nearby before the foxes came after her again. She hadn’t wanted to look weak in front of her victim, but she was terrified of them too.
    xxxxThere was no new star in the sky that night.
    xxxxThe celestial bodies danced their usual steps, on a tune so slow and steady that a single pirhouette took 225 million years, and so deep and gentle that the sound of it sung the Earth to sleep each night, unchanged from the day before, with no new steps in the dance to compensate for any new dancers joining in.
    xxxxAs far as they were concerned, Sealkit had never existed.
    xxxxAnd Starclan would agree, though they would not have done the day before. They might have noticed that sometimes they wanted to add something onto a sentence, but the thought would escape them each time just before they could, and after a few moons, the ancestors had even forgotten the hints that they had forgotten something.
      - 3954
Commands wrote:
[ Sealkit has died. May Starclan accept him into their ranks ]
[ Adoniscloud has joined Gustclan* ]
[ Tabitha becomes a full warrior ]
[ Knotfish and Narwhal become mates – no kits yet ]

[ Troutpaw and Martinwhisker, Pheasantpaw and Bugleclaw, Mosquitopaw and Shellcloud, Lobsterpaw and Lobeliafur, and Camberpaw and Merlindash train ]
[ Lionpaw and Osierfang, Ospreypaw and Clarystorm, Noctulepaw and Vendacethroat, and Saffronpaw and Firepath train ]
[ Droseratail, Cicelynose, and Tabbyfur go on patrol ]
[ Myrtleclaw, Pearstone, Sparrowfoot, Moraine, Ploverstripe, and Langoustinefang go hunting ]
[ Heronstar, Argusheart, and Knotfish go hunting ]

[ Boulderdash stays in camp to mind the kits; Teaselkit, Ringkit, Zinniakit, Dipperkit, and Squirrelkit ]
[ Harrierpelt stays in camp to mind his patients ]

[ Ringkit is apprented to Langoustinefang and becomes Ringpaw; Dipperkit is apprenticed to Droseratail and becomes Dipperpaw; Squirrelkit is apprenticed to Ploverstripe and becomes Squirrelpaw ]
[ Tabitha is promoted into a full warrior ]
[ Teaselkit and Zinniakit are not apprenticed yet ]

[ Nettleflower is on her third moon of gestation ]
[ Chubtail, Nettleflower, Barnfish, Aspenfoot, and Narwhal stay in camp ]
[ Gustclan consumes 1 big fish, 1 hare and 1 rabbit – 8 portions ]

Katrione wrote:
[ Starclan has a new star among its skies. Sealkit will be well looked after ]
[ Troutpaw, Lionpaw, Pheasantpaw, Mosquitopaw, Lobsterpaw and Camberpaw learned the Stealth skill while training ]
[ Ospreypaw, Noctulepaw and Saffronpaw learned the Fight skill while training ]
[ Drosertail, Cicelynose and Tabbyfur found a warrior while on patrol ]
[ Mrtyleclaw, Pearstone, Sparrowfoot, Moraine, Ploverstripe and Langoustinefang caught two big fish while hunting ]
[ Heronstar, Argusheart and Knotfish caught two hares while hunting ]

Last edited by Chamrosh on Thu May 17, 2018 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Gustclan post 43

Postby Chamrosh » Thu May 17, 2018 2:12 am


    xxxxCicelynose’s ears twitched suddenly, catching Droseratail’s eyes. He looked back at his sister. Heronstar often assigned them together on patrols, as, although Cicelynose was legitimately skilled in her own right, she was stubborn enough that she’d listen to very few warriors about the dangers she couldn’t see, and without one of them, she’d be likely to hurt herself. Cicelynose would rarely listen to her littermate brother, and rarely listen to Droseratail’s littermate either.
    xxxxBut what she would listen to was everything that no one else could.
    xxxxAll cats have sharp ears, but with her sight missing, Cicelynose’s hearing had grown particularly acute, as had her smell, such that they had earned her her suffix.
    xxxxSo as Droseratail saw his sister reacting to something unknown, and as Tabitha saw the tom’s head turn, too, they both knew there was something up. Cicelynose slowly turned, her head spinning so that her eyes still ended up focused on her target, unblinking and wide. Droseratail looked after, where she was looking, his head slowly tilting to the side.
    xxxxWhat had his sister h-
    xxxxDroseratail’s ears flicked back (as did the mollies’), and his teeth bared.
    xxxxThere were voices from the bushes. Or it sounded like it, anyway. There was at least one voice, and it seemed unlikely they were talking to themselves, and they cut off, seemingly silent with just a low hum of agreement about something-
    xxxxAnd a white-furred molly emerged from the bushes.
    xxxx"Oh, um, greetings! Are you clan cats?”
    xxxxDroseratail glanced between the other Gustclan cats, and realised with a burst of terror that he was the highest ranked between them and that his mother actually had some reason to treat him like a responsible adult now. Oh, that was terrible.
    xxxx"Yes. We’re from Gustclan.”
    xxxx"Excellent!” The white molly turned her head around behind her at the bushes briefly, and then turned her head back. ”I’m Little Sheepy Sheep-"
    xxxx"Cicelynose.” Droseratail fought the urge to glare at his sister. It wouldn’t achieve anything anyway, she wouldn’t be able to see it.
    xxxxAnd, of course, Tabbyfur had to take that as a hint too – “Tabitha” – and so Droseratail was essentially forced to go last on an act he hadn’t wanted to start anyway. He was in charge of the patrol!
    xxxxThe white molly whipped her head around back into the bushes, presumably at whomever had been talking with her. "It’s alright, Garganey, they’re clan cats!” Droseratail couldn’t help wondering quite why these non-warriors were looking for them so eagerly.
    xxxxSlowly, a brown nose poked out of the bush, paused for a moment, and then was followed by the rest of a tabby brown molly, glancing around nervously. Her eyes whipped around, scanning for any and every sign of danger, and only when she was certain she was fine did she open her mouth and mumble something so quiet that none of the others heard anything.

    xxxxSaffronpaw had a terrifying thought just before he roused from his sleep that night.
    xxxxNettleflower’s kits were due to arrive within the next few days now.
    xxxxAnd he was due to be a full warrior within the next 6 moons, probably.
    xxxxWhich meant… Any of the kits that Nettleflower had could well end up being his apprentice.
    xxxxHe wasn’t sure what to make of that.
    xxxxSure, it was exciting to be able to see how he’d already be contributing properly to his clan within just a few moons.
    xxxxBut… Chubtail and Heronstar were beginning to get old now. They were bound to be wondering if they could retire soon, and there were quite a few warriors not many moons younger. Certainly, by the time he was a warrior, and had mentored someone… certainly by then they’d be looking to retire. And probably they’d want to space out the next leader and deputy a little more. They’d probably choose a little more senior warrior – maybe Firepath! – but then, also… probably a rather younger warrior, to be sure that they’d prepared properly for ages.
    xxxxAnd if one of these kits did become his and his sisters’ apprentice…
    xxxxAnd Heronstar chose one of them…
    xxxxGosh, either of his sisters as a leader was terrifying enough, and him as leader- ugh! No, no way would that ever happen.

    xxxxAdoniscloud saw the clouds turn grey, and, being sensible and realistic about the thickness of his fur, the time of year and the smell in the air, started seeking out shelter from the inevitable downpour quickly. He slipped into a hollow between two boulders, his wide shoulders just fitting through the gap, although his fur swept away from the hard surfaces and towards his tail. The ground beneath his paws dipped in a moist spot near the entrance, and squished beneath him and into his fur. Ugh. He wished he’d seen that. Cleaning that off was going to be disgusting.
    xxxxAdoniscloud continued into the dark gap. From what he could see in the dark – and cats’ eyes are well suited for that task – the cave he’d found himself in was rather small, smaller than the nursery in the clan he’d been born into. But he could smell something in here too-
    xxxxHe lifted his nose a little to smell more clearly, and followed it, quite literally, to a small alcove in the back.
    xxxxAh! Kit smell.
    xxxxA young tom. A young, weak tom.
    xxxxAdoniscloud approached slowly, croached down to look smaller and be as unthreatening as possible.
    xxxxAnd as he saw the wide, fear-shining eyes, he knew to stop moving forwards.
    xxxx"Hey? Um, are you okay, little fella?” The kit was shivering (understandably, his fur was still thin and looked damp from the last rain still, meaning he hadn’t been groomed fully since then). ”I’m not gonna hurt you. Look, if you’re cold, I can help?” Adoniscloud crouched down fully, and puffed out his fur.
    xxxxThe kit shook his head slightly and retreated further back into the alcove.
    xxxx"It’s cold, kid, and it’s gonna get colder. If you wanna be cold, you’re gonna be disappointed. I’m not gonna let a kit freeze to death.”
    xxxxThe kit pouted at him, huffed, and turned his head away.
    xxxxAdoniscloud sighed slightly. This kit not wanting to be helped couldn’t deter his sense of honour. He couldn’t allow a kit to freeze or starve to death back here – whichever came first.

