[ `` northernclan !! ] [ archives - dnp ]

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[ `` northernclan !! ] [ archives - dnp ]

Postby solyn » Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:01 pm

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create a clan ; groveclan | create a kennel ; the last sentinels | create a pack; northreach


          this is the archive for my second create a clan project, northernclan! the
          owner of this game is katrione, and if you are interested in playing, you
          definitely should! it's good fun & the community is great c: as always, if
          anything here interests you, feel free to dm me.
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[ `` northernclan !! ] [ introduction ]

Postby solyn » Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:02 pm

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      welcome to northernclan. a clan founded by a hardy molly in the foothills of the mountains, weary paws do not often find the cats of northernclan in their harsh environment. the cats here know that each day is a fleeting moment, and that every second could be their last. the mountain has no sympathy, and no distinction between good and bad. the only thing that keeps these cats alive is their skill and their nature as recluses. after all, in a world like this, the cat who matters the most is yourself: everyone else is secondary.

      northernclan is located in a basin in the mountains behind a two-leg village. the two-leg village is a ski resort, although most two-legs do not venture as high up as the clan's camp is situated, among the rocky crags. the medicine cats and leaders visit the moonstone, located deep within the twisting and turning caverns that carve hollow passages through the mountainside. the northernclan camp is in a basin of sorts, led to through one of these caverns, and the nests of the cats reside high up in other caverns in the walls of the basin where they are safe from predators. northernclan's territory cuts off at the ski slope to the west, the two-leg village to the south, the thunderpath beyond the fir forest to the east and at the vanishing pass to the north. no one knows what lays on the other side of the vanishing pass, as any cat who goes through it does not come back.

      northernclan is faced with frequent danger. blizzards, thunderstorms, and gale-forced winds threaten the cats especially in the harsh winters. two-legs and their dogs are also a problem, but not nearly as much so as the wolverines, mountain lions and occasional wolf that come through the vanishing pass. northernclan tends to hunt voles, stoats, birds, fish from the mountain lagoon, hares and rabbits. occasionally, if times are desperate, northernclan might hunt mice near the two-leg place, as they take shelter in the warm homes there. eating the food the two legs throw out often results in clan cats becoming sick, so they tend to stay away from scavenging when they can.

      the cats of northernclan are very hardy and often very large. most commonly, they have long or thick coats. it is very rare to find cats with short hair, as they simply cannot cope with the intensity of winter. common breeds include norwegian forest cats, maine coons, birmans, somalis, domestic longhairs and any mix breed or combination of these that results in a long-haired kit. short-haired cats in northernclan were often outdoor kittypets first, and have acclimatized to the cold, however they are very very rare within the clan as their kits often struggle to survive past kithood, due to the high likelihood of developing coughs or other cold-related illnesses.

      these cats are very reclusive: northernclan has troubles with a rogue clan that claims territory within the two-leg village constantly. as such, northernclan has few allies and fewer enemies, due to their reluctance to engage with other clans. they are relatively traditionalist: due to how hard it is to survive in northernclan, medicine cats are allowed to take mates as long as there is another fully trained medicine cat available should they need to take leave for kits. gay medicine cats are allowed to take mates regardless, but are not allowed to adopt or surrogate kits until the previous condition is filled. forbidden romances are strictly forbidden, and the kits of a forbidden romance are often given to another mother or sent out of the clan along with the mother, as northernclan is fearful of conflict.
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[ `` northernclan !! ] [ the clan ]

Postby solyn » Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:12 pm

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[ updated: feb. 7 '19 ] [ 10 cats: 7 ♀ & 3 ♂ ]
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      ` leader
      `` sleetstar | 49 moons | ♀ |

      ` deputy
      `` name | age | ♀/♂ |

      ` medicine cat
      `` name | age | ♀/♂ |
      ` medicine cat apprentice
      `` name | age | ♀/♂ |

      ` warriors
      `` summitsky | 52 moons | ♂ |
      `` hollyfeather | 27 moons | ♀ |
      `` thunderjaw | 47 moons | ♂ |
      `` howlingeye | 30 moons | ♂ |
      `` brackenstrike | 58 moons | ♀ |
      `` splitface | 55 moons | ♀ |
      `` bearears | 22 moons | ♀ |
      `` minkfur | 45 moons | ♀ |

      ` apprentices
      `` viridianpaw | 14 moons | ♀ |

      ` queens and kits
      `` name | age | ♀/♂ |
      ↪ kit names

      ` elders
      `` name | age | ♀/♂ |
relationships wrote:
tba


mentors & apprentices wrote:
thunderjaw mentors viridianpaw


former clans/tba wrote:
summitsky & hollyfeather are from wildclan
fallowstep & hawkeyes are from graveclan


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      𝐃𝐄𝐂𝐄𝐀𝐒𝐄𝐃 𝐂𝐋𝐀𝐍 𝐌𝐄𝐌𝐁𝐄𝐑𝐒
    • name | age | ♂/♀ | cause of death | residence |
    • name | age | ♂/♀ | cause of death | residence |
    • name | age | ♂/♀ | cause of death | residence |
    • name | age | ♂/♀ | cause of death | residence |
    • name | age | ♂/♀ | cause of death | residence |
    • name | age | ♂/♀ | cause of death | residence |
Last edited by solyn on Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[ `` northernclan !! ] [ 001 ]

Postby solyn » Sat Dec 29, 2018 6:47 pm

𝐍𝐎𝐑𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐑𝐍𝐂𝐋𝐀𝐍.
population: 01 cats [ 02 fem : 01 male ]
servings required: 02
𝙜𝙪𝙖𝙧𝙙𝙞𝙖𝙣𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙨𝙩
moderator: deimos - next moonstone: 5 jan
moons since last nonsense: 1

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    𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐠𝐨.
    Paws pressed against the snow, grounding Sloane's paws as she gritted her teeth against the howling gale. Over the rise of the mountains, she could see the faint glow of the two-leg's massive light trees, although she had observed none on their strange planks swooping down the smooth face of the mountain. Even in leaf-fall, the conditions here verged on 'terrible' from time to time. And this was one of those times. Sloane's glittering blue eyes squinted into the swirling snow in front of her, trying to make out the next foothold as she hunkered down close to the rock. Unable to see anything beyond directly in front of her own face, she turned to look back at the two-leg village.
    She was thoroughly cocooned in the snowstorm, unable to see the visage of her home in the distance. Or, what constituted as her former home. Sloane's eyes narrowed at the bitter memory of Varvara's glittering amber ones staring back at her. The mere thought of the slender chocolate she-cat shot a twisting pain through her heart, although she wasn't sure whether it was from the betrayal of her love, or the bitter anger that Varvara had played her card before Sloane had the chance to play hers. Either way, Varvara and Boscoe had made it clear she wasn't welcome there anymore.
    But there was nowhere else to go.
    From her right, there was a sound like the chime of the metal tubes that hung from the roof of a two-leg nest by the river, the one with huge oak trees whose gnarled branches reached into the yard of the elderly two-leg and littered the ground with orange-red leaves. Sloane's ears pricked, and she turned toward it, dragging herself along until she was suddenly sheltered from the snow by a cave. She blinked, pulling herself inside, and shaking the snow out of her fur. She glanced back outside, seeing the snow swirl violently where she had been standing just moments before.
    "Sloane." The voice was whispery and soft, and the she-cat's ears perked, as she got to her paws. "Who's there?" She called, taking a step forward. There was no response, but deeper into the hollow, there seemed to be some light emanating. Cautiously, Sloane stepped forward, and then again and again, until she ducked out the other end of the apparent tunnel, and into a basin. Curiously, the snow-storm seemed contained to overhead, the occasional drop of snow falling to land at the paws of an elegant white she-cat with stars twinkling in her bright blue eyes.
    "Hello Sloane," the she-cat said, blinking carefully, "I'm pleased to see you made your way here in one piece."
    "Who are you?" Sloane snapped back, ears flattening against her skull. The she-cat smiled patiently, sweeping her fluffy tail over her paws as she blinked, clearly not bothered by Sloane's hostility. "My name is Northstar," she mewed, "I was the leader of a clan that lived here some moons ago. StarClan has heard your laments on your lack of a home, and I would like to offer you my old one, on the condition that you take up my mantle."
    "I feel that statement has more to it than you're saying," Sloane said, head tilting to the side as she stared at Northstar. The other molly smiled wryly. '"StarClan does not approve of my desire for vengeance, so I've been instructed not to mention it, but the rebirth of NorthernClan hinges on you, Sloane, and if it sweetens the deal, perhaps it is right for me to mention it after all." She leaned closer, blue eyes no longer reflecting the stars. "I want to see my clan take revenge on those who betrayed us, the ones you call the Merchants. I want to see NorthernClan rise from the ashes, bigger and stronger before, and I believe you are the cat who can do it."
    "And what would you have me do with the Merchants?" Sloane's voice wavered, feeling her heart hammer in her chest. Northstar's eyes were cold and hard, like ice. "I would have you tear them apart and scatter them into the howling gales. They will be lost to the snow, unable to survive the frost, and those that wish to live will come grovelling to NorthernClan for salvation." Sloane's mind flickered to the hard glint in Varvara's eyes, the sharp leer of Boscoe's yellowing teeth.
    "I'll do it," Sloane said, without hesitation.
    "Then I dub you Sleetstar, leader of a NorthernClan reborn. To lead your clan, I bless you with nine lives- one for each courage, discipline, reason, justice, decisiveness, loyalty, knowledge, love and," she paused, that cold flicker in her expression making a reappearance, "a life for retribution, to right the wrongs of the past. Use these lives to lead your clan well, Sleetstar. I will be with you."
    Suddenly, Northstar vanished, and Sleetstar collapsed to the ground, suddenly feeling drained of all energy. All around her, snow started to swirl into the basin, painting her vision entirely white as she closed her eyes, and let sleep take her.


    𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐧.
    In the last days of leaf-fall, the weather had cleared up a little more. Sleetstar was panting heavily as she looked up and around the basin. It had taken a lot of work to clean out the dens and replace them with softer, fresher nests, as well as creating new blockades for the front of the dens to shield them from the biting wind. An ear swiveled backwards at the sound of paws against stone, and Sleetstar turned just in time to see two patched cats exit the tunnel and stand before her in the basin.
    "Can I help you?" She asked, blinking at them slowly. The smaller cat, a black and white molly, glanced upward at her taller companion. "We're looking for a 'Sleetstar' of NorthernClan," said the taller cat, in a silken voice, "we were told in a dream by StarClan to follow the North Star to her, because she needed us more than our current clan needed us then." Sleetstar looked between the pair of them, before she drew herself up a little taller, trying to match the tallest cat's height. "I am Sleetstar," she said, "leader of NorthernClan reborn. Welcome... er."
    "Summitsky," the tom replied, "and this is Hollyfeather."
    "Hello," she mewed, taking a seat and curling her tail over her paws, "we're at your command, Sleetstar. I'm sure there's a lot to do around here." It hit Sleetstar, suddenly, that being a leader of a clan meant she would actually be expected to lead it. This factoid had escaped her mind, momentarily, but it wasn't as if she hadn't been preparing to lead before. Leading a clan couldn't be that different to leading anything else.
    "Right," she said, clearing her throat, "Summitsky, you're with me then. We'll see if we can find something to eat. Hollyfeather, you can patrol the borders, but be careful around the west and southern borders as there are a lot of two-legs around there usually. You should be able to find the borders by my scent markers. After that, I need to converse with StarClan, so you two can do... whatever you want to do. Understood?"
    "Crystal clear," Summitsky said, with a nod. Hollyfeather got to her paws, ducking her head a little. "Absolutely, Sleetstar. We're here to help NorthernClan be the best that it can be."

    -

    Sleetstar broke away from Summitsky as the tom made his way back to the camp with their fresh kill. The path to the moonstone was more treacherous than most around the territory of NorthernClan, as Sleetstar had found. She stuck close to the craggy wall, even as her fluffy pelt caught against the sharp, pointed snags of the cliff-face. Eventually, she ducked into the tunnel that lead to the cave housing the moonstone, exhaling a breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding on the narrow path prior.
    The large crystal glistened as the last rays of the day's sun shone through the gap in the top of the cave, illuminating the way that flecks of gold danced under the smooth surface. Sleetstar wasn't sure what kind of rock this was, or how it had come to be in the first place, but it seemed that Northstar had a fondness for appearing whenever the pointed she-cat was near it. Sighing, Sleetstar found a comfortable place to lay down. She hesitated a moment, staring at the rock, before she took a deep breath and touched her nose to it. For a moment, nothing happened, and then suddenly, she seemed high above the world, mist rolling around her paws and stars glittering all around her.
    "Not bad for a moon's work," a familiar voice said, and Sleetstar turned to see Northstar's sleek form coming toward her. She stayed silent, folding her tail over her paws as the past leader sat down, shoulders drawn up tall and regal. "We still have a long way to go, of course, but what you've accomplished in just a moon is perfect. The camp is ready for cats, you've established your territory, and with my help, you've even got two warriors."
    "I feel like most of that was you, not me," Sleetstar said dryly, rolling her eyes as Northstar dismissed her with a sniff and a flick of her tail. "Anyway, this is just the beginning for NorthernClan. You're going to need to build up your ranks. You need a deputy, and a medicine cat, especially for the cold months. StarClan will do their best, but if you're not careful, you'll find yourself with a terrible sickness and no one to help with it. Mark my words, illness runs rampant in NorthernClan winters."
    "Contrary to your seemingly popular belief, I have actually lived here all my life," Sleetstar snapped, "I know how to survive a winter, and I know all of this. So, what, this is a hint that you're going to randomly drop a medicine cat on me next with no prior warning?" Northstar glowered at her, the pair of mollies facing off, before the pure white she-cat sighed and swished her tail, conjuring an image of a massive tom. Sleetstar's eyes widened. He was huge, with rippling muscles and a fluffy coat that made him look twice his size, glittering amber eyes seeming to pierce her very soul.
    "This tom will be of great importance to you. I am sending him to you as we speak, just so you're prepared."
    "That's the medicine cat you want me to have?" Sleetstar sounded incredulous as she looked the visage of the tom up and down, taking in his charcoal black face and his smoky chest scruff, and the elegant slope of his nose. Northstar sighed impatiently, as if Sleetstar was a pesky apprentice who just wouldn't learn the battle move she'd been trying to teach for hours, shaking her head airily.
    "No, don't be silly. This tom will play a much larger, more important role than that. You need to make absolutely sure that he remains on your side, no matter what."
    "You're sending me a tom that might betray me?" Northstar's gaze hardened.
    "I would be very wary, Sleetstar, of assuming that everyone will support you by virtue of your name. Cats have their own agendas, some clearer than others. It is foolish to believe that those agendas may be pushed aside for any one cat." Glittering amber eyes flashed across Sleetstar's mind, and she flattened her ears.
    "I know this better than you could ever hope to understand."
    "Good. Then you won't mess this up."
    Sleetstar woke with a start, finding herself alone in a damp cave. Through the hole in the roof, rain had started to pellet down, leaving her pointed coat soaked to the bone. Sleetstar glanced one last time at the Moonstone, before she hauled herself to her feet, trudging out of the cave and into the pouring rain, directing her bedraggled form toward the camp of her new clan.
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` servings consumed
0/2 - stockpiling
` clan events
summitsky and hollyfeather of wildclan join northernclan
summitsky and sleetstar hunt
hollyfeather patrols the borders
sleetstar requests a warrior from starclan


    ` leader
    `` sleetstar | 45 moons | ♀ |

    ` deputy
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |

    ` medicine cat
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |
    ` medicine cat apprentice
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |

    ` warriors
    `` summitsky | 48 moons | ♂ |
    `` hollyfeather | 23 moons | ♀ |

    ` apprentices
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |

    ` queens and kits
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |
    ↪ kit names

    ` elders
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |
` ally clans
none currently.

` enemy clans
none currently.

` borders
↑ | open | user
→ | open | user
↓ | two-leg village
← | ski slope

` medicine store
Herb | Usage
Herb | Usage

` fresh-kill pile
vole | x0 | 1 servings
rabbit | x0 | 2 servings
stoat | x0 | 2 servings
small fish | x0 | 2 servings
hare | x0 | 3 servings
bird | x0 | 3 servings

` mentors
mentor | apprentice [#]
↪ skills learned

` deceased
name | cause of death

` family ties
parent + parent
↪ kits
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[ `` northernclan !! ] [ 002 ]

Postby solyn » Sat Jan 05, 2019 3:59 pm

𝐍𝐎𝐑𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐑𝐍𝐂𝐋𝐀𝐍.
population: 05 cats [ 03 fem : 03 male ]
servings required: 02
𝙜𝙪𝙖𝙧𝙙𝙞𝙖𝙣𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙨𝙩
moderator: deimos - next moonstone: 17 jan
moons since last nonsense: 2

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    𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐠𝐨.
    The wind howled viciously around Sleetstar's ears, rain pelting her even as she ducked close against the rocky cliff that rose up to her side. She gritted her teeth against the elements, ducking her head as she sheltered under an overhang, breathing hard. In the distance, thunder rolled, and a flash of lightning illuminated the sky in the distance. Sleetstar's body heaved with exertion, blue eyes searching the night.
    "Northstar," she grumbled under her breath, casting a disdainful glance back over her shoulder in the direction she had come. Of course the StarClan molly had only kept her long enough that the storm could start, and then she'd sent her on her way to receive the warrior she was sending to them. With another grumbled breath, the cat stepped back out into the wind, sinking her claws into the path as best she could for purchase. One paw in front of the other, she pushed on through the night, even as the streaky lightning drew closer and closer.
    A particularly loud clap of thunder overhead made her jump, skittering sideways into a large shape that grunted disdainfully at having been smashed into. Northstar blinked, making out the shape of a large smoky warrior, curled under an overhang, his glittering golden eyes narrowed at her. She stared at him, and he stared back. She seemed to be the first one to recover her wits, as she took a step closer again, trying to squeeze under shelter next to him.
    "It's you," she said.
    "You're Sleetstar, then," the tom said in return, his tone even. Sleetstar regarded him for a moment, before she let out a petulant huff, grey ears flicking back against her skull. "I really don't like this whole 'other cats knowing more about me than I know about them' theme that Northstar has going. Who are you?" The large tom's eyes glittered with amusement as he drew himself up a little, allowing Sleetstar to tuck herself in against his side, tail curled around her as she shivered under her soaked pelt.
    "She told me to introduce myself as Thunderjaw," the tom said, "so I suppose that's who I am now. Thunderjaw of NorthernClan." Sleetstar rolled her eyes, staring out into the pouring rain. "Well great, I guess we're not complete strangers anymore. But I still don't understand where she's getting these cats from- first she sends Hollyfeather and Summitsky, who she apparently pulled away from another clan, and now she sends you. And you all come, to this stupid mountain with it's horrible storms and hideous snow and I don't understand why."
    "The toll of being a leader doing a number on you, is it?" Sleetstar glowered at Thunderjaw, who only seemed amused by this. "Look, just a few moons ago I was running around the town, where I had friends and cats I considered family, and now I'm playing clan with a bunch of cats who just show up out of the blue because some glittery white she-cat said so." Thunderjaw nodded a little bit, barely flinching as a bolt of lightning smashed down close enough to them to make the ridge rumble. "That's a decent point," he said smoothly, "and I can't speak for your other clan members, but Northstar threw around 'destiny' a lot. And honestly, if a ghost-cat is showing up and telling me it's my destiny to join this clan, I'm not gonna argue."
    "I think somebody probably should." Thunderjaw's eyes met hers.
    "I think you're doing a decent amount of arguing as it is."

    -

    "She should be back by now," Hollyfeather murmured, turning to look at Summitsky, "shouldn't she?" The large tom shook his head a little, whiskers twitching. "We don't know these mountains. We don't know where she should be by now. And besides, the storm seems pretty bad outside of this basin. I wouldn't be surprised if she'd done the smart thing and taken cover." Hollyfeather grumbled something imperceptible, getting to her paws to pace around the empty space at the front of the den.
    "I don't like it," she said, matter-of-factly.
    "You don't have to like it," Summitsky said evenly, watching her pace, "she's the leader, after all. And like it or not, we're new here. We don't have as much sway here as you'd like to think. Maybe one day we will by virtue of being the first but for now... we just have to stick it out." Hollyfeather sighed, squeezing her eyes shut and shaking her head. Finally, she opened them again, expression softening as she glanced at the tom. "I know," she said quietly, "I just... wonder if this was all a mistake sometimes. It's new, and I just haven't adjusted yet, right?"
    "Right." She and Summitsky shared a smile, before a yowl from outside made the tom rocket to his feet. The pair of them skittered to the edge of the cave, peering down into the basin, where they could make out a small grey and white shape trying to shake itself loose from a branch that had blown in from the storm. She exchanged a look with the tom, unsure and cautious. Summitsky's face was a little harder as he blinked at the shape.
    "Well," he said, "it's not Sleetstar. Hey!" Hollyfeather followed him as he descended the path from the den into the campground, "just hold still. We're coming to help you." The cat got smaller as they approached. "They're just a kit," Hollyfeather said in surprise, balking as Summitsky stepped forward to help untangle the smaller cat from the grabbing branch's reach.
    "I'm not a kit," the she-cat snapped.
    "You still seem young to be out here on your own," Summitsky said gently. The she-cat flattened her ears, glaring between the two older cats. "I got separated from my family on the other side of the mountain," she said finally, "I don't know where they are, and admittedly I'm hungry, I'm cold, and I'm... scared. I'm almost a full season-cycle old but... I've never been without my parents or my siblings before." Summitsky's face softened, and Hollyfeather gave him a wide-eyed look.
    "I'm Summitsky," the tom said again, still gentle, "and this is Hollyfeather. We're warriors of a new clan, called NorthernClan. It might not be home to you, but it is warm, we do have food and there's enough shelter for you to weather the storm with us. When it passes, we can help you try and find your family. Does that sound okay?" The molly hesitated for a moment, before she nodded, with a grateful and shy smile. "Yes, thank you. I'm Viridian, by the way."
    "That's... an interesting name."
    "My mother said she named me for my eyes," the cat snapped back, "Hollyfeather is a weird name too." The black and white molly bristled as Summitsky laughed. "Okay, you two, put away the claws. We should get back up into the dens before the storm gets any worse." As if on cue, a bolt of lightning struck somewhere in the distance, with a roll of thunder just seconds behind it. Viridian cowered close to the two older cats, letting them flank her as they led her back up the cliff-side and into the safety of the dens.


    𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐧.
    ( a soundtrack )
    "It seems like you and Viridianpaw are getting along well," Sleetstar said, pausing to turn her head and evaluate Thunderjaw as he stopped to scent the air. After a moment, he shrugged, bounding forward to catch up to her. "She's spitfire, but she's got a good head on her shoulders. She just doesn't like being given instructions that don't lead anywhere in her mind. As long as I give her a clear goal with a clear purpose, she's determined to do it and do it well." Sleetstar hummed a little, her shoulders tensing a little as she spotted the territory up ahead.
    "You don't seem to want to go there," Thunderjaw observed. Sleetstar sighed, rolling her eyes a little. "There's a reason I send Hollyfeather and Summitsky to patrol the borders so often, but they work better in a team than I do with either of them, so with leafbare encroaching I want them hunting together. Which means that I just have to buckle down and do the borders, even if it involves things I don't particularly want to do." Thunderjaw was staring at her, his golden eyes curious. "Are you ever going to tell me why you're so against the two-leg border?"
    "Shouldn't two-legs be enough of a reason?" She snapped back, ears flattening a little as she saw Thunderjaw staring at her. "It would be, if your reason was the two-legs," he said, taking a step forward and past her. She exhaled, turning sharply to follow along behind him, keeping her nose in the air to scent anything up ahead of them. Thunderjaw progressed a few tail-lengths ahead of her, while her blue eyes searched the landscape for familiar shapes. As they passed the final part of the border where the two-leg houses touched their territory, an odd feeling settled in Sleetstar's stomach. It wasn't quite relief, and it wasn't quite disappointment. She didn't know what to call it.
    She caught the scent strain just a moment too late, with her back turned. Pebbles scattered underfoot, and she whirled, coming face to face with a set of glittering amber eyes, her nose almost touching that of a long-furred chocolate molly. Sleetstar's ears instantly flattened as Varvara tilted her head to the side, sneer curling the corner of her maw.
    "I didn't expect to see you skulking around, Sloane. If I recall, you were... what's the word? Oh, yes. Exiled." Thunderjaw turned, glancing at Sleetstar with a confused expression. The pointed cat did not look at him. "Varvara," she said, voice flat and unamused, "how nice to see you again." The tone of voice said it was about as nice to see her as it was to be bitten by an adder. The she-cat huffed, flicking her ears in annoyance. "Oh Sloane, do you really have to be like that? You made your choices... and I made mine."
    "You betrayed me."
    "As if you weren't planning to do the same thing," Varvara spat, glancing sideways at Thunderjaw who took a step closer to Sleetstar, "and it seems like exile hasn't gone too poorly for you. But I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. It's not like you've ever been capable of forming a meaningful relationship, is it?" Sleetstar looked away, and Thunderjaw glanced between the two mollies with a quizzical expression.
    "You don't know what you're talking about," Sleetstar managed finally, "you threw me to the monsters, Var. Was it really that easy for you to just cast me out so you could climb your little social ladder? After everything we had, after everything we went through together, was it so easy for you to just cast me aside?" Varvara's ears flattened, and the she-cat unsheathed her claws to dig them into the snow. "Wasn't that your plan, Sloane? To leave me first? And for what, power? I'm not sorry I figured it out and beat you to it."
    "It wasn't for the power, Var," Sleetstar snapped, her ears flattened, "it was for you. For us."
    "Oh shut up!" Varvara gritted her teeth, turning her head to the side. Slowly, she retracted her claws, fixing a dull stare on Sleetstar, unnamed emotions running behind her eyes. "You might believe that, Sloane, but I don't. Not anymore. You've never done anything in your life for another cat. Everything always comes back to you in the end. Even me, once. But those days are over, Sloane, and I don't believe those old baby blues anymore. So you can keep telling yourself that it wasn't for you," she took a deep breath, turning her back on the pointed she-cat, "whatever helps you sleep at night."
    "It's Sleetstar now," the other molly said, watching the chocolate coloured she-cat duck away next to one of the two-leg fences. She paused, turning back to stare at Sleetstar. For a moment, she imagined she saw genuine sorrow behind Varvara's eyes. "Well," she said with a snide chuckle, "I guess there's really no place for me in your life anymore, so I wouldn't go losing too much rest over it." And with that, she was gone, leaving Sleetstar standing with guilt twisting her gut, Thunderjaw's fluffy coat brushing her own. He was staring, and she knew it.
    "What just happened?" He asked, and Sleetstar turned away abruptly.
    "Nothing. Let's keep moving." She bounded forward, leaving Thunderjaw staring after her as the first snowflakes began to fall.
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` servings consumed
0/2 - stockpiling
` clan events
sleetstar asks starclan for a warrior
thunderjaw teaches viridianpaw the battle skill
sleetstar and thunderjaw patrol the borders
hollyfeather and summitsky hunt


    ` leader
    `` sleetstar | 46 moons | ♀ |

    ` deputy
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |

    ` medicine cat
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |
    ` medicine cat apprentice
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |

    ` warriors
    `` summitsky | 49 moons | ♂ |
    `` hollyfeather | 24 moons | ♀ |
    `` thunderjaw | 44 moons | ♂ |

    ` apprentices
    `` viridianpaw | 11 moons | ♀ |

    ` queens and kits
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |
    ↪ kit names

    ` elders
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |
` ally clans
none currently.

` enemy clans
none currently.

` borders
↑ | open | user
→ | open | user
↓ | two-leg village
← | ski slope

` medicine store
Herb | Usage
Herb | Usage

` fresh-kill pile
vole | x0 | 1 servings
rabbit | x0 | 2 servings
stoat | x0 | 2 servings
small fish | x0 | 2 servings
hare | x0 | 3 servings
bird | x1 | 3 servings

` mentors
thunderjaw | viridianpaw [0]
↪ skill

` deceased
name | cause of death

` family ties
parent + parent
↪ kits
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[ `` northernclan !! ] [ 003 ]

Postby solyn » Sat Jan 12, 2019 2:32 pm

𝐍𝐎𝐑𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐑𝐍𝐂𝐋𝐀𝐍.
population: 07 cats [ 04 fem : 03 male ]
servings required: 03
𝙜𝙪𝙖𝙧𝙙𝙞𝙖𝙣𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙨𝙩
moderator: deimos - next moonstone: 17 jan
moons since last nonsense: 3

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    𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐠𝐨.
    "You can have your secrets, Sleetstar, I'm just putting forward the idea that it's perhaps not the most beneficial to the clan to be keeping secrets specifically regarding another group of cats with the potential to do us harm." Sleetstar's fur bristled as she paused, near the east border where the rumble of two-leg monsters was faint beyond the trees. Thunderjaw's black fur billowed around him as he watched her curiously, his golden eyes glittering as he held a firm gaze.
    "It's no secret that that's where I came from, Thunderjaw," she said snappishly, "I know you can all smell it on me. What happened there and why I left... it's... it's not really something that I'm ready to talk about. Not yet." Sleetstar's shoulders sagged as she hung her head, shaking it roughly in a miserable manner. "It's a lot of raw emotions, and this whole... clan thing is so new. I don't know what I'm doing. Northstar is sending cats from the heavens and I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with any of you. Especially not you."
    "What's that supposed to mean?"
    "She... she showed me you. In StarClan. And she said something... that it was vital I kept you on my side because you were important. And I don't know what that means and I don't like to think about it. For a time I thought that perhaps she intended for you to be my mate-" she ignored the look of flabbergasted shock on Thunderjaw's face in order to keep barreling through her sentence, "-but I would never allow my love to be dictated for me. And I wouldn't force that upon you either. The truth is, the more I think about what she meant, the less sure I am."
    "Have you ever heard of the butterfly effect?" Thunderjaw asked, watching Sleetstar carefully.
    "No," she replied, lifting her head to look at the tom.
    "It's the idea that something as small as the flapping of a butterfly's wings can change the path of the future entirely. Perhaps Northstar can see a future where my actions lead to some crucial point for the clan. Either way, I promise you, Sleetstar, we will figure it out together." Sleetstar gave him a look, before her features softened.
    "You really mean that?"
    "With all my heart, and all my soul."
    "Thank you, Thunderjaw," Sleetstar's shoulders relaxed a little, before her eyes fell on something behind him, and her claws unsheathed, "someone's following us. On your guard." Thunderjaw spun, easily, using his body as a blocker for Sleetstar as the scent of the rogue group carried toward them on the wind. A rumbling chuckle came from behind the trees, and a brown tabby molly stepped out of the shadows, looking amused.
    "Is that any way to greet an old friend?"
    "Kipcha!" Sleetstar's voice was flushed with relief as she shouldered around Thunderjaw and ran to the other molly, brushing their cheeks together by way of greeting. Her rumbling purr echoed around the forest, drowned out momentarily by a monster rushing past on the other side of the trees.
    "It's good to see you," the molly said, "I hear it's Sleetstar now? I can't say I'm surprised, you never were good at following instructions. I figured that we hadn't seen the last of you." Sleetstar rolled her eyes, before she paused, expression taking on a more serious tone. She stepped back as Thunderjaw stepped forward, flanking her.
    "What are you doing here, Kipcha?" She asked.
    "Isn't it obvious?" The she-cat blinked a little, bewildered. "Things are bad with the Merchants, Slo- Sleetstar. Worse than they were before. Boscoe gets crazier with every setting of the sun, and I... don't want to stick around there anymore. I didn't have any other options... until now. Kind of funny how you've become a bastion of hope, isn't it?"
    "I have?"
    "You're a second chance story, honey," Kipcha smiled at her, "we only ever heard stories of those clan cats, but I suppose you're testament to that old saying: throw them to the wolves, they'll come back leading the pack." Thunderjaw quirked a glance at Sleetstar, appraising her as if to gauge her reaction to all of this. All three cats were silent for a bit, before the large black tom cleared his throat, inclining his head at the stranger.
    "Well, do you trust her?"
    "I do," Sleetstar said, casting a warm smile at the rogue, "if you're coming with us, you're going to need a new name."

