The Path Set Before Us :: DNP

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The Path Set Before Us :: DNP

Postby Sanara » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:48 pm

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Ever since they were born, these siblings have been followed around by this ominous prophecy given to their father, the leader of their clan, the night they were born. They have to learn to live in the shadow of the prophecy, but everything soon goes wrong when disaster strikes, and a loved one passes on to starclan. One of the siblings are framed for the death, and so begins the race for freedom.


How did we get here?
Where did the time go?
As the prophecy foretold.
Mind the gap.
Starclan is with you.

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Last edited by Sanara on Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:55 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Path Set Before Us :: DNP

Postby Sanara » Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:15 am

How did we get here?

The quiet of the night was broken only by the pants of a queen in labor. Sweat matted her fur, causing it to bunch up in uneven places, but the other mollys around her hardly cared what she looked like. All they cared for were the kits struggling in her abdomen. Like a great war, her belly rippled and twisted. She panted, struggling to push against the pain.
All heads turned when the Medicine Cat made his way over. Had she went into contractions in the nursery, where she should have been, Dopplertail would have made it with time to spare. Here, out where the crickets sang and the birds roosted, he had struggled to collect all his herbs and reach her in time. “There’s something wrong.”
His first words spoken sent a chill down the queen mother’s spine, and she sought comfort from the kit’s father who stood readily by. He came only so far as to offer her head a place to lay on his tail. It was enough, more than he had shown before this moment. It touched her, and with Dopplertail’s padding of her stomach, the pain began to ease. “They’re coming,” He spoke huskily, and handed a wad of cobwebs to one of the watching queens. “There will be blood. Be prepared.”
The queen mother struggled to push and slowly, she began to kit. The first kit crowned quickly, and with the aid of another queen, began to cry and seek out the warmth of her mother. The father stood up, jerking his tail away from the queen mother and made his way over to the kit that was being nosed towards her mother’s stomach. There was absolutely no doubt this kit was his. They shared the same fiery red coat. He smiled proudly as the queens gathered around to meow their congratulations. But the queen mother wasn’t done quite yet.
Her only aid was the Medicine Cat that stood at her back, whispering his coos to push. And so she did. She pushed with all her might, but out came a kit with no breath. It stirred none and made no attempt at a heartbeat. “The kit is lost,” Dopplertail murmured, her lone morner. But the queen mother was unable to dwell on it for long. Again her stomach twisted, and she cried out in pain. The queens who had surrounded the father returned to her side, surprised at the sight of the lost kit, but chirped their encouragement. The queen mother pushed, one final push, and out crowned a small blue kit. He was much smaller than his sister, and with a bit of encouragement from the Medicine Cat, latched ontohis mother. The queen mother panted, thankful to finally be able to relax, but the father stood close scowling.
“We lost one?” His voice was hard laced and quietly the Medicine cat nodded.

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“But we have two healthy kits,” the queen mother purred softly down at her bundles. “They will be strong.”
The father was not convinced, looking down at the blue point nuzzled into his mother’s warmth. “I need to discuss this with Starclan.” The queen mother didn’t understand what he meant, but put it from her mind. Her kits were healthy, and as long as she was around, she would make sure they both lived happily.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Many moons passed, and the kits grew just as quickly. The burning red kit, named Flickerkit by their father, grew steadily in her father’s footsteps. She was bold and decisive, knowing exactly what she wanted to do. While they went on their evening strolls, she would dash after the lazy butterflies and attempt to take them down. The soft blue kit, now named Riverkit by their mother, was anything but his father. He was soft hearted and stopped to enjoy the flowers springing up from the dead leaves. When he followed after the butterflies, it was because he was running with his sister, not because of his will to chase the listless creature.
When they were old enough, they stood ready for their naming ceremony. Their father, being the leader of the clan, stood high on a bolder that looked like a fallen bear. He towered over the rest of the clan, and cast a dark shadow down on the waiting kits. Flickerkit stood sharply, staring up proudly after her father. Riverkit sat with his eyes cast downward, not wanting to have to flare up at the silhouette against the moon. Their father called Flickerkit, who in turn leapt up beside him, as was their custom. She stood tall and proud as he called her by her apprentice name and determined that he would be her mentor. The cats circling the bear rock yowled their approval, and the firey red cat seemed to glow at their praise. Soon, it was Riverkit’s turn.
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He was called, and as he leapt to take his place, he slipped. The circle burst out in laughter as he struggled to pull himself up onto the stone. All but his father, who glared at him in disapproval. Riverkit burned with embarrassment and stood quietly, waiting for his father to finally speak. Their father waited, allowing the circle of cats to laugh their full at Riverkit’s mess up, until he finally raised his tail to command silence. He called Riverkit by his new apprentice name, but determined that he, too, would be Riverkit’s mentor. The whole circle of cats gasp collectively- could the leader be the mentor of his only two kits? Surely one was enough? Would he be able to fulfill all his duties? But Riverpaw wasn’t worried about the duties his father would be disregarding. He thought only of what was to come under the claw of his father.
The night ended with a chorus of their names sung over and over, high into the night. After that night, no one would be able to recall how loud Flickerpaw’s name would ring, and how belittled Riverpaw felt, standing dark against the black of night with his sister being haloed by the red moonlight.
Last edited by Sanara on Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:21 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: The Path Set Before Us :: DNP

Postby Sanara » Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:54 am

Where did the time go?