    xxxx"One of us has to be a warrior.”
    xxxx"It won’t be me.” Zinniakit said.
    xxxx"Harrierpelt said he’d choose which one of us got to be his apprentice. I… I wish it could be both of us though.”
    xxxx"We could ask Heronstar, though? Surely that’d be alright, and then it could be both.”
    xxxx"Ooh!” Teaselkit nodded enthusiastically. “Yeah, let’s!”

    xxxxThe rain was beginning to die down now, but it was turning dark at this point, and a dark leaf-bare night was no time for a kit to be outside, even with a warrior. Adoniscloud’s stomach was rumbling, but he didn’t trust the kit would stay warm without him. He dreaded to think how the kit felt. He could feel his bones through both of their fur.
    xxxxHe curled up tight, subtly using his huge size to pin the kit in place, preparing to hunker down for the night. The cave was colder with the water finding its way through cracks in the rocks, even without the wind-chill he’d be facing outside.
    xxxx"Where you from, kid?”
    xxxxThe kit shook his head, turning it up, not wanting to look at Adoniscloud.
    xxxx"I can’t take you home if you won’t tell me where that is.”
    xxxxThe kit’s face fell a little, his eyes dipping down to the mud floor of the cave.
    xxxx"No home left, huh? Same boat, kid.” He nodded slightly, trying to be reassuring. "Hey, actually, uh… I met a ‘paw not that long ago, just a couple ‘moons? I reckon however she got that chatty, being exposed to that could help you a lot, right? I’m not saying that a ‘paw walking right up to a stranger’s great, but it’s uh, it’s a sign that she’s used to warriors being trustworthy. I reckon you could use that? At the very least, there’ll be other cats your age who might be less scary than me, right? It’s not far from here, either.” Maybe if Troutpaw had been exposed to toms her own age who she hadn’t been raised with, that could help with him not being flirted with by her in a way he really did not appreciate, even if he admired her courage. If he really was going through with this, he was glad he was bringing a male kit.
    xxxxAnd very, very slowly, the kit’s head nodded.
    xxxxWherever could get an apprentice to be that bold was… probably going to be a good place for a kit to grow up. Hopefully they’d know what to do with a hungry kit.
    xxxxAnd goodness, this kit could use some boldness.

    Haha!It was a terrifying prospect really.
    BeautFor both of them, of course.
    iful, sBut also for their parents, including the foster father.
    o ma-Harrierpelt had joined Gustclan as a young and spritely – or relatively spritely, in his case, medicine cat. And he was almost a grandfather.
    ny livAnd the other three felt old thinking of the ages of their kits now, and for them to already be having kits!
    es I cBut there was some good news, of course, from it. Their children wouldn’t be wanting to have children of their own now if they didn’t feel safe. And they were going to be grandparents soon! That was amazing. Gustclan was doing well… if, not for some unfortunate circumstances that all of the parents would rather not think about (and several cats had noticed Harrierpelt being particularly upset and had assumed that that was due to remorse of his advice not being followed properly).
    an cl-But from Nettleflower and Shellcloud’s perspective, it was even more frightening. They were the first kits of the clan to have kits of their own, and wasn’t that an unnerving thought?
    aim sNettleflower’s mother had only left the nursery and her queenly duties last moon! Her kits would be not much younger than her own siblings! That was terrifying!
    o sooOh.
    n! AnHow could she be scared though?
    d fro-She’d… she’d gone too far with her love of kits when she was far younger, and she knew to be more careful now, even if she could never properly warn someone of the due caution they must follow. If someone ever made the same mistake she had, especially if it went to the extremes that her mistake had, she’d never be able to live with it. But she also knew that her love of kits was almost a defining trait for her. She’d wanted to have kits since she was a kit, and now she was finally getting to do that!
    m thaAnd it was wonderful.
    t buffNettleflower couldn’t wait to be a mother. She was sure that Shellcloud was going to be a good father too.
    oon tHe was very busy at the moment with training Mosquitopaw, and checking up on her, and his normal warrior duties, but he was really doing a fantastic job.
    hat kNettleflower had decided to claim the nest her mother had used to birth her.
    illed Sure, some cats might take it as weird, but Nettleflower found it neatly poetic. Like the cycles of the seasons being closed.
    me! Maybe the nest could even become a family heirloom of sorts! The nesting material still smelt like her mother, in the calm, still, friendly air of the nursery where scents did not fade quickly. Ah, being a mother was going to be amazing! Terrifying too, of course, no one could deny that, but any day now… any day and she’d have her own little babies, who would be her babies for the rest of their lives, even if they grew to be elders together.
    PerfeDespite her excitement about kits, even with the worry and nervousness – the responsibility! – bubbling in her stomach… despite that. She couldn’t help thinking…
    ct!haBut no, no, she couldn’t let herself think that. One kit dying didn’t mean hers would too, certainly not. Her younger brother was just stubborn, adventurous and curious, all things a kit should be. Due caution and proper checking that her kits weren’t eating anything they shouldn’t should be plentiful in keeping them happy and healthy. And happy and healthy she would make sure they were. "Would she really, now?”

    xxxxGarganey sat calmly in the leader’s den, below Heronstar. Sure, she was timid when speaking, but when she was sure that someone wasn’t going to hurt her, she was going to be bold. Her back stood straight and firm, her paws perfectly and precisely placed.
    xxxx"I’m curious as to why you left your previous clan, Garganey. You’ve only been here half a moon and you’ve already proven yourself entirely capable in all else but volume when speaking. I’d like to give you a full warrior name back, Garganey, as I’m sure you were a warrior. But why aren’t you now?” Heronstar asked, clearly braced from her tone to have to listen closely.
    xxxxAnd to Garganey’s and Heronstar’s surprise each, Garganey spoke up at almost a typical volume. It was still noticeably quiet, though.
    xxxx"They called me Garganeymouse.” Garganey said. "For my moons as an apprentice all I earned was being seen as not a cat, and I would have been all my life.”
    xxxx"Ah.” Heronstar nodded very slowly and solemnly. “I see why any cat would leave after that. But I’ve seen your quietness does have a distinct advantage. You seem skilled at bringing back a good share of prey. How would you like your new name to recognise that?”
    xxxxGarganey nodded her head. “Very much so.”