    -

    "We tried to make him move, but he won't budge," Hollyfeather mewed, as Sleetstar looked between the strange cat and Summitsky, who had mirrored the firmly planted stance of the other tom. His blue eyes met her own, and Sleetstar cocked her head a little bit, tail lashing idly behind her.
    "What's your name?" She mewed.
    "Howlingeye, love."
    "Right. And who sent you?"
    "Northstar, of-"
    "Of course," Sleetstar rolled her eyes, "let me guess, you were told to seek out Sleetstar of NorthernClan and you're not moving until you get to talk to her so you don't betray the divine destiny that Northstar has foreseen for you, blah blah blah. Am I hitting at all close to the mark?" Howlingeye's impassive features finally changed, stretching into a crooked grin as he cocked his head at her with a rumbling purr.
    "You're kind of mean, Sleetstar of NorthernClan. I like you," he stood, then, making Summitsky rocket to his paws at the exact same time, "I do apologize for any trouble that I caused to your warriors here, but Northstar was very clear that I should be waiting for Sleetstar and Sleetstar only." He turned his crooked grin to Summitsky, with a cheeky wink. "So kind of you to sit with me though, handsome." Summitsky spluttered as Thunderjaw smothered a chuckle, turning away.
    "Who's that?" Hollyfeather asked, tilting her head curiously at the brown-tabby molly trailing their leader. All eyes turned toward the strange she-cat, who simply smiled amicably at them, waiting for Sleetstar to take the lead. The pointed cat seemed to brighten up at the invitation to introduce her, tail raising like a banner and kinking over her back in a clearly pleased manner.
    "This is Kipcha, an old friend," she mewed, "she's come to join the clan."
    "Well, in that case," Summitsky said, clearly having recovered from Howlingeye's flirting even as the younger tom wove around him, teasingly, "she's going to need a new name." His eyes met Sleetstar's as she chuckled, nodding a little.
    "That's exactly what I said."


    𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐧.
    "Looks like a storm's coming in," Brackenstrike mewed, pausing to look at the sky. Around her, the wind whipped roughly, shaking through her long fur. Just ahead of her, Hollyfeather blinked, and then shrugged lightly as she took a few more steps forward, with the brown molly just behind her. Although the older she-cat had only been there a moon, Hollyfeather found her easy to be around. She was kind and she was smart, and most importantly, she seemed to know enough about Sleetstar that the leader suddenly seemed like less of an enigma.
    "I guess that means we should get as much done as we can," she mewed, "we don't want to be caught out in the storm. They tend to get pretty bad, and I wouldn't want to make the clan worry if we had to go to ground." Brackenstrike hummed her agreement, trotting past Hollyfeather to re-mark one of the borders, glancing out toward the two-leg village further south. Hollyfeather watched her, ears pricked forward. "Are you worried about going back there?"
    "Not really," Brackenstrike said evenly, "Sleetstar worries because of the emotions she left behind, unresolved. I have nothing to worry about. Should any of those cats take issue with my leave, I'll cuff them upside the ears and that will be that. It's unlikely that any of them would even bother to confront me. I'm sure that Varvara only came to see Sleetstar because of their history."
    "History? What history?" Brackenstrike remained silent, so Hollyfeather tried again. "You don't have any family? Any friends who would be sad to see you gone?"
    "My family died when I was young," she mewed, "it's not like the clans where there are medicine cats. If you're sick, you might get taken by the two-legs to get better, but a lot of the time those cats never come back. Sometimes we see them again as kittypets, and they re-join as liaisons to make sure that we maintain complete control of the town, but... very rarely, if ever, do cats come back from two-leg healing to be rogues again. I lost my parents and my siblings to a plague that swept the clan. I'm very lucky that I managed to weather it."
    "Oh," Hollyfeather ducked her head, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to push you," she mewed.
    "You didn't, don't worry," Brackenstrike assured her, "as for friends... the Merchants have this funny way of making you feel like you have friends, but every cat is really out for themselves. Sleetstar never really understood that, I don't think. She wasn't born into that lifestyle, and I think she was always a bit naive. That's probably where she and Varvara got their wires crossed but... to make a long story into a very short one, no, I don't have any 'friends' who would miss me. My leave would be a 'good riddance' because there's no place for anything but absolute blind loyalty."
    "Neither of you speak very kindly of that place," Hollyfeather said, looking concerned for her new friend.
    "There are not many kind things to say of it," Brackenstrike replied, before she shook her head, taking a bright smile to her features instead, "but we shouldn't talk about that place. I'm excited for the future of this clan, for a chance at a life that I actually like living. It'll be hard, and I know that but... you seem a good group of cats."
    "You know what?" Hollyfeather straightened up a little, "I've had a bit of a negative attitude toward this whole thing this whole time, but you're right. We have a chance to build something great, and nothing is etched into stone yet, so there is always time to create something wonderful. And I think we should try- I think we're capable of it. Sleetstar seems strong, and Thunderjaw is wise. Viridianpaw has spirit, Howlingeye has focus, you have optimism and Summitsky has compassion. I like to think I have drive, and between the seven of us, I think we can make NorthernClan something we can all be proud of." Brackenstrike's expression was soft as she glanced at Hollyfeather, lightly nudging shoulders with her.
    "I like the way you think, honey."
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` servings consumed
3/3 - x1 bird
` clan events
sleetstar, summitsky and howlingeye hunt
hollyfeather and brackenstrike patrol the borders
thunderjaw trains viridianpaw in hunting
sleetstar requests a warrior


    ` leader
    `` sleetstar | 47 moons | ♀ |

    ` deputy
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |

    ` medicine cat
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |
    ` medicine cat apprentice
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |

    ` warriors
    `` summitsky | 50 moons | ♂ |
    `` hollyfeather | 25 moons | ♀ |
    `` thunderjaw | 45 moons | ♂ |
    `` howlingeye | 28 moons | ♂ |
    `` brackenstrike | 55 moons | ♀ |


    ` apprentices
    `` viridianpaw | 12 moons | ♀ |

    ` queens and kits
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |
    ↪ kit names

    ` elders
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |
` ally clans
none currently.

` enemy clans
none currently.

` borders
↑ | open | user
→ | open | user
↓ | two-leg village
← | ski slope

` medicine store
Herb | Usage
Herb | Usage

` fresh-kill pile
vole | x1 | 1 servings
rabbit | x1 | 2 servings
stoat | x0 | 2 servings
small fish | x0 | 2 servings
hare | x0 | 3 servings
bird | x0 | 3 servings

` mentors
thunderjaw | viridianpaw [1]
↪ battle

` deceased
name | cause of death

` family ties
parent + parent
↪ kits
User avatar
solyn
 
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[ `` northernclan !! ] [ 004 ]

Postby solyn » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:00 pm

𝐍𝐎𝐑𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐑𝐍𝐂𝐋𝐀𝐍.
population: 09 cats [ 06 fem : 03 male ]
servings required: 03
𝙜𝙪𝙖𝙧𝙙𝙞𝙖𝙣𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙨𝙩
moderator: deimos - next moonstone: 26 jan
moons since last nonsense: 0

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    𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐠𝐨.
    "Paws sore?" The smoke molly jumped, glaring accusingly at the large brown tabby who stared back at her. Brackenstrike chuckled, seating herself next to the new warrior. "I suppose you don't have to answer that if you don't want to, but I know mine would be, walking along that thunderpath for as long as you say you had been. Even quick trips across used to lacerate my paw pads." Splitface looked unimpressed, so Brackenstrike shrugged, shooting her a crooked grin. "Then again, maybe I'm just soft."
    "Perhaps so," the stranger replied evenly, looking surprised as the other she-cat laughed. "You're not the friendliest little thing are you?"
    "No one told me you had to be friendly to be a clan cat. I'm so sorry for my grievous error, I will endeavour to be better."
    "Hey, no need to get snippy, it was just an... observation," Brackenstrike glanced across the camp, the yellow-eyed molly watching her larger companion evaluate the other cats in camp. The cat known as Sleetstar was huddled away in a corner, speaking in low tones to the large black tom that she had called Thunderjaw. The smallest cat had disappeared, as had the slinky pointed tom, leaving the sibling-like duo whose names Splitface couldn't recall to face off against the excitable new warrior who was reenacting some kind of story for them while they did their best not to look bewildered.
    "Is this about the name?" Splitface jumped, turning her attention back to Brackenstrike. "Splitface... seems pretty on the nose, I know, but it's not anything personal. Some say when a clan leader picks a name, StarClan flows through their mind and compels them toward the right choice."
    "And do you believe that?"
    "Maybe," Brackenstrike said, "it's a clan-cat legend."
    "Are you not a clan cat?"
    "By a technicality."
    "But you have a clan name."
    "And now so do you," Brackenstrike's eyes met Splitface's own, making the smoky molly flick her gaze away, "until about a moon ago I was Kipcha. And now I'm Brackenstrike. When I was Kipcha, the way of clans were just stories that the older cats told us, the pilgrims who'd left two-leg nests after moving away from where they were originally from, some who claimed to be clan cats before they'd come to our group. To me, clans are like a fairytale but... I've known Sleetstar for a long time now. She's not a fool and she doesn't follow blind faith. If she has accepted the way of a clan, and believes in it, then there must be a reason for it."
    "That's a lot of faith to put in one cat," Splitface said, although her tone was neither barbed nor amused. It was careful, a little prodding, as if seeing what other information she could extract about the strange leader. Brackenstrike gave her a half-smile and a shrug.
    "Perhaps it is hard to see if you stand on the outside, but she's worth the faith, even if she doesn't see it herself."
    "You seem awfully sure of a lot of things."
    "I try to be," Brackenstrike stood then, stretching out, "everyone needs a rock every now and again, and though it's a tough job, someone has to do it." Her eyes met Splitface's again as she held her gaze for a few moments, and then smiled. "I wouldn't recommend trying to soothe the cuts in the snow. Find cobwebs and soak some moss. It'll help." She turned away, leaving the bewildered molly watching her as she headed for the large grey and white tom and his small black and white counterpart.
    "Brackenstrike!" The excitable young molly exclaimed, "I was just telling Summitsky and Hollyfeather about the time that I saw a bird on the hill near the Withered Tree and-"
    Splitface trained out the noise with a soft huff, turning her face to the sky. Overhead, snowflakes glittered in a flurry, blocking out most of the moon and the night sky, and yet somehow snow fell only lightly in the basin. As she turned her head back to the camp, she could have sworn she saw the flash of a shadow flicker behind Sleetstar, causing the molly to turn and look after it. As Sleetstar's attention roved back around the camp, her blue eyes met Splitface's yellow.
    They held each other's gaze for a long moment, before Sleetstar turned her attention back to Thunderjaw. Splitface thought about the shadow for the rest of the night.