The claw of his father never came for Riverpaw. Not for days. Not for weeks. He did his apprentice duties of cleaning the moss out the elder’s den, picking out their fleas and ticks, all before running around the rest of the clan to change out the moss. They were the same orders from his father every day before he took Flickerpaw out.
Not that Riverpaw minded much. Anything was better than being under his father’s watchful stare. He was unsure why he felt so uneasy around him, but when he was around his mother, all was well. He wasn’t allowed to leave the camp without a warrior, as the rules for kits and apprentices dictated, and with his father spending so much time with Flickerpaw, Riverpaw was stuck with the mindless chores. That is, until his mother approached him one day.
“Hey Riverpaw, How is your training coming along?”
Riverpaw paused, before giving a nervous laugh. “Well, I’ll soon become the best den cleaner in all the clan.” A furious frown covered his mother’s face, and come the next morning, she brought him with her to go out and hunt. It was with his mother that he learned to stalk prey, fight, and even fish! It was so stress free, and they always made it back before his father returned.
He finally had something to talk with Flickerpaw about once again! For weeks he had laid there while she talked and talked about her training, and now it was his turn. They shared hunting techniques, fighting styles, and laughed and played every morning before their father strode up, called for Flickerpaw, and gave Riverpaw the same instructions as the day before. Like usual, Riverpaw would do his chores and then leave with his mother to learn the real side of being a warrior.
A handful of days went by in the same routine, and Riverpaw learned more with his mother than he ever had with his father. He was carefree and confident, and as he carried his own mouse into camp, he was met with a sight that nearly made his heart stop.
“Hey Riverpaw!” Flickerpaw called out to him as she ran to greet them. She gave their mother a purring rub before picking up her own fresh kill from the pile. “Let’s go eat together!”
“Yes Riverpaw, go eat with your sister and then you can come share tongues with me in the leaders den.” His father looked down at Riverpaw with a poker face that could cut ice. With his mouth instantly dry, he nodded and strode over to the apprentice den with Flickerpaw to eat. But he felt sick to his stomach and only ate a few bites. While Flickerpaw chattered on and on about her training, Riverpaw kept glancing over to the elder warriors surrounding his father. Any time his eyes met with the leader, Riverpaw got a shiver poured down his spine.
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After Flickerpaw was finished she stood and stretched. “You’d better see what father wants. I’ll share tongues with others.” She said it with such ease, as if his words hadn’t been a concealed threat.
“See ya, then,” Riverpaw murmured and found his jellied legs walking him towards the leaders den.
Riverpaw had hardly even gotten close when his father’s voice came from the inside of the leaders den. “Riverpaw, please come in.” At his father’s instruction, Riverpaw’s mouth went dry and he stepped through the ivy curtain. Soft mossy green blanketed the floor, and his dad sat atop a pile of fresh lambs ear Riverpaw had collected yesterday. As soon as Riverpaw sat down, his father began speaking. “It has come to my attention that I’ve been ignoring your training. I see that your mother has taken it upon herself to teach you a few things. So starting tomorrow you’ll be going out with Flickerpaw and I and I will assess how well you’ve been progressing. You may leave.”
Riverpaw felt a frown paint his face as he made his leave. Tomorrow’s training would be totally different than his other days with his mother. Slowly, he made his way over to the apprentice den and fell into an uneasy sleep.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
As the sun arose, lighting the den with soft shaded light, Riverpaw awoke with a start, and noticed just how rough the night was- so much so that he had overslept. He gave himself a quick wash down and dashed out of the den. Flickerpaw was laying close by, finishing off the last bits of a thrush. “Morning Riverpaw,” Flickerpaw purred, licking the last bit of bird from her lips. “You sure slept in? Are you alright?”
“I’m sure he slept well.” Flickerpaw and Riverpaw both jumped sharply when their father’s voice. They both turned, Flickerpaw with a pleasant smile and Riverpaw with a mouth still open. Their father hardly noticed, “He will be joining us today and we will be leaving now.”
“But Riverpaw hasn’t eaten yet,” Flickerpaw said offhandedly as she stood and gave herself a long stretch.
Their father turned his head towards Riverpaw, an eyebrow corked. “Oh, um... I’m fine...” Riverpaw turned his eyes away and shuffled in the dust. “Not really hungry.”
“Great then, we leave now.” Without a further word, their father started off towards the camp exit. Flickerpaw bounded after him, leaving Riverpaw to scramble after them and look back on his calm days with his mother.
They followed their father out farther than Riverpaw had ever been. He kept glancing at Flickerpaw, who looked perfectly confident and in her element. It was rather heroing, but the farther they went, the less confidence Riverpaw felt in his abilities. The terrain became rocky, and soon the party found themselves land-locked, with sharp stony cliffs on either side of them.