    xxxxTroutpaw’s nose rose into the air where she stood near the edge of camp, returning from training with Martinwhisker. She held perfectly still for a moment before her head slowly span around, and noticing she was no longer just beside him, Martinwhisker stopped and whipped around to match.
    xxxxHe took a deep inhale too, and tensed, fur sticking out at angels as his muscles tightened around him. There was a tom nearby, and from the smell, a large one. But-!
    xxxxTroutpaw looked… happy? What?
    xxxxMaybe her last clan just really liked fighting?
    xxxxThe apprentice walked forward a moment, and Martinwhisker didn’t have to hesitate before he followed her. No way was she going to be able to manage this alone if he turned out to be dangerous. Which meant as stupid as her lack of plan was, now she was too far ahead to be stopped, he had to follow her to protect her.
    xxxxAnd as Martinwhisker followed Troutpaw, it was very obvious what they had smelt.
    xxxxTwo toms. One was huge, burly-looking and covered in more fur than Martinwhisker thought a cat could be. The other was a small kit, clearly tired out, and skinny-looking, stepping slowly, with the big tom only stepping occasionally forwards so as not to overtake.
    xxxxThe large tom’s eyes stayed on the kit for a few moments, until Troutpaw was practically right next to him. And as he looked up, Martinwhisker was sure he saw relief there, but underlined with something else as well.
    xxxx"Look, Martinwhisker, look, hey, this is Adoniscloud!”
    xxxxMartinwhisker sighed slightly. He’d been saying for the whole last moon that Troutpaw had hallucinated him into being. Apparently that hadn’t been true.
    xxxxThe bulky tom completely ignored Troutpaw for a moment, looking past her to her mentor.
    xxxx"Would your clan be able to take Minnowkit in?”
    xxxxMartinwhisker considered a moment before nodding. He couldn’t refuse a kit if it might mean them dying, or coming to any undue harm, really.
    xxxx"Good. I found him a few days ago, having been separated from his mother and littermates, he could use a new family.” He puffed his chest out a little more. ”I’m staying with him at least until I’m sure he’s recovered.” Adoniscloud said that in such a matter of fact way, Martinwhisker didn’t really know how to argue back without the leader’s help.
    xxxxIt would transpire that Little Sheepy Sheep who had been found a few days before had left to create her clan with Heronstar showing the way to a good patch of territory before dawn that morning. Adoniscloud had picked up the pair’s scents after looking for Troutpaw near the hill where they’d encountered each other, and had tracked the pair all the way back to the Gustclan camp. He’d been carrying the kit whenever he got too tired to continue walking, not wanting to have to delay to get him to a medicine cat and a warm nursery.

    xxxxHeronstar wasn’t one to roll her eyes. Much less at kits. But she found herself wanting to do it anyway. She’d been wanting there to be a kit willing and suitable for medicine cat apprentice for moons and now she found two who both would react terribly to being turned away.
    xxxx"Yes. One of you must become a warrior. Much later, if we need a third medicine cat – and we don’t yet – then the other of you can become one then. We can’t support limitless cats who aren’t hunting, and who won’t fight to defend our camp. I’m sure either of you will do fine in whichever you train to become – in fact, I’m happy for the warrior between you to be taught some aspects of healing as long as it doesn’t slow their warrior training unduly – but Harrierpelt can only support one apprentice properly at a time. One of you becomes a warrior, and that’s final.”
    xxxxTeaselkit and Zinniakit looked at each other nervously. That was not the answer either of them had wanted. And they both knew that if they didn’t help their sibling learn to heal anyway, they’d hate each other for life. With just a twitch of their eyebrows, each sibling had agreed to the deal. They’d both learn, whether the clan liked it or not.
      - 3011
Commands wrote:
[ Garganey joins Gustclan – from patrol ]
[ Minnowkit joins Gustclan – from Leafclan Readopt ]
[ Moraine and Pearstone try for kits ]
[ Sparrowfoot and Langoustinefang become mates ]
[ Garganey becomes Garganeywhisker ]

[ Troutpaw and Martinwhisker, Pheasantpaw and Bugleclaw, Mosquitopaw and Shellcloud, Lobsterpaw and Lobeliafur, and Camberpaw and Merlindash train ]
[ Lionpaw and Osierfang, Ospreypaw and Clarystorm, Noctulepaw and Vendacethroat, and Saffronpaw and Firepath train ]
[ Ringpaw and Langoustinefang, Dipperpaw and Droseratail, and Squirrelpaw and Ploverstripe train ]
[ Harrierpelt trains Teaselkit and Zinniakit in basic healing ]

[ Heronstar, Argusheart, Pearstone, Adoniscloud, and Garganeywhisker go hunting ]
[ Chubtail, Sparrowfoot, Tabbyfur, Knotfish, and Narwhal go hunting ]

[ Boulderdash, Myrtleclaw, Nettleflower, Moraine, Cicelynose, Barnfish, and Aspenfoot stay in camp with Minnowkit ]

[ Gustclan consumes 1 mouse, 2 squirrels, and 1 hare, - 8 portions ]

Katrione wrote:
[ Moraine is expecting kits! They are due in two moons ]
[ Langoustinefang is expecting kits! They are due in two moons ]
[ Troutpaw, Pheasantpaw, Mosquitopaw, Lobsterpaw and Camberpaw learned the Strategising skill while training ]
[ Lionpaw, Ospreypaw, Noctulepaw and Saffronpaw learned the Agility skill while training ]
[ Ringpaw, Dipperpaw and Squirrelpaw learned the Climbing skill while training ]
[ Teaselkit and Zinniakit learned the Basic Healing skill while training ]
[ Heronstar, Argusheart, Pearstone, Adoniscloud and Garganeywhisker caught two squirrels while hunting ]
[ Chubtail, Sparrowfoot, Tabbyfur, Knotfish and Narwhal caught two rabbits while hunting ]

Last edited by Chamrosh on Thu May 17, 2018 3:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Gustclan post 44

Postby Chamrosh » Thu May 17, 2018 3:27 am


    —Last Moon—

    xxxx"We’re adopting him.” Aspenfoot declared with absolute finality as the new kit entered camp, and she caught sight of him being carried by the large warrior from the corner of her eye.
    xxxx"Wait, what?”
    xxxxAspenfoot nodded her head towards the kit. “I never got to have kits gro… I never got to have kits before. Cats are remembered as ancestors. If either of us really want to be proper members of this clan, and proper ancestors, we can do that by adopting a kit.”
    xxxxBarnfish nodded slowly. “He’ll be the most spoiled kit in the clan.”
    xxxx"Yup. Two parents, who both have no obligations of warrior duties, and have no memories of him waking them up forty times a night to yell.”
    xxxxBarnfish chuckled. “Sure.”
    xxxx"Come on then.” Aspenfoot rose fairly slowly, and Barnfish rose more so, so they were both standing, and heading over to the new kit.
    xxxx"He’s our kit.” Aspenfoot said.
    xxxxThe fluffy tom raised a brow. “Okay then? I… guess that solves one problem?” His tone was clearly bewildered. Probably wondering why two elders were insisting they were now parents with so little discussion needed.

    xxxxPresently, Myrtleclaw was visiting his daughter daily, just before he went out for warrior duties. He wanted her to know he’d be there constantly to help her out with them, that he was going to be a good grandparent even if he weren’t blood related to the kits.
    xxxxHe was going to love those kits more than anything.
    xxxxHis nuzzle bent down to his daughter’s head, and her nose rose to his as he did so.
    xxxx"You’d better not have them while I’m gone. I would be a proud father if I could get one of your kits an impermissibly adorable name without you arguing back.”
    xxxxNettleflower rolled her eyes. He said that every time. She knew he wouldn’t do it, he’d never burden his descendents with that, whatever said.
    xxxxHer tail flicked. "I’ll claw your eyes out if you do, dad.”
    xxxxMyrtleclaw laughed. “If either of us will win that fight, my bet’s on me.”
    xxxx"Shove off, dad. I’m gonna be a vicious mother, just you wait and see. I’m way more your child than Sparrowfoot ever was.”
    xxxxMyrtleclaw laughed again. “One of your kits will be Witkit and there’s nothing you can do about it!”
    xxxx"Dad, no!” Nettleflower protested, but he was already out of the room. She jolly well hoped that Shellcloud was around when they were born.

    xxxxMoraine’s nest was low down, in the corner. She’d repurposed Boulderdash’s nest material – the molly had told her that she wasn’t planning on more kits, and just as well, or they’d be younger than their nieces and nephews.
    xxxxPearstone spent a good amount of time in the nursery. He might not strictly be her mate, but he was her best friend, and she was happy whenever he was there. She loved him, in all senses of the term.
    xxxx"Pearstone?” Moraine asked, her head lying on her best friend’s side.
    xxxxPearstone bobbed his head. “Oui?”
    xxxx"I was wondering… If, we could, uh… if we could name the kits according to our own naming traditions?”
    xxxxPearstone paused, then shook his head slightly. Moraine could feel it through her rib cage.
    xxxxShe was about to open her mouth to protest, when he interrupted the silence first.
    xxxx"Non, Moraine. My name was nothing spécial. But yours is beautiful, la mise au point. Et, for what reason would we give them names less than that? Non. I would like if they could be named as you were.”
    xxxxMoraine felt a heavy weight appear in her chest.
    xxxx"Only as I am? But, Pearstone, your culture will be lost. I want them to be tricultural; we can, why shouldn’t we?”
    xxxxPearstone slowly nodded. “Oui, bien sûr, they will. Mais, I trust your judgement. You have made good calls before, I am sure that you will make more.”