    -

    "Hey!" Sleetstar jumped a little as a large shape drew up to her left. She blinked idly at Summitsky, looking a little amused. Behind them, she could hear Bearears chatting incessantly to Howlingeye, who at a quick glance seemed to be trying to peel away from the group so that he could feign interest in almost literally anything else. "Hello," she said, deciding she'd rather not be Bearears' next target for conversation, "something I can help you with?"
    "I was just... checking to see if you're okay," Sleetstar blinked again, this time in surprise, "I know it probably seems out of the blue and you don't exactly seem like the type to talk about your... feelings but, well. Couldn't help but noticing that you and Thunderjaw have been doing a lot of covert whispering, and none of it makes you or him look very happy."
    "How do you know we're not kindling a budding romance?"
    "Oh darn, and here I was hoping he was into toms," Sleetstar laughed at Summitsky's sarcastic tone, rolling her eyes as he bumped her shoulder in a friendly manner. It surprised her, his ability to so smoothly interact with her as if they'd been friends for their whole lives. She blinked at him, before she blew out a sigh.
    "The truth is, I don't really know what I'm doing, and some things that Northstar said have me... thinking about things and Thunderjaw is just a smidge bit pushier than you. But only a little." Summitsky did his best to look offended, but the surprise on his features that Sleetstar had willingly opened up to him overpowered them a little. "What kind of things?" He asked, although the look he received in return seemed to say he was testing his luck.
    "I... don't know, it's kind of stupid I guess. It's just this whole idea of Northstar having some kind of grand plan is messing with my head. I'm not- qualified to run a clan, and I think I thought I could but-- the circumstances were different then. I feel like I'm under performing and something gives me the impression that if I don't pick up the slack I could be in danger."
    "Like-- like physical danger? You think Northstar might hurt you?"
    "Maybe," Sleetstar shrugged a little, her blue eyes lifting to hold Summitsky's gaze, "who knows what she's capable of."


    𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐧.
    "We're not in any danger, tracking deer, are we?" Viridianpaw paused where she'd been inspecting one of the marks left in the fresh snow. Thunderjaw shook his head. "We're not big enough to be a threat, but we'll have to be careful. It's leafbare and prey will be scarce for bigger animals, so we should stay on high ground and we should stay out of sight, just in case. We don't want to get underfoot in case of a stampede- or become a target ourselves."
    "Are there lots of deer where you're from?" Virdianpaw scrambled up onto the rocks, following the trail as she nimbly stepped between the crags, Thunderjaw just a few paces behind her. "Uh, kind of," he said with a nod, before clearing his throat as she looked confused, "my old clan was in a place where deer were more... migratory. It had tougher tussock grass and they'd head head out there when it got hard to find food elsewhere, but it wasn't too popular since there wasn't a lot of tree cover."
    "Why'd you leave?" Thunderjaw was silent for a long while, debating that question.
    "It's... a long story-- whoa." Both he and Viridianpaw pulled up short as they gazed out across the cliffs. Although the cliff trail they were following dropped away quite suddenly, in front of them, across the way from a large jutting rock, where sheer limestone cliffs, glistening white in the leafbare sun. Viridianpaw shot her mentor a worried look as his face grew dark, and he brushed past her toward the cliffs.
    "Is everything okay?" She asked, but Thunderjaw didn't respond. He broke into a run, muscles bunching powerfully as he pushed off the edge of the rock and landed on the other side of the gap, taking a few steps forward to look up at the cliffs. Viridianpaw landed beside him, glancing back and forth. A watery layer of snow sat at the foot of the cliffs, the shrubbery nearby still coated in a fine dusting of white. Viridianpaw glanced back to see Thunderjaw checking the underside of his paws, before he turned, eyes trailing to her own.
    "What?" She mewed, frowning as Thunderjaw's face creased into a smile. "You're very sparkly," he teased, making Viridianpaw roll her eyes and shove at him with her paw, leaving a glinting limestone mark against his black fur. "Shut up," she whined, "you're the one who made us jump over here- and for what?"
    "I was just curious," Thunderjaw said, looking back up at the limestone cliffs, "it feels strange that I haven't seen these before."
    "They were probably just covered in snow. And the storms make it pretty dark out. Don't worry, old tom, I still think you're pretty observant." She snickered a little as Thunderjaw shot her an amused look, before he batted some of the more solid snow at her. She sputtered a little, pouting at him.
    "Come on," he mewed, "we'll see if this ledge takes us back around to your deer trail, and if it doesn't, then you can show me what you remember about how to pick one up again."

    -

    "I'm sorry, what?" Sleetstar sputtered, on her paws. Northstar turned back to look at her, blinking slowly. Around them, the stars glittered, but Sleetstar paid them no mind as she focused her ire on the white she-cat standing in front of her. The ghostly figure of the old leader rolled her eyes, rounding on Sleetstar again.
    "You heard me, don't play dumb," she mewed, "NorthernClan needs to grow. If it doesn't, you've no chance of standing up to the Merchants. And besides, you need to keep your bloodline strong. NorthernClan needs kits." Sleetstar continued to stare at her, absolutely bewildered, as her fur bristled more and more in frustration. "And what if I don't want kits? I'm not ready to be a mother, I barely have a grip on being responsible for a whole bunch of adult cats, let alone kittens who depend on me. And besides, there's no one that I wish to have kits with. I don't have a mate."
    "Then find one, Sleetstar," Northstar replied, exasperated now, "it shouldn't be that hard. You don't even have to like them all that much, you just need them to make strong kits."
    "Hello? I think I should get a say in this?"
    "I didn't give you your nine lives so you could waste them playing happy recluse in the mountains," Northstar snapped, wheeling on Sleetstar so suddenly that the pointed she-cat shrank back, "I gave you those nine lives because we had a deal. You promised you would destroy the Merchants. Now is not the time to try and renegotiate that deal, Sleetstar. You have a bigger purpose than whatever it is you want to do with the clan now."
    "With all due respect, Northstar, I can't exactly fight if I'm pregnant."
    "The war is not yet," Northstar replied simply, "but you cannot go into it without cats who will willingly fight at your side, and who better than your own flesh and blood?" Northstar turned away from her, taking a few strides into the shadows beyond the stars. She turned to look back at Sleetstar. "You need to have those kits, Sleetstar, before leaf-fall rolls around."
    "And if I don't?"
    "Make sure you don't have to find out."
    Sleetstar jerked awake, pulling her nose away from the cold moonstone with a shocked gasp. Glaring accusingly at the offending object, she struggled to her paws. For a moment, she continued to stare at the stone as if it would summon Northstar forth and make her listen to reason, but when the silence in the cave remained heavy and uncut, she sighed, and exited through the tunnel that lead back to the mountain trails.
    "Not the most convenient place to take a nap," said a voice behind her, making her jump. "Varvara? What are you doing this far into the territory?!" Varvara blinked her golden eyes at Sleetstar, before she shrugged, taking a step forward so the pair of them were almost nose to nose. "Your patrols clearly aren't very strong. I just suppose I came to see how laughable your pathetic excuse for playing clan was."
    "You shouldn't be here," Sleetstar snapped, turning to stalk back toward camp. "What were you doing, anyway? You were still like death, and you've always been a light sleeper. You didn't even flinch when I stepped into the cave."
    "I was... talking to someone."
    "Oh?"
    "You wouldn't get it."
    "I heard the clan fables, same as you, Sloane. It just goes to show which of us is more maladjusted considering you clearly believe them."
    "It's Sleetstar, Var," the pointed cat snapped, whirling on the chocolate-coloured molly, "and you don't have to believe me. But I know what I saw, and I know what I have seen. And you need to let it go. Stop coming here, Varvara. There's nothing here for you, nothing to gain and I certainly am not waiting for you to rescue me. Stop waiting for me to come to my senses, because I have. This is where I belong."
    "You sound awfully sure of that," Varvara's tone was frosty, her face pulled in a tight scowl. Sleetstar squared her shoulders. "I am. I've moved on, Varvara. From the Merchants, and from you." She paused, and before she could take stock of what her mouth was doing, she had already said in. "In fact, I already have a new mate."
    "Is that so? And what would their name be?" Sleetstar's eyes glinted.
    "Summitsky."
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` servings consumed
3/3 - x1 bird
` clan events
thunderjaw teaches viridianpaw tracking
sleetstar requests a warrior
sleetstar, summitsky, howlingeye and splitface hunt
brackenstrike, hollyfeather and bearears patrol the border


    ` leader
    `` sleetstar | 48 moons | ♀ |

    ` deputy
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |

    ` medicine cat
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |
    ` medicine cat apprentice
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |

    ` warriors
    `` summitsky | 51 moons | ♂ |
    `` hollyfeather | 26 moons | ♀ |
    `` thunderjaw | 46 moons | ♂ |
    `` howlingeye | 29 moons | ♂ |
    `` brackenstrike | 56 moons | ♀ |
    `` splitface | 54 moons | ♀ |
    `` bearears | 21 moons | ♀ |


    ` apprentices
    `` viridianpaw | 13 moons | ♀ |

    ` queens and kits
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |
    ↪ kit names

    ` elders
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |
` ally clans
none currently.

` enemy clans
none currently.