“So I feel a test is in order to assess where your skills lie. Flickerpaw, I know how well you’ve been training, so I’d like you to go and catch a snake.” Riverpaw’s breath caught in his throat- a snake! Flickerpaw on the other hand, was much more accepting of the notion.
“I would be happy to. Any particular kind?”
“Yes. I’d like to see a copperhead.” Flickerpaw nodded with excitement and turned tail, quickly darting down the rocky trail closest to where they were stationed. Riverpaw, however, was melting into hysterics. If he decided a snake would be good for Flickerpaw, what would he choose for Riverpaw! As his father turned towards Riverpaw with a too-sweet smile, Riverpaw’s tail began to tremble.
“And what would you like for me to catch?” He tried to hide the shiver in his own voice, but knew his father’s could scent his fear.
“Riverpaw, I’d like for you to catch me something simpler. Perhaps a Mole?”
That small word sent the shivers running out of Riverpaw. A simple mole? “Y-yes sir!” Relief washed through him like cold water through his veins. Without waiting for his father to change his mind, Riverpaw turned and dashed away, following his sister’s scent. He had to warn Flickerpaw- why had he given her such a dangerous assignment and only a mole to him? Could it be that all was not as it seemed between father and daughter? Was Riverpaw witnessing the plot of Flickerpaw’s demise? But what had their father to fear from Flickerpaw? She was so much like him, and he certainly cared for her much more than he cared Riverpaw.
Maybe he thought Riverpaw couldn’t do it? Something so simple... so trivial... Riverpaw slowed to a stop and looked back the way he had come. He could no longer see his father, but he knew he was standing right where he had left him. Silently laughing at his own cunning. Could he think Riverpaw was so untrained that he could not find a simple mole? Riverpaw felt himself bunch up. His mother had taught him many things in their time together, and mole hunting was one of them.
Riverpaw began running once again, following Flickerpaw’s scent trail, but also stopping every few yards to scent for moles. Even as he crested the hill trail, there was nothing to take him off Flickerpaw’s scent. No huff of mole, no discerning whiff of their father. Not even a babble of a lake to suggest resting for a bit to drink. Nope, just the trek up, and then zigzagging downward almost too fast for Riverpaw to slow. Maybe this is what their father intended.... any moment, Riverpaw would see Flickerpaw laid out under the sun, her eyes glazed over and her spirit with starclan- Below him a yowl ripped through the dry, hot air. Instead of going around the large boulder Flickerpaw’s scent led him, he leapt up onto the top of it, and was met with a sight that set his fur on end.
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Flickerpaw stood still as a statue, her paw raised and ready, as a copper studded rope held tightly to a dark furred creature. Flickerpaw leapt one way, the rope’s end would follow. She jumped the other way, and the creature would too. Riverpaw was only just realizing the first snake he had ever seen was facing off against her, when it lunged forward with its fangs out. Flickerpaw moved as fast as lightning, leaping to the side and swiveling on her front paw. Expertly she took a hop forward and held the snake’s head down with one foot before biting into its spine in the same instant. The snake writhed in pain for only a moment before stilling, and was dead.
Flickerpaw flicked an ear in her own pride, but Riverpaw was much more astonished, and leapt over to her with a loud whoop! He had never seen her move so quickly! “That was amazing!” He yowled, coming over to her with stars in his eyes.
She was quite taken aback to see him, but gave him a powerful smile. “Thank you! Father has me practicing those moves quite a bit. This is my first time taking down an actual snake though!”
Riverpaw made to speak, only to stop with the breath still in his throat. He finally scented it- a mole. Quickly, he turned towards the smell and there, lying dead from snake bite, was a scraggly, thin mole. Flickerpaw’s eyes followed his and gave a huff of surprise. “Wow,” She said, going over to it and giving it a sharp prod. It flopped over as if the wind had blown it. “I’m surprised to see one of these down here. They hardly ever come into the valley.”
Riverpaw’s heart dropped at her words, and slowly the pieces clicked into place. He never wanted Riverpaw to succeed in the first place... “I guess I’ll be taking that, then. Better show him there was one, he’ll never believe it.” Riverpaw’s words were casual, but inside he was seething. He had been set up for failure.
With Flickerpaw dragging along her copperhead, and Riverpaw holding the freshly dead mole, they made their way together back to their father. Quietly, she dropped her snake at his paws, and Riverpaw did the same with the mole, carefully keeping his eyes averted.
Their father regarded their kills with cold eyes, and even colder words. “You two did well enough I suppose. Head on back to the clan and collect prey for the elders as you go. I will see you two again in the morning.” Flickerpaw and Riverpaw both turned to leave, ready to take off back to the clan when their father spoke up once more, his eyes carefully rested on Riverpaw. “Well done. Both of you. I look forward to your future training.”
And with that chilling message, the siblings were off, headed back towards camp. Flickerpaw chatted excitedly about what he had in store for them next, and Riverpaw silently dreading what was to come.
Last edited by Sanara on Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:32 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: The Path Set Before Us :: DNP