    xxxxIt was the middle of the day, during a time that was quickly becoming Nettleflower’s favourite to nap in, when her breathing hitched. It was an ideal time to sleep. There were very few cats around, and thus there was not much to do within camp during these moments. Sleeping was by far preferable to boredom, or trying to do anything straining when she was so full of kits.
    xxxxShe was really looking forward to having them born. The early stages of pregnancy hadn’t been so bad, but it came with many unexpected side effects, like strain while walking, or having to go to the dirt place more frequently, or vomiting. Pregnancy certainly wasn’t romantic. It would be hard to state - even if she could still talk – exactly how much she appreciated Shellcloud sitting by her when she’d got very sick before. She felt disgusting and vile but he still told her he loved her and sat by her comforting her through it.
    xxxxHer breathing hitching now was not appreciated.
    xxxxEspecially as it was caused by a sudden burst of pain, and her eyes flew open. Her mother had said that would happen. That it hurt before… it happened.
    xxxxNettleflower’s eyes flicked around the nursery.
    xxxxShe wanted to yell from the pain, but not a peep escaped her lips.
    xxxxAnd there was no one around nearby to help her. And no way was she moving with the pain she was in!
    xxxxHer breathing hitched again, and her mouth caught in a silent scream.
    xxxxIt wasn’t entirely the pain that made her want to scream. The pain was bad. But… More importantly…
    xxxxShe hadn’t been the most talkative kit. She was able to cope when she lost that before. But… she was only now realising that her inability to speak might affect her kits’ health. What if one of them was sick, and she couldn’t tell anyone what was wrong?
    xxxxWhat if one were dying and only she knew?
    xxxxAnd that was why she was screaming.

    xxxxIf it weren’t for him being almost the same age as Heronstar and Chubtail, Myrtleclaw would have been next in line to be deputy if anything happened to either of them. All the warriors knew it, and all the apprentices bar Lionpaw seemed to know it too, judging by how they respected him. So, of course, he was trusted to lead patrols almost as entirely as Chubtail.
    xxxxHe felt a little bad about that in actuality; one of his first acts as a part of the clan had been agreeing to lie on Boulderdash’s behalf so she could have kits… in fairness, he’d only wanted to have kits he could be father to, and to cover for a cat who had only just joined a clan making a mistake. It was hardly evil. And out of that, the clan had earned two strong warriors – both of whom had partners now, and he was proud of them both for finding someone who loved them back – and several strong apprentices even if – oh Sealkit, he’d never forget his son.
    xxxxHis son, you understand?
    xxxxIt wasn’t just a matter of having agreed to act as father.
    xxxxDoing that had made him a father entirely.
    xxxxWell… then, he was the proud father of two warriors and two strong apprentices. He’d stopped a cat’s mistake getting her exiled. He couldn’t blame himself for that.
    xxxxAnd he certainly wasn’t going to guilt himself when he had more than made up with his contributions to training the next generation below him. Or when he was helping Bugleclaw to teach them how to handle themselves on patrols.
    xxxxBugleclaw was looking up to him too, which was bizarre. From him, at least. The apprentices looking up wasn’t a surprise. It was no secret that Lobsterpaw wanted to earn the -claw suffix.
    xxxxBetween the two warriors, they had brought all the older apprentices out – them all being well trained enough to be able to handle themselves safely should a fight start, or any such disaster.
    xxxxThey took the patrol heading towards the Forestclan border, along the questioned border between the thunderpath and the stream. It was a good place to practice everything they’d need to know, simply because of the scope of what had to be marked. It was a little open, especially for this time of year with human activity, but the warriors were sure they’d be fine.
    xxxxOr they were, until Noctulepaw’s nose hit the air.
    xxxx"Human!” She called out.
    xxxxTen sets of eyes turned towards her.
    xxxxEleven sets of eyes turned upstream; Noctule, then the rest.
    xxxxShe was quite right. She had smelt a human. And a few others had now noticed it too.
    xxxxMyrtleclaw tensed up, looking around the group. He took a breath in.
    xxxx"Bugleclaw, take the apprentices back to camp.” Bugleclaw looked at him sceptically, not wanting to leave him alone. “GO!”
    xxxxBugleclaw nodded. “Come on, apprentices. If any of you delay for anything, you’ll be on elders’ den duty for a moon.”
    xxxxThe apprentices did not hesitate to head back to camp. Which left Myrtleclaw alone. Right. Planning for this wasn’t hard. Humans were not the fastest runners. He’d move back into Gustclan territory fully, track where the human had come from, and then head across to Forestclan territory to warn them about the human if they appeared to be dangerous, and maybe even Lambclan if they had been outside their monster far enough.
    xxxxGustclan didn’t get a lot of land-based humans. Most of them that came to the territory had changed their legs for tails already, and couldn’t reach them. The only human they were aware of that had come onto the land had been the one encouraging the dog that had injured Firepath a few moons before.
    xxxxMyrtleclaw knew there was a human clan somewhere nearby. Maybe they had rogues too? And maybe this was one of them. They could be dangerous, anyway. Myrtleclaw wasn’t going to let their allies go unaware of a potential threat if he could.
    xxxxMyrtleclaw set off, running around and behind where the scent had come from.
    xxxxMyrtleclaw tracked the scent far back, up into the territory. He should be warning the other clans, definitely Lambclan included, if they were travelling so far out of their monsters here… Right back until he found the monster itself, a huge, white square, with two cracks at the back, large enough that many clans’ entire warriors’ den could fit into it.
    xxxxIt wasn’t his fault that he didn’t notice the second human.

    HyehThe screams from the dark were the main source of knowledge of the outside world to the cats of the Dark Forest. Over time, the pain of those screams seemed to disappear as the cats came to agree with the howling voices. And over more moons… they came to sound like bird song had in the world of light.
    yeHyBeautiful. Melodious. A constant form of calm should it be needed.
    ehyeAnd what news it brought today was wonderful!
    HyehSaddlestream heard the scream from far behind her – she jumped for a moment – and then, as she recognised the tone of voice, she started laughing.
    hyehOh the clans.
    yehyThey were just so…
    yehyHe’d be here if they had a clue what they were on about. His loyalty had never been to his clan. It had been to his ‘mate’. He’d broken the rules. He had broken the rules, and gone to Starclan, and Saddlestream had wanted everyone to follow them and she was here.
    ehyeAnd if that weren’t proof enough she was doing the right thing, she didn’t know what was. Hahahahahahah!

      - 1930
Commands wrote:
[ Droseratail and Lobeliafur try for kits ]
[ Osierfang and Martinwhisker (not mates) try for kits ]
[ Nettleflower enters labour ]

[ Moraine is on her first moon of gestation ]
[ Myrtleclaw dies – he had a close encounter with the Croydon Cat Killer. May Starclan welcome him into their ranks ]

[ Troutpaw and Martinwhisker, Pheasantpaw and Bugleclaw, Mosquitopaw and Shellcloud, Lobsterpaw and Lobeliafur, and Camberpaw and Merlindash train ]
[ Lionpaw and Osierfang, Ospreypaw and Clarystorm, Noctulepaw and Vendacethroat, and Saffronpaw and Firepath train ]
[ Ringpaw and Langoustinefang, Dipperpaw and Droseratail, and Squirrelpaw and Ploverstripe train ]
[ Teaselkit and Sparrowfoot, and Zinniakit and Boulderdash train in stealth near camp ]

[ Heronstar, Argusheart, Cicelynose, Knotfish, and Narwhal ]
[ Pearstone, Tabbyfur, Adoniscloud, and Garganeywhisker ]

[ Harrierpelt stays in camp to mind his patients ]
[ Nettleflower stays in camp with Minnowkit ]
[ Chubtail, Moraine, Barnfish and Aspenfoot stay in camp ]