` borders
↑ | open | user
→ | open | user
↓ | two-leg village
← | ski slope

` medicine store
Herb | Usage
Herb | Usage

` fresh-kill pile
vole | x1 | 1 servings
rabbit | x1 | 2 servings
stoat | x1 | 2 servings
small fish | x0 | 2 servings
hare | x0 | 3 servings
bird | x0 | 3 servings

` mentors
thunderjaw | viridianpaw [2]
↪ battle, hunting

` deceased
name | cause of death

` family ties
parent + parent
↪ kits
User avatar
solyn
 
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[ `` northernclan !! ] [ 005 ]

Postby solyn » Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:59 pm

𝐍𝐎𝐑𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐑𝐍𝐂𝐋𝐀𝐍.
population: 10 cats [ 07 fem : 03 male ]
servings required: 03
𝙜𝙪𝙖𝙧𝙙𝙞𝙖𝙣𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙨𝙩
moderator: deimos - next moonstone: 14th feb
moons since last nonsense: 0

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    𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐠𝐨.
    "Wait," Viridianpaw paused, body tense, as Thunderjaw drew to a halt behind her. The apprentice scented the ear, before her ears flattened back against her scalp and she whipped around, hissing at a shape rounding the bend to her left. A large she-cat, almost as tall as Thunderjaw at the shoulder, startled as she spotted them, blinking her golden eyes at the pair. She looked between the hissing apprentice and the calm tom at her shoulder, regarding them is cool indifference.
    "Some welcome party," she mewed.
    "What are you doing up here?" Thunderjaw was quick to respond, nudging Viridianpaw with his shoulder. "That's enough, stand down. Wouldn't do to get into a brawl up here, the path is too narrow." The she-cat regarded him again, a twinkle in her eye now. The tom held her gaze evenly, belying no emotion at all to her. An interesting fellow, and not so easy to read.
    "It's good to know at least some toms still have a functioning brain cell," her eyes drifted to Viridianpaw, "she's a bit big for an apprentice, isn't she? Asumming she is an apprentice, since you're a bit small for an entire patrol." Viridianpaw glanced at her mentor, who didn't speak, so she didn't either, simply regarding the brown tabby in front of her, who snorted a little as she looked between them. "What's the matter? Afraid I'll bite?"
    "You're a bit of a deflecter, aren't you?" Thunderjaw said, eventually. "What's your name?"
    "Minkfur."
    "Clan name. Begs the question what you're doing up here, again." Minkfur regarded him, smiling easily, as if the three of them weren't engaged in an uneasy standoff. Her head tilted to the left, and then to the right as she surveyed him, watching him for even the slightest movement. The little she-cat, she found, was easier to read. She was antsy, itching for some kind of command that would make this experience easier. The tom, however, was a blank slate. Minkfur found that extremely curious.
    "If you know it's a clan name, that means you're either clan yourself, or you're a rogue group. I guess depending on which one, my answer changes, so... who are you, stranger?"
    "I'm a lot of things, ma'am."
    "Huh, funny must be one of them." That had the tom cracking a smile. "I'll play. What are your names?"
    "Thunderjaw," said the tom, "and this is Viridianpaw."
    "So you're clan cats too, then?"
    "Astute of you, ma'am."
    "Tell me, do you know a Northstar?"
    "I'll assume she lead you here, same as me."
    "Then we do have something in common," Minkfur took a step forward, "Northstar told me to seek out a 'Sleetstar', leader of NorthernClan. She said she would have the answer to the question I've been asking." Viridianpaw glanced at Thunderjaw, nervously. The black tom had tilted his head, wind buffeting his smoky chest as he appraised Minkfur in silence for a beat.
    "Why did you leave your first clan?"
    "Why did you?" Thunderjaw's shoulders tightened, almost imperceptibly so, in a flinch. Minkfur's eyes flitted between his chest and his face again, and in that split second he'd slipped back into a careful neutral. He inclined his head further back down the path. Viridianpaw took a step back, still watching Minkfur carefully, before she turned tail and struck out a couple steps in front of Thunderjaw.
    "We'll take you to Sleetstar," Thunderjaw said, "let's get going, before it gets dark."

    -

    "I brought you a rabbit," Summitsky's voice made Sleetstar jump. She hadn't heard the tom approaching, as she'd been thinking hard about Minkfur's arrival. The she-cat hadn't elaborated much on what question she was posing that Sleetstar was supposed to answer, another mystery that sat in her gut and chewed away at her. Summitsky looked sheepish for having disturbed her. "You looked like you were deep in thought. I figured you could use a distraction, and I was hoping... that you'd like to share."
    "I would," she said, fixing a pleasant smile on her features, "come, sit down." And so he did, pushing the rabbit toward her first. She could feel him watching her, curiously as she ate, but he was mercifully quiet. Eventually, she sat back and took a deep breath. If she was going to hold up to lying to Varvara, she was going to have to open the floodgates just a little. "I've been thinking a lot about my... situation as a whole. Minkfur is another mystery that I can't get my head around. And there are many- you and Hollyfeather are the only cats I really have an origin for, and Viridianpaw seems too young to be able to lie convincingly about where she came from, so I suppose that makes three."
    "You think the others are lying? Even Brackenstrike?"
    "Maybe," Sleetstar shrugged, "I still don't know a whole lot about where most of them came from. Splitface and Howlingeye are quiet, and even Bearears is intentionally vague about what happened to her old clan, although I can only assume it's something bad given how shaken she looks every time we bring it up. Brackenstrike was- is- a good friend of mine but... I can't seem to come to terms with what would possess her to break away from the Merchants at this time. And Thunderjaw..."
    "You two are close, aren't you?" Sleetstar gave Summitsky a tight smile.
    "He's been a good friend," she mewed, "but I have to concede I don't know a whole lot about him, other than that Northstar apparently made him change his name. When we first met, he said she had told him to call himself Thunderjaw, as if it wasn't always his name. There are... a lot of strange things in NorthernClan, and it's my job to reconcile them."
    "It seems tough," Summitsky said sympathetically. Northstar smiled at him.
    "It is," she said, "and it's lonely." Summitsky ducked his head in embarrassment. "I've never been... good at expressing my feelings. And now that I'm leader, I guess I feel like I can't talk to anyone about everything that's going through my mind, but it's all just strange. That's why I appreciate you so much. You're stable. Normal. It's what I need."
    "Thank you, Sleetstar," Summitsky coughed a little, meeting her eyes with a shy smile, "I'm glad I can be there for you. Northstar called Hollyfeather and I here for a reason, I'm sure of it. Although neither of us really knew what we were getting into when we came here... I have faith in you. And I genuinely want to be here, as someone you can trust and lean on. That is, if you'll have me."
    "Of course I will," she said, touching her nose to his cheek, "after all, I can use all the normal I can get."

    -

    A shadow cast itself over Brackenstrike's nest. The presence of another cat always tingled down her spine, and it was enough to start her awake as she flipped herself onto her paws, ready to attack. Splitface stood, blinking at her in the gloom. Brackenstrike instantly relaxed, casting the dilute molly a confused look. Without another word, the she-cat turned and stalked from the nursery. After a moment of hesitation, checking that no other cat was awake, Brackenstrike followed after her. Splitface lead her down the cliff-face toward the camp, veering off into the unused elder's den, far enough away from the other dens that they wouldn't be heard. Brackenstrike hesitated again at the mouth of the cave, before she ducked through the make-shift windbreaker.
    "If you're going to murder me, you don't have to be so dramatic about it," she said, and Splitface shot her a withering glare, before she relaxed her features with a deep breath.
    "I need your help," she said, bluntly. Brackenstrike blinked.
    "Okay. Why come to me?"
    "You're the only cat that has shown any interest in me so far. You seem friendly enough, and I'm hoping that if the leader trusts you then that means I can too. You also said to me once that everyone needs a rock every now and again, and that you try to be sure of many things for this reason. I am asking you to be my rock now."
    "Moving fast there, Splitface," the molly glared at her again, making Brackenstrike chuckle, "okay, I'll stop teasing. What is it that you need?" Splitface hesitated for a moment, before she steeled herself, meeting Brackenstrike's eyes.
    "When I was coming here, there were cats trailing me. They wanted something that I had, but it was imperative I did not let them get it. So I stashed it, on the other side of the Thunderpath. I hid it from them, and then used the Thunderpath to cover my tracks. That's why my paws were so cut up, because I walked south on the path and then through the two-leg village so that the cats couldn't track me. But I need that thing, Brackenstrike. It's not safe to leave it there."
    "Are you going to tell me what it is?"
    "No."
    "It's a dangerous task, Splitface. We'd have to cross the Thunderpath again, and now that the snows are starting to clear up, there are a lot more monsters on the Thunderpath these days. I'd like to know what I'd be risking my life for, especially if risking my life includes keeping the mission from Sleetstar." Splitface remained sullenly silent. Brackenstrike got to her feet, heading for the mouth of her den.
    "It's a rune," Splitface said, behind her, "I wasn't part of a clan before, but I wasn't a loner either. I didn't want to tell anyone in case they knew the legends, but I was part of the Riqis Guild. We were attacked. Someone wanted to take our rune. Our chief insisted I go, so I took the rune and I ran. It's my job to keep it safe, and I cannot let the cats who burned the Guild and slaughtered my sisters take hold of it."
    "But bringing the Riqis rune to the clan could have grave consequences," Brackenstrike frowned, "we should tell Sleetstar."
    "No," Splitface insisted, "no one else can know about this. The rune is powerful, and ownership of it incites fanaticism. Sleetstar may not be safe from its influence. I don't know her well enough yet to trust her with the secret, and I will not allow anyone to use it for their personal gain. The sacrifice of my sisters will not be in vain." She paused, watching the tabby cat watch her. She frowned. "What?"
    "Do you trust me?" Splitface hesitated.
    "Yes," she said, "you seem good of heart, sincere. I am asking that you help me now, because I don't know where else to turn. I have no home to go to, and I am not safe travelling by myself. I won't leave the clan, but I can not neglect my duties as the last of the Guild. Please. Help me. I have no one else to lean on." Her eyes met Brackenstrike's in the gloom. They were sincere, pleading. The most open Brackenstrike had seen them since Splitface had arrived at the clan. Any fight the tabby had left in her dissipated.
    "Okay," she said, and Splitface's shoulders relaxed as she smiled at Brackenstrike.
    "Okay."


    𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐧.
    "I'll catch up with you in a minute," Sleetstar said. She was standing very close to Summitsky, their pelts brushing as the tall tom smiled at her fondly. Sleetstar did not return the fondness, but she didn't look stony or indifferent as she had for the last few moons. "I just need to talk to Thunderjaw about something before he and Viridianpaw leave for training."
    "Alright," Summitsky paused, and then leaned forward to touch his nose to her cheek. Sleetstar ducked her head shyly, before she drifted toward the black smoke tom and his apprentice. Summitsky turned, startling as he found Howlingeye watching him from near the entrance to camp. The she-cats on border patrol had left already, Hollyfeather and Bearears with them so that they could get a safe escort to the southern part of the territory to hunt. The rest of them would try their luck in the eastern part of the clan's land, where the prey was best.
    "What?" Summitsky asked, wandering closer to the brown pointed tom. Howlingeye shrugged. Summitsky frowned, surveying the other tom. Howlingeye was quieter than Summitsky had originally taken him to be. He kept to himself and when he spoke he was cheeky and sharp-tongued, but more often than not he stuck to the shadows and simply observed. From what Summitsky could tell, he didn't have a real friend in the entire clan.
    "It's nothing, darling," Howlingeye said, not looking at him, "I just think it's curious how Sleetstar has chosen the time to be free with her affections... and with which cat she chooses to be free with." Summitsky blinked for a second, taken aback, before he frowned a little, fixing Howlingeye with an appraising stare.
    "Are you just saying that because you're... jealous?" Howlingeye glared at him.
    "Wouldn't that be a cliche?" He said, voice icier than Summitsky had ever heard it. He shrank back bashfully. "The jealous and vindictive gay tom whose affections have been jilted for some other molly. What a wonderfully progressive way to approach the situation, Summitsky, and a particularly arrogant one too. You're a handsome tom, but I don't care for you that much, and if I did, I would have no problem letting you know." Howlingeye stood, and Summitsky took a step toward him, intent on apologizing, until the tom flicked his tail at him as a signal to stay at distance.
    "I'm saying this to you because clanmates are meant to look out for each other, and because you're an idiot who clearly has his head in the clouds," Summitsky flinched again, "Sleetstar's sudden bout of friendliness is concerning. She's had moons to establish a persona to present to the clan, and to suddenly break from the mold for the purpose of flirting with a tom she's not even close to? I'd advise being on the lookout, Summitsky. I wouldn't want you to get burned."
    "It's not like that," Summitsky said, equally frosty now. He and Howlingeye held each other's gazes, before the tom's eyes slipped over his shoulder and he turned away. Summitsky checked, smiling as he saw Sleetstar approaching. Howlingeye didn't say anything else. Not as the three of them ran toward the forest together, and not when Sleetstar suggested that she and Summitsky head to the stream to fish. Howlingeye didn't even look at him as he turned away and headed further north, swallowed into the shadows of the trees.

    -

    Viridianpaw watched her mentor.
    She stood chest-deep in the stream near the north of the territory, where it was blocked up enough that the current ran more like a trickle, and there was hardly any space where her feet couldn't touch the bottom. It was a good place to learn to swim, so clearly Thunderjaw hadn't lost all of his marbles just yet, but she couldn't help but wonder about him. Ever since they'd met Minkfur, Thunderjaw had been particularly strange. The tabby she-cat had taken an instant liking to him, apparently, as the two were together more often than they were not, exchanging sharp words and dancing around each other in conversation. Thunderjaw didn't seem particularly pleased with the attention of a molly who clearly liked him. He seemed in a daze.
    "Thunderjaw?" She asked, startling the black tom where he sat on the riverbank. He shook his head, smiled at her.
    "Yes, Viridianpaw?"
    "Why did you leave your old clan?" It was the question Minkfur had shot back at him that had made him tense up last time. This time he remained calm, but Viridianpaw didn't miss the little flash of an untold emotion behind his eyes. She knew him well enough by now to know when things weren't quite right.
    "It's a long story." Viridianpaw tilted her head back, looking at the sky as best she could through the forest canopy arching overhead. She blinked at Thunderjaw.
    "The sun is still out," she mewed, "we have a lot of day left. And I'd like to hear it, if you're willing to tell it." Thunderjaw smiled, but it was tight.
    "Another time, maybe." Viridianpaw eyed him for a moment or two, before she blew out a sigh and she nodded.
    "Okay," she said, after a long pause, before she cracked him a smile, "now are you going to teach me how to swim or what?" For the first time in weeks, Thunderjaw laughed.

    -

    "I do believe we can call that the patrol done," Minkfur said, ears pricked forward as she watched Brackenstrike and Splitface. It was easy to tell the other tabby molly was the one in charge. She seemed to have some kind of ranking seniority, although NorthernClan was much smaller than she had been lead to believe by Northstar in the visions she had been sent that lead her here. Brackenface cast a minute glance at Splitface.
    "I suppose it is," Brackenstrike said, "I'm worried about a couple of the borders we passed. I think we should check the south-eastern border again, but I also wanted to check out the strange scent in the west again. We can't hit both of them before the sun sets, and it's not safe for us to be out past dark, not with how small the patrol is right now. I also don't want to suggest splitting up, because it could be dangerous."
    "I can handle myself," Minkfur said with a smile, "don't you worry about that. I'll take the scent on the western border, as I do love a good mystery. Do you mind explaining your reasoning for the south-eastern border, Brackenstrike?"
    "Easy, Minkfur," the tabby molly chuckled in that sunny way of hers that made her so likeable, "just a precaution to make sure we didn't miss anything. You haven't been here long, so you might not know I was a rogue like Sleetstar before I joined. Living in the two-leg village your whole life gets you some idea about their habits. Now that it's Newleaf, the dogs are more active and the two-legs let 'em out more. Plus, sometimes the Leafbare snow weakens the ground and they dig out from under the fences. I just don't wanna miss any indications that we might have some dogs wandering through the territory."
    "Hm," said Minkfur, surveying the pair of them. Brackenstrike's stance was easy, unbothered. Beside her, Splitface was tense, shoulders drawn and face set. Brackenstrike's reasoning was fool-proof, and she had seniority over Minkfur. "Okay then," she said finally, "I'll take Splitface with me then." The tortie molly started, as if to protest.
    "That's fine by me," Brackenstrike said, "don't need more than one cat to check the scents anyway." Splitface turned to her, openly concerned now. Brackenstrike took a step closer, and pressed their foreheads together. Oh. Minkfur hadn't realized they were that close. "Hey now, darling, there's no need to worry about me. I'm sure Minkfur doesn't bite, okay?" Splitface gritted her teeth, nuzzling their foreheads together. She whispered something, too quiet for Minkfur to catch, but from the way Brackenstrike's ears twitched she knew she had caught it. "I'm coming home to you, honey. Now go on, or you ain't gonna make it before the sun sets."
    Splitface turned away hesitantly, nodding to Minkfur as she stalked past her. Minkfur shot one curious look at Brackenstrike, before she turned and bounded after her. The two she-cats vanished into the snow beyond. Brackenstrike waited until they were safely out of sight, before she took a deep breath.
    "The rune is stashed in a bundle of dock leaves with marigold to disguise the scent," Splitface had whispered to her, "in the crevice under the roots of a tree, three rows in from the edge of the Thunderpath. You'll know it when you see it." She supposed she would have to know. She had promised Splitface she would come home to her, after all, even if the conversation was one-sided so that Minkfur wouldn't know what was going on. Brackenstrike turned, looking up at the sky, where the sun was beginning to dip away below the tree-line of the eastern forests.
    She would have to run hard if she was going to make it.
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` servings consumed
3/3 - x1 bird
` clan events
thunderjaw teaches viridianpaw to swim
brackenstrike, minkfur and splitface patrol
sleetstar, summitsky, howlingeye, bearears and hollyfeather hunt
sleetstar requests a medicine cat


    ` leader
    `` sleetstar | 49 moons | ♀ |

    ` deputy
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |

    ` medicine cat
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |
    ` medicine cat apprentice
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |

    ` warriors
    `` summitsky | 52 moons | ♂ |
    `` hollyfeather | 27 moons | ♀ |
    `` thunderjaw | 47 moons | ♂ |
    `` howlingeye | 30 moons | ♂ |
    `` brackenstrike | 58 moons | ♀ |
    `` splitface | 55 moons | ♀ |
    `` bearears | 22 moons | ♀ |
    `` minkfur | 45 moons | ♀ |

    ` apprentices
    `` viridianpaw | 14 moons | ♀ |

    ` queens and kits
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |
    ↪ kit names

    ` elders
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |
` ally clans
none currently.

` enemy clans
none currently.

` borders
↑ | open | user
→ | open | user
↓ | two-leg village
← | ski slope

` medicine store
Herb | Usage
Herb | Usage

` fresh-kill pile
vole | x1 | 1 servings
rabbit | x3 | 2 servings
stoat | x1 | 2 servings
small fish | x0 | 2 servings
hare | x0 | 3 servings
bird | x0 | 3 servings

` mentors
thunderjaw | viridianpaw [3]
↪ battle, hunting, tracking

` deceased
name | cause of death

` family ties
parent + parent
↪ kits
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solyn
 
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[ `` northernclan !! ] [ 006 ]

Postby solyn » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:55 pm

𝐍𝐎𝐑𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐑𝐍𝐂𝐋𝐀𝐍.
population: 13 cats [ 07 fem : 06 male ]
servings required: 03
𝙜𝙪𝙖𝙧𝙙𝙞𝙖𝙣𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙨𝙩
moderator: deimos - next moonstone: 14th feb
moons since last nonsense: 1

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    𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐠𝐨.
    The two toms stood close together. They were relatively similar looking, Sleetstar thought, but the way that they acted around one another made it clear the pair of them were mates. The taller one stood in front of the shorter just slightly, as if he were ready to turn and use his body to protect him should any of the clan cats attack. The shorter had a dull, lifeless look to his eyes. Anyone who lingered on his gaze for too long was met with a glower from the taller cat.
    "Have they given you names?" Sleetstar asked Thunderjaw, who nodded.
    "Hawkeyes is the larger one," he said, "and his mate is Fallowstep. They told Viridianpaw and I that they come from a clan called GraveClan. Apparently, it's split apart due to a series of murders. And yes, Sleetstar, I did grill them thoroughly on their involvement in such acts before I brought them here. I think they're safe," Sleetstar noticed a certain sadness behind Thunderjaw's eyes, for the first time since she'd met the tom, "they were separated from their surrogate mother and kits. Fallowstep seems quite distraught over it. Both of them just want to be safe. We can afford them that, can we not?"
    "Yes," Sleetstar said after a beat, still staring at Thunderjaw, "we can afford them that. Poppywish, what do you think?" She and Thunderjaw both turned to look at the medicine cat she'd encountered on the way back from her meeting with Northstar at the Moonstone. Poppywish flicked his ears, evaluating Fallowstep while Hawkeyes was distracted by Bearears, who had come closer in curiosity and was now chatting to him as if they were old friends.
    "It's depression, probably," Poppywish said, "I think they were telling Thunderjaw the truth, and that's probably part of the reason Fallowstep is suffering so, but I also think there may be more to it than that. I'll keep an eye on the pair of them, but I agree with the big tom. They're harmless."
    "Alright then," Sleetstar cleared her throat, getting to her paws. All eyes turned to her. "Fallowstep and Hawkeyes, formerly of GraveClan, I have decided that NorthernClan will give you a home here in our mountains. You may be a part of our clan. Everyone, please welcome them." Cheers went up for them, most noticeably from Bearears, who was still beaming at Hawkeyes. The tom looked at her curiously, head tilted to the side a bit.
    Sleetstar did not stay to watch the rest of the clan converge upon the two toms to ask questions and welcome them. Instead, she leaped down from the Great Rock and padded up the cliffside path instead, vanishing into her den. On the other side of camp, Howlingeye's blue eyes tracked her motion.