Postby Sanara » Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:26 am

As the prophecy foretold.

Their training over the next few weeks was rather grueling. They ran endlessly, and constantly practiced fishing and hunting. Their father even began pitting them against one another in skirmishes. Riverpaw did surprisingly well the first few days, holding his own against his sister thanks to the moves their mother had taught him, but their father had been analyzing his patterns, and was soon giving Flickerpaw small critiques that would give her the upper hand, and so she won more often than not. Of course, Riverpaw had to learn from his own mistakes and so he struggled the better Flickerpaw got.
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She seemed to be growing in her own power, and soon, playing with Riverpaw in camp hardly seemed as fun anymore. They knew each others moves and skill sets. Plus, with her constantly winning, Riverpaw turned away her other games as well. All in all, they began seeing each other mostly during training, and that was entirely one sided to begin with.
When the day finally came that they were to advance their ranks, Riverpaw would spend his free time alone by the river he used to fish with his mother. She would join him every now and again, and they would have pleasant discussions, but even that ended when she was sent on afternoon patrols. So now he would lay about under the trees and nap after apprentice training. He would listen to the stream humming to him softly, singing him tales of the ocean is was flowing to.
Flickerpaw, on the other hand, had found delight in showing off to the other warriors. She was highly esteemed for her fighting skills, and the prey she would bring back in large quantities. When it came time to sharing tongues, she would always choose a sunny spot by the senior warriors and her father, and groom away as they spoke of greater things- Star Clan, the coming weather, and what was to be done of the bordering clans. She would listen when she wasn’t dozing, but always in the sun she’d always enjoyed.
When the day finally came for their Warrior ceremony, Flickerpaw could hardly sit still enough to groom anyone. She would bolt from one group of groomers to the next, chattering with the other apprentices and making sure all their chores were done in time to rest up for the night. Riverpaw was almost as excited as she, but kept his excitement to himself. No one would appreciate his darting to and fro to talk about ceremonies. Instead he ate little, and enjoyed the company of his mother as she told anecdotes on previous ceremonies. She would split her stories between comedy and serious tales when Flickerpaw and Riverpaw were both at her knees, but when Flickerpaw decided to bolt off once more, she would focus more on the serious, for Riverpaw’s enjoyment.

The night was warm when the sun finally set. Once more, Riverpaw and Flickerpaw were sat down before the bear rock. High above them, backdropped by all of starclan, their father sat, and called first on Flickerpaw. As easily as she had in her first ceremony, she bounced up to the top of the rock to stand eye-level with their father. Loudly his voice rang her new name, “Flickerheart, for the fire that blazes inside you, keeping you strong to your very heart will lead us to the future.” Everyone roared Flickerheart’s name. She stood proudly, raising her tail in the recognition.
Next came Riverpaw, and this time, he made sure he leapt up to his father’s side with as much poise and care as his sister had shown. He could almost feel everyone’s disappointment, but felt justified as he sat sharply, looking up at his father. Just as he had called Flickerhearts name, his voice raised and he spoke, “Riversoul, with your calm outlook and careful nature, your river runs through you, with you, and inside your very soul.” As before, the entire circle of cats rose their voices in a chorus, calling the cats new names and official start of the clan.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Their tasks were quite simple, now that they were true warriors. Hunt, Patrol, and keep the clan safe. The last was easy, but with mounting issues concerning bordering clans, patrols happened more and more often. Flickerheart was usually always side by side with her father when he performed Border patrols with the ‘problem’ areas. Every now and again Riversoul would catch the tail end of stories about skirmishes, When he returned from hunting or patrolling with his own group.
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He never saw any action, but Flickerheart was in the thick of it. He maybe saw her time and again in the den where the warriors slept, but otherwise, she was off on her own adventures. There were even rumors that she was next in line to become deputy- being groomed for the spot, even. Riversoul didn’t mind. He was quite happy for her, and exchanged pleasantries when he had the chance, but otherwise he was off on his own, hoping to keep himself away from all the issues.
Every now and again his mother would join him, sneaking away from the queens nursery to hunt or fish. Riversoul cherished every moment with her he could get, but she was in a whole other world now- one where he could not follow. Any kits she had would be his father’s, and that frightened him. His mother knew nothing of Riversoul’s fear, and so continued on pleasantly.
As the months stretched on, the rumors of a Border war became true tales. Flickerheart would share her stories with the warriors in and outside of the den. Riversoul would listen intently to some of them, but would usually stick around his mother. As all eyes turned to the mounting tensions on the border, so were they on his mother. Everyone wanted to avoid another kitting issue like her last, and so she was only allowed out at certain times, which grew to never. She would have to sneak away at night to get a breath of fresh air, and would often take Riversoul along with her.
This quickly became routine for the two, enjoying one another’s company as they snuck out in the dead of night. Sometimes his mother would have a chance to sneak out before Riversoul, and would take it, leaving Riversoul to sneak out after her whenever he was able. Sometimes it was up to Riversoul to find a place to enjoy a quiet place to talk while his mother played catch up. It was almost like a game, and no one seemed to miss him.
But someone was certainly watching.