Font-art from Fontmeme

Katrione wrote:
[ Lobeliafur is expecting kits! They are due in two moons ]
[ Osierfang is expecting kits! They are due in two moons ]
[ Nettleflower gave birth to two kits ]
[ Starclan has a new star among its skies. Myrtleclaw will be well looked after ]
[ Troutpaw, Pheasantpaw, Mosquitopaw, Lobsterpaw and Camberpaw learned Tracking skill while training ]
[ Lionpaw learned the Observation skill while training ]
[ Ospreypaw, Noctulepaw and Saffronpaw learned the Fishing skill while training ]
[ Ringpaw, Dipperpaw and Squirrelpaw learned the Hunting skill while training ]
[ Teaselkit and Zinniakit learned the Stealth skill while training ]

Last edited by Chamrosh on Thu May 17, 2018 4:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Gustclan post 45

Postby Chamrosh » Thu May 17, 2018 4:06 am


    —Last Moon—

    xxxxThe warriors returned to camp essentially at a run. Some bright spark Lionpaw had decided that racing back to camp was a great idea, and so they did.
    !!I knOf course.
    owmyBugleclaw was having to struggle to keep up with all of them, given how quickly they were travelling, and that he was no longer at his peak of fitness. Or rather, he was struggling to keep up with most of them. Ospreypaw was lagging due to constantly pausing to check for any signs of danger – Clarystorm had really rubbed off on her – Mosquitopaw was staying close to her father, as she was meant to, and Saffronpaw was staying close to his cautious sister.
    wordThe most sensible of the apprentices.
    swillHalf of them were meant to be becoming warriors next moon…
    beigThey arrived back at camp after not too long – thankfully the apprentices slowed quickly, having exhausted themselves by sprinting – with the apprentices still in front.
    noreBugleclaw reported straight to Heronstar, who nodded calmly as he finished his summary.
    dBut"He’s a good warrior. He’ll be warning our neighbours – particularly Lambclan, they’re still so small – if he sees any danger. He’ll be back once he’s sure the danger’s passed.”
    perhBugleclaw nodded uncertainly.
    apsI"I hope so.”

    ’llkeHe was not.
    epmyBut Heronstar assured the clan – those who weren’t kitting, anyway – that he’d be back soon.
    consAs soon as he had finished informing their allies.

    cienNettleflower curled tight around her kits, using her limbs to hold them close and warm.
    ceclShe’d barely allowed long enough outside that position for Harrierpelt to check them for any health issues.
    ean.IIt was paranoid, sure.
    eyou’She couldn’t talk!
    llseeIf something happened to her kits, she had no way to inform anyone.
    yourSo the logical thing to do- of course- was to make sure that there was no way that harm could befall them.
    choiAnd as she’d told her father earlier, she was going to be a vicious mother – to anything that threatened her kits, anyway.

    cedeMyrtleclaw’s eyes opened slowly.
    plorIt wasn’t that they were stiff, or anything like that.
    ed,BIt was just… the last time they’d been open – what he’d seen!
    utwhMyrtleclaw shuddered, and his eyelids drew forward again, protectively, his eyebrows drawing forward in synchrony, and his limbs pulling inward into a tight ball, keeping everything he could as protected as he could.
    y–toHe couldn’t get the images out of his head.
    you,E- everything had been – it’d been-
    ’sun Myrtleclaw stayed curled, not daring to open his eyes in case he saw something worse, for what felt like eons, until he heard something else-
    seen.It was just a kit’s voice. … “Just”. It sounded an awful lot like a younger Heronstar might have, actually. There was that same sort of mild raspyness and vowel shift. But also, it sounded... not quite right. Like something was seriously off about the kit speaking.
    xxxxThere was a slight gasp, and then a mild chuckle from about the same place, and then an older voice, similar enough that it might well have been Heronstar herself, spoke.
    .I kn"Good job spotting him, Elmfang.”Elmfang? But… - “I dread to think how traumatic that must have been for him to have not gone to look for anyone else yet.”
    owthMyrtleclaw’s eyes opened again despite the images burned into his mind, and quickly flicked over to where the voices had come from. OH-
    atonOh that-
    eyouOh. Oh. Oh. Oh.
    ’llpoHe--- he was dead?
    wereNo, he… he had to be. He’d remember that face anywhere. Boulderdash’s anguish at the loss of her kit had been too much to bear, and had he not remembered that- what sort of friend would he be? What sort of father would he be? Except… he’d never been this kit’s father.
    ndowWell. He had to be in Starclan now, didn’t he? That meant he’d be meeting Sealkit again soon, and Saddlekit too. That thinking didn’t really do much for the sickening feeling in his stomach, like someone had shoved something long and spikey in there and was twisting his organs around it. The feeling of knowing death is coming and there’s no way to avoid it, but ramped up a hundred fold.
    WillMyrtleclaw took in a deep breath, and then slowly pushed himself to his paws, and till he was standing, only to be slammed into by a small ball of grey fur – a ball of grey fur with enough momentum to push him back a step.
    lead"Myrtleclaw! Dad!” Huh? He’d… never been able to interact with Elmkit before, how come she was… so… enthusiastic about him? Myrtleclaw was painfully aware of the eyes of a larger molly fixed on him. “I- I know Harrierpelt was my dad, but you were my siblings’ dad, and that makes you my dad too!” Huh? “You may have lied to the whole clan, and I know I should discourage that, but you always had the clan’s best interests at heart, and you were a great father. I wish I could have had both you and Betonycloud as my parents.”
    areiMyrtleclaw had the feeling there was something more important to ask about, but he couldn’t quite place his paw on what it was…
    gnmoWell, surely he’d remember it later? Meeting his daughter for the first time seemed more important right now.
    stbrAs did anything he could to get the images burned into his eyes removed.

    —This Moon--

    utal;The two kits were simply tiny, even after half a moon of life.
    AndwOf course, of course, they were newborn.
    hatsBut Nettleflower couldn’t help staring at how tiny they were. Such tiny ears, and such tiny feet, and tails!
    houlAround her, the kits’ grandparents and Harrierpelt were talking, but Shellcloud’s head was resting on her side, and his eyes followed hers to. There was no need to check what was being said right now. Nothing they were saying could matter so much. Although – Myrtleclaw was still missing and it had already been days since he had gone! How was it taking this long for him?!
    dwasEven if it looked a lot like Shellcloud was entirely enraptured with the talk the one time that Nettleflower glanced back to check the direction of his ears. Well, it didn’t matter, she knew he was admiring the precious new kits for the clan.
    hthoAfter what felt altogether too long, the older generation left the new parents alone – Harrierpelt reassuring them both that the medicine den was right beside the nursery, and that if anything was wrong, they could fetch him at a moment’s notice (did every new mother get that same advice?).
    sewhShellcloud gently lifted himself away from Nettleflower, so that she could see him, and sat squarely upright. Nettleflower copied the position, as much as she hated having to move her side away from her kits. But she wouldn’t be able to communicate unless she did – with one paw, she pulled her kits back in close to her side.
    iske"What are we going to call them then?”
    rsnoNettleflower twitched her head to one side, trying to say something as close as she could to what she wanted to, but unfortunately they were missing the words yet – "Brain – joke – bird.
    w,BuShellcloud twitched his head in puzzlement. "What in silverpelt do you mean?”
    tacrNettleflower rolled her eyes slightly. "You would be white – water – rock. Dad said he wanted one of our kits to be called it, and I know it was… a joke but I…” Nettleflower took a deep breath. "I don’t think he’s coming back.”
    eekfShellcloud shook his head. "That’s ridiculous.”
    ull,f"Sparrowfoot said it first, and you know how she is with knowing things like that. She told me straight after Heronstar said not to tell me. Sisters and all.”
    reshShellcloud’s face visibly fell. He wasn’t one to show much of his emotions at all, but his sad realisation of what Nettleflower meant had happened to him was obvious on his face.
    andt"Oh. Myrtleclaw suggested the name?” Nettleflower nodded. "Well, we’ll have to work it out then. Something to do with brains and jokes? Humour? Whimsy?” Nettleflower shook her head. ”Jovial? Jocular? Farce? Laugh? Witty?”
    aste"Shorter than the last!”
    ful? "Wit?” Nettleflower nodded her head quickly. "That’s a bird?” Nettleflower nodded again. "Oh, well? Which… one?” Nettleflower pointed at the grey kit with one paw. "I… feel like I should check that that’s a real thing.” Nettleflower tutted – admittedly in their signs, not verbally, but it was a very obvious tut to anyone who knew how she communicated, and unmistakably so obvious that there was no possible way that it wasn't done jokingly.
    xxxx"If you’re going to be asking others anyway, you could do that for the other, too. If we’re going for something unique with one, it makes sense for both.” Shellcloud smiled gently at his mate’s suggestion. "I’ll be fine for the few minutes it takes for you to ask, go on!” Shellcloud got up and walked out, moving away even as Nettleflower curled back around her newborns in the nest.