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One fateful night, when the moon was full, Riversoul waited quietly on a rocky ledge looking down into the very same valley he and Flickerheart had shared their apprentice training together. It had become a favorite of his mother’s as the rains came and flowers bloomed uptop. And there he lay, amongst the flowers, waiting kindly for the pale blue figure to come waddling up the slope.
Only she wasn’t there, but a dark orange shadow was.
“A fine evening to wait for someone, isn’t it, Riversoul?”
Riversoul jumped up with a start, and turned to see his father pacing towards him, his head low and his eyes accusing. Riversoul could only blink at him in confusion, unsure of what he did wrong, or even how to explain this. “Urm, yeah I guess,” he said stupidly, looking around for any sign of his mother to help explain things.
“Oh, I’m sorry, am I interrupting you?” He asked sharply, drawing Rainsoul’s attention back to him. He was pacing ever closer. “I wouldn’t want to keep you from meeting your confidant, would I? Afraid I’m going to scare off your informant?”
Riversoul’s eyebrows knitted together as a simple ‘what?’ Formed on his lips, but his father was much too quick. “Oh shut up,” he snarled, “I know you’re the one telling our bordering clans all of our information. I’ve known it for far too long.”
“No, he’s not! Please, stand down!” Riversoul’s mother’s voice rang clearly up the hill as she waddled as quickly as she could manage. “He is not the informant. He’s here to see me!”
His father turned to her, as if he was surprised that she wasn’t taking his side, but Riversoul’s. “But the Prophecy!”
Riversoul blinked stupidly once more, his mind nothing but a blur and his eyes all fuzzy. “Prophecy? What Prophecy?”
His father snapped his face back towards Riversoul. “The Prophecy from when you were born. I never said a thing while you and Flickerheart were kits, but I’ve known it all along. Beware the night when two great lights war. For one will tear down with a souls conviction, and the other will build with the power of heart. I’ve known it all along. When your sister died that night, I knew it was an omen. An omen.” His father’s words were quickening as he spoke, some even ran together.
“No,” his mother protested. “Starclan have always been vague. We can’t let one unknown prophecy rob us of our children!”
“Hush,” he snapped back at her with flakes of spittle flying, and turned towards Riversoul. “You’re here to destroy us. You’re here to destroy all of us!” His father made a sharp step forward, forcing Riversoul to attempt a step backwards- until he found his ledge had all run out. Behind him was nothing but open air.
“Please, listen! Honey, you’re not well!” His mother’s words were almost hollow, but pleading, yet his father seemed not to have heard a thing, and instead raised a clawed paw into the air.
“Let’s find out how deep your betrayal runs, shall we!?” And then the paw came down. Riversoul shut his eyes tightly and braced himself for the impact he knew was coming— but instead a cry of pain reached his ears. His eyes flashed open, and he watched as his mother was knocked backwards, claw marks from her father’s paw still opening as she fell back and rolled mercilessly down the hill, smashing her head into a jagged rock and crumpling there, hardly breathing.
With a flash of fear, both the toms ran down the slope to her form, Riversoul hunkering down trying to assess what he could do for her. “M-mom? Mother, are you okay!?”
She stirred ever so slightly, looking up to Riversoul with eyes full of love and tears. Her breath was shallow and her mouth moved but no sound came out. The two males sat there, looking down at her as her liquid life drained from the gash in her head. “I can’t help her,” Riversoul choked. “She’s too far gone.” He looked up to his father with tears in his eyes. “I don’t know what to do...”
“Then you’ve killed her,” his father said cruely. “You didn’t even try!” His voice rose into a sharp snarl, and with one smooth move, he smacked Riversoul across the face, sending stars floating across his vision. He stepped away from his father, his eyes unfocused and his ears ringing. He couldn’t even speak as his father rushed back towards Riversoul, roaring words of hate despite Riversoul’s inability to retaliate. His father smacked him again and again, each time sending Riversoul stumbling backwards. On the fifth blow, Riversoul’s face was hot and sticky with his blood, and his foot finally slipped over the edge. He didn’t have the means to grab on, and so down he slid, down into the gentle sloping of the valley.
He was pelted with rocks on his way down, spun so much he became disoriented, and left a trail of his own blood. As he struck the bottom, he could still hear his father yelling down at him, but Riversoul was too grief stricken to care. Quietly, he stood, his every limb trembling with need to rest, but he ran. He ran as fast as his weakening limbs could carry him. Up through the rocky valley and into the mountains it led to. He didn’t know where he was going, or what he would find, but he no longer had a home here.
Last edited by Sanara on Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:47 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: The Path Set Before Us :: DNP

Postby Sanara » Fri Mar 09, 2018 3:14 pm

Mind the gap.

The camp was alight with activity as soon as one of the queens had awoken to find Flickerheart’s mother’s bed of moss empty. The fiery she-cat went straight for the leader’s den after all the other queens had awoken. Nursing mothers huffed at her insolence, but the clan was determined to find her. After all, what if a bordering clan had kidnapped her!
Their leader was nowhere to be found, with the Deputy scheduling searching patrols. To form circles around the surrounding areas. Riversoul’s absence was hardly noticed by anyone- after all, he was hardly useful on patrol. Flickerheart noticed. It was their mother, after all. She had sought him out first thing, only to find his bed cool and unslept in.
Without waiting for the deputy’s sign off, Flickerheart dashed out of camp, following her father’s scent. She was well behind the three of them, but knew with a bit of fast action, she would make it in time to help defend her against any neighboring clan cat!

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Her feet took her down a familiar path, and before long, she realized she could follow it in her sleep. It was the path to her father’s favorite training area. It had been difficult, but with his early training, before Riversoul, Flickerheart had learned so much. It was a place she always enjoyed being, and so she ran on with an invigorated sprint, dashing on as a breakneck pace. Her jaw clenched with determination as she broke away from the undergrowth and saw her father’s shady orange pelt sitting at the edge of the ridge. She made a point to slow down, and strode up next to him.
What filled her senses would make Flickerheart blanch for the years to come. The sickly metallic scent assaulted her nose. Her eyes fell upon her mother, lying motionless on the turf, and her father standing close enough to the ridge to fall over. Blood spattered his own pelt, and foam flecked at the corners of his maw. “F-father, what happened to mom!? Where’s Riversoul?”
Her father turned his eyes onto her. They were wild for a few short moments, as if he didn’t recognize her, and then he melted. “Riversoul is dead to us. He killed your mother and was feeding the neighboring clans with information on us. He needs to be brought in to face judgement.” Flickerheart’s eyes swelled with tears she wouldn’t dare shed in front of her father, and looked down to her mother’s cooling body while her father’s eyes rested on her. “Flickerheart, you need to go find him. Catch him and bring him back. Or kill him, I don’t care. I just want him to pay.”
Flickerheart’s limbs went rigid. “I-I can’t do that...”
Her father’s face twisted into that of a snarl. “You can and you will. If you can’t come home with him, don’t come home at all.” And with that, he stood and took her mother by the scruff of the neck. He was to take her back home so her clan could mourn for her. There would be no mourning for Riversoul.... did he deserve it? As she watched her father stride away, the tears blurred her vision and threatened to spill over.
Flickerheart felt so small all of the sudden. She felt quite insignificant, and that scared her. Instead of letting it take over her, Flickerheart took that feeling inside and crumpled it into a sight little ball of anger. Her brows set and she frowned sharply. She would not let Riversoul get away with this. Taking away two out of the only three family members she had in her life... no. He took away her mother, and now, he took away her brother. No, Not today he wouldn’t.
~~~~~~
Picking up on Riversoul’s scent was absolutely too easy.
He wasn’t even trying to hide- or even stop the blood flow, wherever that was coming from? He was quite a ways ahead of her, but if she went on through morning, she could be upon him by first sun. And her plan very well would have worked if the clouds that had been threatening to drop rain upon them didn’t finally let loose some time after midnight. She broke out into a run as the trail twisted into the highlands of mountain territory. The rain was quickly washing away the blood and scent from the stones, and she found herself growing with disparity.
When the trail was indistinguishable from the muddy waters, she decided to break for the night. She did her best to find a rocky overhang and crawl into the hole for her most uncomfortable sleep in her life. The ground was hard, the rock was cold and all her heat was quickly sapped out of her body. It was all she could do to sleep at all that night, and so when the rain stopped, and first light broke through the shoddy clouds, she was ready to leave that wretched place. This time, however, she had no direction, so she simply walked. She walked until her paws ached, and then some more when she surprisingly found a spat of blood. It seemed her brother hadn’t had a well rest either.
She would use this for her advantage as she started off once again, lopping along carefully. One slip could mean a long, long fall. One she was not sure she could survive. It didn’t take long for his scent to follow, and when she saw him once again, she almost snarled after him. It was almost as if he could hear her thoughts, and so twisted sharply to look back at her.
She was shocked to see the side of his face smeared with blood streaked by the rain. It was almost impossible to tell where the cut was, had it not been for his swollen eye that had closed. She wanted to run to him, to help him, but she also wanted to push him off the edge of his bridge. “Riversoul!” She snarled, and that seemed to seal it for Riversoul, and he turned back around to cross the rest of the crumbling rocky bridge.
She made to follow him across the narrow, natural stone bridge, but she had to hesitate. The view down to the bottom made her a little dizzy, but it was all the time Riversoul needed.

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He began slamming his weight against the land bridge. A few tries and it began crumbling, as though it had prepared for this moment. Flickerheart was stunned and for a long, long time the two stood there and stared at each other. They stared until Flickerheart couldn’t stand it anymore. The hot tears came back, and she swallowed them to feed her anger. “Riversoul- how could you!? How dare you!? You didn’t have a monopoly on her! She was my mother too! And you took her!” With each word, Flickerheart’s voice rose an octave until she was shouting at him, threatening to loose her own voice and sending echoes to sing across the mountains.
Riversoul stood still, still staring at her with his one good eye. “Flickerheart, you don’t understand...” he finally said, his words drawn and careful. “I did what I could...”
Shut up!” She yowled at him. “Just stop, okay!? I’m so tired of you playing the victim all the time. I’m sick of you being so selfish!” Her words were thrown right at him. She wanted to hurt him with her words, because her claws were currently etching grooves into the stone below her. That’s when she made the snap decision. With numb paws she leapt out into the open air. It felt as though her anger were propelling her across, but all too soon even that ran out. She hit Riversoul’s side with a bone rattling impact. She scrabbled against the side, hoping to get a foothold on the wet stone and failing, slipping away into the crevice that had yawned between them.