    TheonIt was hard to explain exactly how the Starclan cats knew what was happening, and what would happen. It wasn’t like seeing in the normal sense. It was more just an awareness of what would happen. And… not every cat even had it. Apparently, even among those that did it differed.
    eyouCertainly, Elmkit – no, Elmfang, as she called herself – seemed surprised at what Myrtleclaw had to say. Betonycloud had, too. It had turned out that Betonycloud had functionally been Elmfang’s mother. It was strange, but she seemed a good mother, which he couldn’t express how glad he was of.
    pick"They’ll never listen to you.” Had been the first thing Betonycloud said. “Very few warnings get through. No matter what we try, they only ever get the vaguest hints of what we mean. Only a tiny proportion of our messages get through – and even then only to cats who really try to find them. Even then, half the messages the clans “receive” are the results of a corrupt cat.” Betonycloud shook her head. “You’ll never be able to communicate it clearly.”
    inst"I need to tell them.”
    ruct"I never said you shouldn’t. But it won’t work. They won’t hear you. You need to be prepared to keep trying, over and over again, and even then, they might not get it.”
    tsyoMyrtleclaw took in a deep breath.
    urki"Alright. As soon as I work out how to send omens, I’ll warn them. And I’ll keep warning them, until they get it. Making sure they know the danger is my top priority.”
    ller-"I hope you manage it, Myrtleclaw. I really do.”

    IsweThe apprentices sat in anticipation, wondering how many of them were going to become warriors now. There was nothing else that this meeting could be about – most of the clan had already met the kits (under careful supervision of at least one watchful new grandma), and there wouldn’t have been the delay needed to form a clan meeting if Myrtleclaw had been found.
    arthMosquitopaw had sat herself next to Saffronpaw. Despite frequently disagreeing with each other, they’d formed a sort of bond between themselves, as the most similar members of their respective litters to each other.
    eothMosquitopaw caught Noctulepaw wiggling her brows at the two of them as they sat down, and rolled her eyes generously in return. No, just no. It wasn’t Mosquitopaw’s fault he seemed to be the only other proper critical thinker around her age.
    eronIt was hardly a surprise as Troutpaw was called up first. She was the oldest apprentice. Mosquitopaw smiled slightly at Saffronpaw as he pulled a sceptical look at her brothers’ expressions of surprise.
    e’sbeAnd up went her sister- of course Pheasantpaw became Pheasantcloud, she was so soft in the heart. And then Camberpaw, the fastest runner in their cohort of apprentices. And Lobsterpaw who prided himself in his fighting and had done since he was a kit…
    nignMoquitopaw shot a look of joking superiority at her friend.
    -The"See, Heronstar values my maturity more than yours. She clearly agrees with my views on things more than yours. Why else would I be becoming a warrior first?” Mosquitopaw whispered in a low pitch and volume.
    succ"Because you’re older, and Heronstar values us all being taught an equal amount. I’m betting I’ll be a warrior next moon at least.”
    ess"Pah, no. She clearly doesn’t care about us becoming warriors according to our ages, or Troutp- Troutstripe would have become a warrior a moon ago. And besides, you barely understand the basi-
    rwhoMosquitopaw puffed out her chest very slightly.
    myou"Told you.”
    ’rek "She’s making a mistake.”
    eene"No, she’s recognising my clarity of vision.”
    rYou"Keep telling yourself that, miss-I’m-not-a-kit,-I-don’t-need-honour,-or-parents-to-tell-me-I-do.”
    ’llse Mosquitopaw was already walking away, but she shot a look of venom back at him.
    e,driHer new suffix was sufficiently predictable that Saffronpaw had to catch himself tutting (which Chubtail for one noticed across the meeting space). Of course she had a skill name, she’d never settle for being dubbed for less than that if Heronstar had consulted her, and Mosquitopaw was definitely the sort to ask in advance of her ceremony. And fighting was hardly her style… Mosquitowhisker would know exactly what she saw as most important and of course focus most on that during her warrior appraisal.
    nksbIt might not be the most obvious fit at face value, but to Saffronpaw, it made a lot of sense. As did the mild smug look that she shot at him. Saffronpaw rolled his eyes again.

    loodSleep had not been a safe retreat from her worries for many moons now. Heronstar’s dreams had been plagued nigh daily for far longer than she cared to recall accurately.
    from"None of us can stand by you. To the Dark Forest with the code, you clearly don’t care about it either.”
    moreA laugh coloured with disdain for whomever had just spoken.
    than"I’ve already talked to you about that. Honour’s a luxury we can’t all affor-.”
    nine.Heronstar’s eyes snapped open. And in that moment, she realised something. She’d been hearing those voices in her waking, too.
      - 2421
Commands wrote:
[ Witkit and Knawelkit are born ]

[ Jack of all trades, master of none,
But better that than master of one ; Troutpaw has grown into a warrior: Troutstripe ]
[ Pheasantpaw has grown into a calm and gentle warrior; Pheasantcloud ]
[ Mosquitopaw has grown into a meticulous and intelligent warrior; Mosquitowhisker ]
[ Lobsterpaw has grown into a brave warrior, skilled at fighting; Lobsterclaw ]
[ Camberpaw has grown into an agile warrior, skilled at running; Camberfoot ]

[ Zinniakit is apprenticed to Knotfish and becomes Zinniapaw ]
[ Teaselkit is apprenticed to Harrierpelt and becomes Teaselpaw ]
[ Moraine is in her second moon of gestation ]
[ Osierfang and Lobeliafur are in their first moons of gestation ]

[ Heronstar, Argusheart, Shellcloud, Cicelynose, Troutclaw, and Narwhal go hunting ]
[ Chubtail, Pearstone, Tabbyfur, Mosquitowhisker, Adoniscloud, and Garganeywhisker go hunting ]

[ Bugleclaw, Pheasantcloud, Lobsterclaw, and Camberfoot go on a patrol ]

[ Lionpaw and Osierfang, Ospreypaw and Clarystorm, Noctulepaw and Vendacethroat, and Saffronpaw and Firepath train ]
[ Ringpaw and Langoustinefang, Dipperpaw and Droseratail, and Squirrelpaw and Ploverstripe train ]
[ Zinniapaw and Knotfish train ]
[ Teaselpaw and Harrierpelt train ]

[ Nettleflower stays in camp to look after the kits; Minnowkit, Witkit, and Knawelkit ]
[ Boulderdash, Sparrowfoot, Lobeliafur, Moraine, Barnfish, Merlindash, Martinwhisker, and Aspenfoot stay in camp ]

[ Gustclan consume 2 big fish and 1 rabbit – 8 portions ]

Katrione wrote:
[ Troutpaw, Pheasantpaw, Mosquitopaw, Lobsterpaw and Camberpaw are now warriors: Troutstripe, Pheasantcloud, Mosquitowhisker, Lobsterclaw and Camberfoot! ]
[ Zinniakit and Teaselkit are now apprentices: Zinniapaw and Teaselpaw! ]
[ Heronstar's patrol caught three big fish while out hunting ]
[ Chubtail's patrol caught six rabbits while out hunting ]
[ Bugleclaw's patrol found nothing important on their patrol ]
[ Lionpaw learned the Track skill while training ]
[ Ospreypaw, Noctulepaw and Saffronpaw learned the Observation skill while training ]
[ Ringpaw, Dipperpaw and Squirrelpaw learned the Fish skill while training ]
[ Zinniapaw and Teaselpaw learned the Climb skill while training ]

Last edited by Chamrosh on Sat May 19, 2018 10:58 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Gustclan post 46