Last edited by Sanara on Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:49 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: The Path Set Before Us :: DNP

Postby Sanara » Fri Mar 09, 2018 4:55 pm

Starclan is always with you.

Riversoul was frozen to his place, his jaw dropped in utter shock. In his mind he could still see Flickerheart looking up at him the seconds before she fell, her face a mask of horror and need for help. Her toes slipping away from the wall. Her orange pelt as she disappeared into the morning mountain mist. Her howls echoed across the mountains, and it wasn’t until they became silent that he was able to move once again.
Carefully, he followed the trail down towards the mountain’s base. It took much longer than he had hoped, and kept reliving that moment in his mind. A few times, he almost slipped himself. He remained vigilant until he had his paws on firmer soil, and could go down no further.
He was almost afraid of what he would see when he found his sister. He scented the wind, and on it came several cats. Some fresher, some stale, but Flickerheart’s scent was mingled with that of blood. He followed it, hoping what he found was enough to bury. When his eyes finally fell on her, he shuddered with relief. Her back legs were submerged in a large river edge, and bobbed with the ripples cascading down from the waterfall. Her front half was rather banged up, with a nose bleed and some minor scratches. The only thing that really caught Riversoul’s eye was a large piece of rock jutting from her shoulder. But her chest still moved, and that meant there was hope!
Riversoul moved her as carefully as he could into the accompanying cave, and set to work patching her up. He felt a little ill removing the shard from her shoulder, and used the water that gurgled into the cave to wash away her blood and treat her scratches. A few of the local plants and washed up shrapnel yielded enough foliage and driftwood to create a splint and accompanying wrap. Already the sun was beginning to set, but Flickerheart had yet to awaken.

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Riversoul looked down upon his sister, conflicted on what to do. If she woke to him with her, would she hurt him? But if he left, would she be hurt? The answer, although not clear at first, was the only natural explanation. He took a few laps of water to substitute for an evening meal, and curled up beside her to provide warmth and comfort to his ailing sister. He said a quick prayer to starclan for her healing before falling asleep.
~~~~~~~~~~~~
Riversoul awoke in a strange field he didn’t remember traveling to. Everything was shrouded in a half light that was hard to see very far away in any direction. Ahead of him was a cat that had a sickeningly sweet scent about her. “H-hello?” Riversoul called.
The cats ears twitched slightly before she turned to look back at him. Riversoul was horrified at the Smokey cat before him who held the stars in her eyes. “Hello there, Riversoul. I’m so happy to see you so soon. We have much to discuss.”
Riversoul didn’t know where to begin, and so did only what he knew he could. He strode up to her and buried his face into the soft, soft fur of his mother. “I’m so happy you’re here,” she purred, giving his head a few licks.
“Mother... mother I’m so sorry. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to save you.”
“No Riversoul, listen,” she pulled away enough to look down into his eyes. “You couldn’t have saved me. There was nothing you could have done.”
“I just- I don’t understand why he did that. Or why he wasn’t like that at all...”
“Your father was afraid. What we fear we often rage against. And he was afraid of losing control. Control of the clan, of himself... of you and of me. He wasn’t well. But please, Riversoul, don’t ever return. You have to keep Flickerheart from returning as wel.” Her eyes met his, they were level and clear and full of all of starclan. But they were his mother’s eyes. “It could take you years to face what has happened, and many more to overcome it, but you must understand, you have a path ahead of you. A purpose. Please don’t throw all of that away.”
Riversoul’s mouth was dry once again, and he felt cemented to the spot. “I... I will try mother.”
“Good boy,” His Mother purred softly. “Now you must wake. This place is a sacred moonpool. And Flickerheart will be waking any moment.”
Riversoul made to protest, but was too soon whisked away, his eyelids creeping open to the early morning light. Beside him, Flickerheart was stirring and groaning. Riversoul awoke all at once and sat up. Flickerheart felt the movement, and opened her eyes to the cave. She looked up to Riversoul and felt a snarl escape.
“Riversoul, I have a fight to pick with you-“ her words were cut off into a gasp of pain as she tried to stand on her busted leg and Riversoul took a step back.
“Be careful, you’re going to open the wound. It’s going to leave a nasty scar but you will be fine.”
“You’re one to talk,” Flickerheart snapped. “Look at your face. You look like a bloated carcass.”
Her words didn’t bother Riversoul, instead he lay back down where he was standing and sighed. “Father sent you, didn’t he? Did he tell you what happened? What really happened?”
At those words Flickerheart bared her teeth at him. “You shut your mouth. He said you killed mother, and right now, I believe him. I saw her, Riversoul. With my own two eyes I saw her.”
“He did that.” Riversoul said, letting venom seep into his own voice. “He tried to attack me. He was talking nonsense, and mother tried to stop him.. and she got the raw end of the deal.” Flickerheart’s eyebrows knitted as though she couldn’t believe him. “Let me start from the beginning.”
They spoke for hours, Riversoul explaining and Flickerheart asking questions time and time again. Little did they know two other cats were approaching the mouth of the cave, and didn’t know until a gasp sounded from the mouth.
Both Flickerheart and Riversoul started, with Riversoul leaping to his sore feet and standing between the newcomers and Flickerheart. “Who goes there!?” He snarled.
The two newcomers were quiet for a moment and Riversoul got a good look at them. One was a long haired Calico she-cat, and the other was a grey spotted tabby tom. “I am Twinstar, of MountainClan,” said the Calico sharply.
“And I am Falconstar, of HillsideClan,” Said the grey tabby tom.
Clan leaders, Riversoul realized only too late. “I am so sorry,” He said his voice trembling slightly and his stomach bottoming out. If they were anywhere as fierce as his father, he couldn’t take both of them by himself. “I’m sorry if we are in your territories. My sister got hurt and I needed a place to keep her so that she can get better. We will be out of your fur soon.”
Twinstar glanced at Falconstar, who nodded. “Well, I think you would be welcomed to stay here at the falls if you are just passing through, but beware, this is the place of our ancestors, and we ask that you treat it with respect.”
Falconstar nodded slightly, taking in the two cats before him. They were grungy and dirty, both looked bedraggled and hungry. “When was the last time you two had anything to eat?”
That question took Flickerheart and Riversoul by surprise. Since when did any leader lower themselves for warriors of an opposing clan’s warriors? “Um... several days I guess... but we can hunt for ourselves.”
“We aren’t defenseless little kits.” Flickerheart put in, raising her chin a little.
“I can see that,” Falconstar said, his eyebrow quirking a bit. “You both look absolutely capable.”
“Humor us,” Twinstar put in, flicking a tail at Falconstar. “A bit of food. A bit of herbs. You two will be back on your feet in no time at all.”
Riversoul paused for a moment, considering their offer. They were lucky the leaders hadn’t run them off by now- let alone offered them food. Finally, Riversoul conceded. “Please. That would be so helpful. We greatly appreciate your hospitality.”
It didn’t take the leaders long at all to gather a few herbs and track down a small feast of birds and mice from the mountains outside of the cave. They were back before noon, and presented the two cats with their findings. After eating the bitter herbs, the two fell upon the animals with relish. Twinstar and Falconstar waited patiently till the two had had their fill before finally asking the question; what exactly happened?
Flickerheart wasn’t too interested in sharing their story, as it had her father in it, but as Riversoul spoke to the clan leaders with his convictions, Flickerheart began to doubt even herself. What had Riversoul really gone through at the paws of their father? While they spoke, Flickerheart turned her thoughts inward and tried to see through her father. He had always been excellent to Flickerheart. How could he have not been to her brother? They were of the same flock? But even as she asked herself that question, Riversoul spoke aloud the prophecy that had been plaguing him all their lives.
Beware the night when two great lights war. For one will tear down with a souls conviction, and the other will build with the power of heart.
“And as you can see, that influenced our naming. Riversoul. Flickerheart.” Riversoul ended his point, letting it hang in the air for a time.
“That’s a little on the nose,” Falconstar said softly, more to himself than to everyone else, before adjusting himself on the rocks. “Your father thought you, being so different than your sister, and coming after a stillborn girl?”
Riversoul nodded and Twinstar pursed her lips, working off of what Falconstar had begun. “It sounds more like your father had a conviction of his soul. And your mom...” Twinstar paused, glancing to the twins to see their reaction and not wanting to step on toes. “She died to save you. Out of love.”
“She was the heart,” Riversoul spoke softly, almost inaudibly. Tears had welled into his eyes and he glanced over at Flickerheart. “She came to me last night. She wants me to stop you from going back to him.”
Falconstar’s ears perked slightly. “You drank the water, then?” Riversoul nodded, glancing back at the waters he had used to clean their wounds and drank from the night before. “You were given a direct link to your ancestors. I hope they guided you well.”
Riversoul was quiet, glancing over to Flickerheart time and time again. “All she said was that I was to try and keep Flickerheart from going back...”
“Where are we going to go?” Flickerheart said quietly, dipping her head and staring down into nothing.
“You could stay with us?” Twinstar said, answering her rhetorical question. “You could come back with one of us...”
Falconstar nodded, looking back at Riversoul and Flickerheart. “You’re welcome to join our clans.”
Flickerheart and Riversoul looked back to one another, each weighing their options, and Flickerheart was the first to speak. “I think we will be going with Twinstar.” Flickerheart sat back up, looking to both the clan leaders and making the decision for them. Riversoul got quiet, a soft frown on his face, and looking back to the clan leaders and his sister. With a soft sigh, he shook his head. “No Flickerheart, I don’t think I can go with you... Don’t you see it happening all over again? You’ll forever be our father’s daughter. Or at least until you change. I... I can’t follow you this time. I will be going with Falconstar.”
For a long moment he and his sister stared each other down. Riversoul daring Flickerheart to object. But of course, if she did, she would only confirm his words. After a long few moments, she sighed and nodded. “I understand Riversoul. Maybe... maybe after we give it some time. But until then, we can go out separate ways.”
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After that moment, the siblings said goodbye. Not forever, but for a time. Falconstar And Twinstar nodded to one another, and Falconstar took Riversoul back to HillsideClan, and when they were out of sight, Twinstar turned her attention back to Flickerheart. It would be a time before she was ready to travel, but Twinstar didn’t mind.
“Are you going to be alright?” Twinstar asked- more on the emotional side than about her physical injuries.
“From this day forward. I will live my life with the urgency that everyday matters, every minute counts, and every second is cherished.” and Flickerheart left it at that, her eyes still staring off into the distance where her brother had disappeared with his new life.


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