Postby Chamrosh » Thu May 17, 2018 4:42 am


    Image Last Moon Image

    xxxxNettleflower’s head lolled back on the edge of her nest, trembling.
    xxxxHarrierpelt had arrived just a few moments before, with the two kits alongside.
    xxxxNettleflower hadn’t been paying too much attention to what they were doing. She had higher priorities right now – even if her mind kept insisting "What if something’s wrong with them and only I know it” was her biggest.
    xxxxOccasionally, Teaselkit’s head popped up by her side, and he’d say something dumb like; “Bet it’s weird for your little bro to see your kits before you do” or “You must really want to be a mum to do this, huh?” or “I so have to see your names for them. Like, tap tap, ear twitch, tail flick? Or are there any other suggestions?”, and Nettleflower would inevitably find herself smiling for a moment, purely at the absurdity of his sense of humour.
    xxxxZinniakit’s attention was solely focused on the new kits, and she was the first to speak outloud after Nettleflower’s head fell back, glad to relax.
    xxxx"Two healthy girls? One white, one grey tabby.” She sounded uncertain, and Nettleflower could hear the difference in tone as her head turned around – doubtless to look at Harrierpelt for confirmation.
    xxxx"Two mollies.” Harrierpelt’s tone was pensive, quiet. “I’m going to have a word with Heronstar. Zi- Zinniakit, Teaselkit, I’ll be back very shortly, and between you you should be able to manage for that long.”
    xxxxNettleflower barely hesitated before curling around her kits once he left, swiftly turning around to face them and curling up tight around them.
    xxxx"I… I- he’s going to talk about which of us is being apprenticed already, isn’t he?”
    xxxxFrom the corner of her eye, Nettleflower just caught Teaselkit’s nod. “I think so.” He said, in an uncharacteristically sheepish voice. Nettleflower’s attention wasn’t focused on her younger siblings, but it was hard not to notice the anxious glances between them.
    Image This Moon Image

    xxxxFirepath looked up as Saffronpaw trotted over to him. Firepath could tell from the way the apprentice was holding himself that he was unsure of something, and was quickly full of worry, wondering what had made him so uncertain. What had happened that merited that?
    xxxxSure enough, Saffronpaw sat down beside where Firepath had been grooming himself in the courtyard area of camp, and looked awkwardly at his mentor. For a few moments, Firepath kept grooming his leg, trying to indicate that there wasn’t any pressure on Saffronpaw to talk quickly if he didn’t want to or found he couldn’t. Finally, Firepath’s attention turned fully to his apprentice, who still looked uncertain of himself.
    xxxxFirepath waited patiently, until his apprentice spoke.
    xxxx"Heronstar wants to make me a warrior – and that’s a good thing, of course! That’s not bothering me, but – I … She said I should have a say in my warrior name and I…” Saffronpaw trailed off.
    xxxx"She had a word with me discussing my warrior name, too. If you’re worried about the integrity of the names, tha-"
    xxxx"No! No, that’s not it at all, uh…” Saffronpaw’s eyes looked directly up at the sky, and Firepath was sure that was just a method of making it easier to talk, weird as it looked. “She gave me a choice and uh… she said I could be a -foot or a -stream.”
    xxxxFirepath’s head tilted in mild curiosity.
    xxxx"Do you want me to help you decide? It’s your own name, if Heronstar thinks you’re mature enough to have a say, you should take that.”
    xxxx"No, that’s… no.” Saffronpaw’s head shook a few times, and his eyes came down to point at his mentor’s again. “I… I don’t want to be seen as someone whose solution to problems is just to run away from them, I don’t want to be a -foot. But… I… I wasn’t taught swimming by you. I… I don’t want to make you look bad by choosing the one thing you didn’t teach me, and… I mean, I know that I learned well from Myrtleclaw because I’d learned so much from you before but I… I don’t know if anyone else does! And I’d… I’d like it if the clan had a reminder of what he was like before he went missing, if that makes any sense. And I don’t want other clans to have the wrong impression of me from what I pick! I don’t want them to see me as a coward or disloyal to my mentor, I - I just don’t know what I want, I guess.”
    xxxx"I’m proud of you, Saffronpaw. I wouldn’t judge you whatever you chose, and I won’t with whichever. But I appreciate you wanting me to know your thinking, and to know you didn’t secretly loathe me as a mentor or something. That shows a lot of maturity – a maturity Merlindash rather makes me appreciate now – and I know it’s your choice. You’ll make a good warrior if you can show that much consideration for others and about your choices consistently. And with that in mind – I know you’ll choose what’s best for you in the long run, and I’ll support you in whatever you decide.
    xxxx"And of course, I’ll argue against anyone who uses your choice against you. You’re not a coward, and you’re most certainly not disloyal, or you wouldn’t have cared about me enough to talk to me about it. I’ll be pleased with you whatever you choose.”
    xxxxSaffronpaw nodded slowly, considering what his mentor had said carefully. “Okay. I’ll go think about it properly, then.”
    xxxxFirepath looked after his apprentice as he left, the ginger tom’s chest puffing up in pride.
    xxxx"You’ve come a long way, Lionpaw.”
    xxxxLionpaw practically jumped at Heronstar’s sudden appearance. He lay on his side, next to where the elders were sharing tongues, enjoying the warmth of the late-season sun – probably the last sun of the season, in honesty – against his fur.
    xxxxHis head whipped around, to look at where the leader’s voice had come from.
    xxxx"I distinctly remember your opinions on elders when you came here. Your old clan thought they should die, didn’t they? And here you are now, not only tolerating them, but actively seeking their presence.” Lionpaw wasn’t sure that was quite what he was enjoying so much as the sunlight, and it wasn’t his fault that the elders had chosen a good spot before he got there… but then he realised that maybe he did like having them there. Huh. That… wasn’t what he’d expected to think about that, but it was obvious now he was.
    xxxx"And I’ve heard you are quite talented in your own way. I think maybe… we can have two meanings in your name as a warrior. One to recognise your skills – as most names are given – and one to recognise how you’ve grown out of those barbaric ways.” Lionpaw narrowed his eyes slowly, wondering what on earth the leader had in store for him, but she had gone before he had a clever way of asking on his tongue (he’d not grown up around them, but he knew enough about Heronstar to know he’d need one to get a reply out of her). He guessed he’d just have to wait to see what he was cursed with…
    xxxxOspreypaw jumped violently up into the air, spinning neatly before landing. Her mentor’s head wheeled around to face the same way, his skull running nearly sideways along his spine, a wild look in his eyes. The young molly somehow managed to keep a sense of elegance in the motion, although she looked no less depraved as she turned her attention to the rustling in the bushes.
    xxxxChubtail was sure he’d been subtle enough to not be noticed…
    xxxxBut two wide sets of eyes were directed right at him. Heronstar had asked him to check on the training today, to make sure all the apprentices really were ready to become warriors.
    xxxxChubtail didn’t have the most sensitive humour but he couldn’t help it. Clarystorm and Ospreypaw were wielding almost the exact same expression at him. On Clarystorm, it was openly intimidating and menacing, the face of someone who’d pounce on you in an instant if they thought you were going to attack them. On Ospreypaw, it was elegant, refined, but all the more terrifying for it – the face of someone who didn’t need to jump on you to tear you apart, who knew they could wield your emotions and will to their own needs if they wanted to; that had a far better weapon than just claws and weight.
    xxxxIt wasn’t an instant laugh. He only started laughing after the two of them both relaxed slightly- and, then, of c-
    xxxx"In recognition of both your skills, and in the huge stride forward you made in personal development, I find it only appropriate that you come to share a suffix with the one who I recognised how far you’ve come because of. You have the raw abilities for it, and your personality merits it too.
    xxxx"By the power of Starclan, I give you your warrior name. Lionpaw, from this moment on, you will be known as Lionfish. Starclan honours your progress and growth from your roots, and we welcome you as a full warrior of Gustclan.”
    xxxxHeronstar’s head lowered so her muzzle rested between Lionfish’s ears, and he in turn licked her shoulder.
    xxxxLionfish turned from his leader, beaming, face practically radiant, before he slipped elegantly off the wall where he’d been summoned, to join the other apprentices.
    xxxx"That suits you, Lionfish. You know. Plus, I heard – can’t talk about reliability of course! – that lots of types of -fish can be very dangerous. It’s like, a three layered thing – skill, personality… but also that you’re dangerous.” Said Noctulepath, as the very slightly newer warrior sat down beside her. It was practically a purr, even. “It suits you very well. And I can’t help but think-"
    xxxx"This isn’t an outright no, Noctulepath, but we’ve been warriors all of the time it took you to say that and no more.”
    xxxxIt was at this moment that Saffronstream helpfully decided to add his thoughts too: “We haven’t even had our vigil yet, Noctulepath, and I’m pretty sure Heronstar won’t appreciate you becoming mates with anyone before that. Can you hold off your flirting for just one night?”
    xxxxNoctulepath tried not to cast too guilty a look at her brother. She also tried hard not to notice the look on Lionfish’s face too.
    xxxx"Oof!” Zinniapaw yelled, only to be silenced by a paw over her muzzle.
    xxxx"Shush!” said the heavy lump that had landed on her side. “You’ll wake them all up.” Hazel eyes glanced around the warriors’ den, picking out the shapes as they went. Zinniapaw could see the glint of starlight in the pupils.
    xxxx"Shush. Do you want to be caught?” Zinniapaw rolled her eyes. She wanted to tell Teaselpaw that he was being far less subtle and was doubtless going to be the one who got them caught in whatever scheme he had. Instead she shoved at his chest, and he rolled off awkwardly.
    xxxxAlthough she knew her brother was trying to help her meet their dream too, and that he’d wanted both of them to be able to achieve it too, it was still hard to look him directly in the eyes. Starclan! She was so jealous. Harrierpelt had said that Teaselpaw had been chosen because of doing better emotional care, that he’d been trying to keep Nettleflower happy. But … she hadn’t wanted to hurt her sister’s feelings! She was sure Teaselpaw was going to make her cry through all his jibes at some point, and it was a miracle he hadn’t.
    xxxx"H-!” Teaselpaw bit his tongue just before he could wake everyone up, and huffed. “Come on, then!” Teaselpaw jumped off his sister just as swiftly, and turned, scampering out of the warriors’ den, somewhere he wasn’t meant to go. He lead the way, legs stretching out in uneven strides, down the square rocks, across the wooden ground, and through the fin, across the courtyard, and out into the woods. Zinniapaw was barely a stride behind him, even after delaying for him going through the fin first.
    xxxxBefore too long, in fact, just a few metres around the corner from the entrance of camp, Teaselpaw stopped suddenly. Zinniapaw slammed into his butt, causing him to stumble forwards, and the two of them to land in a heap in the dirt. Teaselpaw started giggling while Zinniapaw scowled at him, trying to look dignified again as quickly as she could.
    xxxx"Harrierpelt hasn’t taught me a lot yet, but I thought it’d be easier to keep you up to speed if we did this a lot rather than just hoping you remembered everything when I have more to share. He was talking about what herbs he rarely bothers taking back to camp. He said herbs lose their goodness if they’re stored too long, and that it always pays to know what you can afford to not have big stores of, and so he showed me around here!”
    xxxx"But it’s just a flower, Teaselpaw!”
    xxxx"It looks like just a flower, but…”
    xxxxNettleflower had only known her kits for one moon, but she already loved them more than anything. Shellcloud had said the same thing a few days ago. It wasn’t that their love for each other was lessened, far from it. They loved each other more than anything else before, and now, they had others to love even more.
    xxxxNettleflower could hardly imagine living without them already, even while they were still helpless bundles of Not Doing Much Yet, she’d already loved them more than anything.
    xxxxAnd now look at them!
    xxxx"Look, Witkit, look how good I am at climbing!”
    xhax"I’m jus ! t as good as you, Knawelkit!”
    xxxx"No you’re not! Look, I’m higher!”
    xhax"You started first! !”
    haha"! So it ! ‘s no ! t fair for you ! to judge being higher as being better a ! t climbing!” Nettleflower’s eyes flew wide.
    hahaShe knew that noise too well by now. It’d been a few moons since she’d heard it… but - !
    HAHANettleflower sprang up and out of her nest where she’d been carefully watching her kits, and practically flew through the air, catching her kit even at the moment her claws released. She had time to land awkwardly, her side slamming against the hard, stony edge of the old human nest and the force bringing her to a stop. Her teeth shook awkwardly, her head pounded from where she’d smacked it – and her writhing kit fell onto the floor. Hastily, Nettleflower placed her forepaws on either side of her kit, eyes focused intently on Witkit.
    HAHA"Mummy, why’d you do that? What’s Witkit doing?”
    HAHANettleflower wanted to scream. But however much she wanted to, she couldn’t. Instead, she twitched her ears and tail as best as she could while her paws were occupied, trying to communicate with her other daughter.
    HAHAShe’d known this would happen!
    HAHA"Help. Flying big danger – like smooth water flop. Flop!” She could barely say anything about what she meant! Ah! Why did this have to happen?! WHY WERE STARCLAN SO CRUEL TO HER?!
    Yes!Was this her punishment for killing Saddlekit when she was younger?
    YouKYes, she’d killed a kit! But she’d basically been a kit at the time herself! How could she have known?
    nowNAnd she’d only been trying to be nice!
    othiThis punishment was entirely out of line!
    ng!xAs one kit wailed, unsure why she was ignored, and the other hit her forelegs and face with all her might, the thing that really hurt, that dug into her heart and clawed at it so she surely felt she was about to die from the pain, was the knowledge that it was her fault.
    You murdered me, vengeance is only fair!
      - 2651
Commands wrote:
[ Lionpaw has grown into a confident warrior, skilled at fishing; Lionfish ]
[ Ospreypaw has grown into an unpredictable warrior; Ospreystorm ]
[ Noctulepaw has grown into a mature warrior, skilled at teaching; Noctulepath ]
[ Saffronpaw has grown into a confident warrior, skilled at swimming; Saffronstream ]

[ Minnowkit is apprenticed to Adoniscloud and becomes Minnowpaw ]

[ Moraine is in her third moon of gestation ]
[ Osierfang and Lobeliafur are in their second moons of gestation ]

[ Droseratail and Lobeliafur are no longer mates ]

[ Ringpaw and Langoustinefang, Dipperpaw and Droseratail, and Squirrelpaw and Ploverstripe train ]
[ Zinniapaw and Knotfish train ]
[ Minnowpaw and Adoniscloud train ]

[ Teaselpaw and Harrierpelt gather herbs ]
[ Chubtail, Sparrowfoot, Firepath, Merlindash, Noctulepath, and Garganeywhisker go hunting ]
[ Pearstone, Cicelynose, Vendacethroat, Troutclaw, Saffronstream, and Lionfish go hunting ]
[ Heronstar, Tabbyfur, Lobsterclaw, and Clarystorm go on patrol ]
[ Bugleclaw, Shellcloud, Camberfoot, and Martinwhisker go on patrol ]

[ Harrierpelt and Teaselpaw return to camp to mind Moraine’s kitting ]
[ Nettleflower stays in camp to mind the kits – Witkit and Knawelkit ]
[ Boulderdash, Argusheart, Osierfang, Lobeliafur, Moraine, Barnfish, Pheasantcloud, Mosquitowhisker, Ospreystorm, Narwhal, and Aspenfoot stay in camp ]
[ Gustclan consumes 4 rabbits – 8 portions ]

Katrione wrote:
[ Lionpaw, Ospreypaw, Noctulepaw and Saffronpaw are now warriors: Lionfish, Ospreystorm, Noctulepath and Saffronstream! ]
[ Minnowkit is now an apprentice: Minnowpaw! ]
[ Ringpaw, Dipperpaw and Squirrelpaw learned the Fighting skill while training ]
[ Zinniapaw learned the Hunting skill while training ]
[ Minnowpaw learned the Climbing skill while training ]
[ Teaselpaw and Adoniscloud gathered mint, ragwort and a stick while herb hunting ]
[ Chubtail's patrol caught three mice while hunting ]
[ Pearstone's patrol caught three big fish while hunting ]
[ Heronstar's patrol found nothing of note while out patrolling the borders ]
[ Bugleclaw's patrol found an apprentice while out patrolling the borders ]

Last edited by Chamrosh on Thu May 17, 2018 6:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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