    -

    The sun had set on the clan by the time Poppywish had a free moment. Unfortunately, most of the herbs he'd collected hadn't exactly held up to the journey. Sorting through which were usable and which ones were not took up most of his time, and his stash was meager when he was finished. Poppywish didn't like the thought of an un-stocked medicine den, but it was late and there wasn't much time to remedy that for now, so he would have to fix it in the morning.
    He ducked out of the medicine den and into the night air. In the basin below, he couldn't see the outline of many cats. He supposed that most had gone to bed at this hour, but a dark shape shifting away from the dirt place caught his attention. He watched the shape as it moved, trying to recall names from earlier introductions. Poppywish had always been good with names. The leader was Sleestar, and the serious looking smoke tom was Thunderjaw. The two brown tabbies were Minkfur and Brackenstrike, the latter being the bigger one, while the one with a splash of white around her chest and maw was Bearears. Summitsky was the big grey and white tom, and Hollyfeather was his little black and white friend. Fallowstep and Hawkeyes were the newbies, Viridianpaw was the sole apprentice, and Splitface was the sulky calico with golden eyes. This cat was none of the above, and when he turned his face upward, blue eyes meeting Poppywish's amber, he recalled the name of the pointed tom to be Howlingeye.
    "Can I help you?" He asked, paused on the path just below the medicine den. Poppywish shrugged.
    "Not more than anyone else could, I suppose. I'd just hoped to start making friends so I don't have to deal with the insubordination when someone inevitably gets injured and decides to try and preserve their ego." Howlingeye snorted. He took a step, and then another, rounding the corner and stepping onto the shelf next to Poppywish. The ginger tom sat. Howlingeye sat too, their shoulders brushing.
    "I'm afraid you're out of luck," he mewed, "everyone reasonable has gone to bed. And before you say it, I wouldn't consider myself reasonable, and certainly not a good friend for you to make." Poppywish glanced at him curiously. Howlingeye rolled his blue eyes with a huff. "I'll admit, I'm being a tad dramatic. It just seems that my recent attempts at being a friend have not gone so well. I'm beginning to think that I might not be cut out for friendship at all."
    "I'm sure that's not true," Poppywish's tone betrayed a slight lilt of amusement, as he shuffled closer to the other tom, "would you like to talk about it? I've heard that talking about things can be helpful, you know."
    "Med cat's orders?"
    "I don't want to seem pushy, but yes." Howlingeye laughed then, a genuine laugh as he shook his head in amusement, blue eyes twinkling. He seemed to evaluate Poppywish for a second, a motion that had the ginger tom holding his breath, before Howlingeye nodded, exhaling a little.
    "I'll be the first to admit I haven't gone out of my way to get really close to anyone here," Howlingeye said, turning his gaze to the quiet basin, "my last clan fell apart at the seams over a change in leadership. I suppose I've been waiting for the same to happen here, waiting for that gut punch that seems inevitable but hasn't come yet. I guess I'm still waiting, because Sleetstar is... cold. Was cold, I suppose I should say. Indifferent, kind of as if she didn't want anything to do with any of us, until about a moon or so ago when she started taking express interest in Summitsky. I know that might not seem odd to you since you just got here, but Sleetstar and Thunderjaw are very close friends, closer than anyone except perhaps Hollyfeather and Summitsky I would say, and with kitting season just around the corner... well. I suppose it just shocked me that Sleetstar would take such a sudden and intense interest in Summitsky, whom she had simply tolerated before." He ducked his head, with a humourless laugh. "You must think me awfully bitter."
    "I don't," Poppywish said, shifting closer again until their shoulders were pressed flush together, "I haven't been here that long, but if things happened the way you say they did, then it sounds suspicious. I suppose Summitsky didn't take too well to you voicing your concerns." Howlingeye snorted, casting Poppywish a disdainful look.
    "He accused me of being 'jealous', as if that weren't the most cliche thing possible."
    "And yet it is he who should be jealous of you," Poppywish said, with a tilt of his head. Howlingeye got the sudden impression Poppywish was looking at him. Of course he was looking in his direction, as was polite in conversation, but the feeling hit him with such a bowling sensation that he inhaled, sharply. Poppywish saw him. The ginger tom looked amused. "Too forward?"
    "Nope," Howlingeye replied, "just wondering who told you that you were welcome to my role of resident flatterer." Poppywish purred, low and rumbly in his throat.
    "What are you going to do about it?"

    -

    "I can't believe you got it," Splitface said, turning the rune over on the floor of the unoccupied elder's den. Brackenstrike looked amused, sticking close to the wall.
    "Did you really have so little faith in me?" She asked, tone gentle. For some reason, it surprised Splitface. She looked up, her eyes meeting Brackenstrike's. Over the past few moons, she'd found herself becoming interested in the molly in a way she'd never allowed herself to be interested in anyone before. Brackenstrike was entirely odd to her, someone who believed in the goodness of others and who was willing to act selflessly despite countless atrocities that she had seen. Splitface's expression softened.
    "No," she mewed, "no, of course not. I knew you could do it I just," she sighed, "this... rune, it means a lot to me, as I'm sure you're aware. How much do you know about the Primordial Guilds?"
    "I've heard the stories, same as every other cat," Brackenstrike said, "six guilds, six Primordial runes. Said to be imbued with the power that they represent, and that having all six at a time grants some sort of ultimate treasure. Our historian was always vague on the details of that one, but I remember the Guilds. Darkness and Light; Riqis and Aither. Earth and Ocean; Deie and Moesia. Heaven and Abyss; Jeurene and Tartere."
    "Yes," Splitface said with a nod, "no one really knows what the ultimate treasure is meant to be. Immortality, some predict. Absolute power say others. It varies from account to account, depending on which Teller decides to modify the story. It is not our job as paragons to question or understand that, only to guard the runes to make sure that they stay separated. To defend the history."
    "Do you believe the runes have power?"
    "I have seen it firsthand," Splitface said with a solemn nod, "perhaps they are not magic, but in their status as things of legend, they have an inherent power that drives even virtuous cats to deeds unmentionable. Tell me, what would you do to control darkness, Brackenstrike? To take control of the night and all that comes with it, the chaos, the shadows, the transformations?"
    "I would do nothing," she mewed easily, "I much prefer the day."
    "And why is that?"
    "It's harder to see you at night," Splitface startled, eyes widening. Brackenstrike smiled. "Has no one ever told you that looking at you is like watching the sun rise?" Splitface ducked her head in embarrassment, a pleased smile settling on her maw. She lifted her head to reply, when movement caught her eye. Both she-cats turned to find Minkfur standing in the entrance to the elder's den.
    "You brought a primordial rune to the clan?" She asked, voice disbelieving. Brackenstrike was on her feet in seconds. No one spoke. Minkfur looked between the two of them, gaze furious. "I knew the pair of you were plotting something. Do you have any idea what you've done? The runes are harbingers, you know, especially that one. You would bring a rune of chaos and misfortune to a clan taking its first steps? I had thought you a reasonable cat, Brackenstrike, and yet you seem blind to the consequences."
    "I know what I did," the tabby molly said, "Minkfur. You can't tell anyone about this. Splitface is an ex-paragon. She just needs time to hide the rune again, to find some place to protect it."
    "And in the mean time? We're just meant to sit by and hope that its powers don't affect us? That it doesn't bring ruin to this clan? Sleetstar should know about this, Brackenstrike, and I know you're fully aware of it." Minkfur turned to go, letting out a gasp as Brackenstrike's paws slammed into her, knocking her from her paws and pinning her to the ground.
    "I know Sleetstar," Brackenstrike said evenly, "I have known her for a long time. Right now, she is angry and she is hurting. The last thing she needs is to know that she has an ancient relic with untold power sitting right under her nose. The best thing for us to do is to get rid of the rune, take it far away from here. But until we can figure out a way to do that, no one else can know about this. It has to be a secret, Minkfur, do you understand?" The other molly glowered at her, before her gaze shifted to Splitface.
    "How long? Before you can get it gone, I mean."
    "It has already been three moons with no word. The Aither Guild will come to track it down. When they enter the territory, I will bring it to them. Aither is the balance to Riqis, it is now their duty to protect the Riqis, until a new Guild can be formed. My time as a paragon is over."
    "They won't want to take you back with it?" Minkfur shoved Brackenstrike away from her, stumbling back to her paws.
    "Even if they wanted to, they cannot. My identity has already been discovered by those who would bring harm to the Guild for the rune. I can no longer be entrusted to the care of the stone, not when they know my face and have followed my scent. It is time for a new generation of paragons to defend it. Until then, as the last Paragon of Riqis, keeping this rune safe is my responsibility. I will fulfill my final duty-" her eyes met Minkfur's, gaze stony- "by any means necessary." There was silence in the cave. Then, Minkfur sighed, and nodded once, tightly.
    "Understood."


    𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐧.
    "Found new best friends, have you?" Minkfur jumped as Thunderjaw stepped close to her, shoulder brushing her own. She rolled her eyes a little, bumping him a little as she shook her head. Thunderjaw's appearance had clearly rattled her, and the smoke tom found this curious. In the moons since Minkfur's arrival, she'd proven herself to be nigh unflappable. She didn't flinch when yelled at, she didn't seem to notice when others gave her withering looks, snarky remarks only made her twitch a smile, and above all else Thunderjaw felt that Minkfur could see right through any disguise another wore.
    "Something the matter?" He asked, reflexively, and she flinched.
    "Why would something be the matter?"
    "You seem rattled."
    "I'm never rattled."
    "I know. That's why it's odd." Minkfur blinked, her eyes meeting his. She seemed conflicted a second as she looked at him, and then looked away again, frowning at the ground. "Minkfur," Thunderjaw said, leaning forward a bit to try and catch her eye, "I know we've had our differences, but you're my clanmate. You can talk to me. You can trust me-"
    "Can I?" It was Thunderjaw's turn to flinch. He steeled his maw, turning away from her so she wouldn't see the flicker of hurt in his eyes. Minkfur sighed. It sounded defeated, tired. Like all the fiery fight that she had inside of her was gone. "I'm sorry, Thunderjaw. I just... the whole situation is weighing on me and it feels oppressive. When I came here, Northstar told me Sleetstar had the answer to the question I've been asking but I..."
    "You don't know what the question is yet, do you?" Minkfur looked up, eyes meeting Thunderjaw's. The tom was big and brutish looking. At first glance one might have easily taken him for dumb muscle and nothing more, but Minkfur knew that to curate a slate so blank for an expression required a certain amount of cunning, and every now and again Thunderjaw picked something that made her feel as if he'd looked directly into her still-beating heart.
    "No," she said. It wasn't the topic that had her on edge, but it wasn't a lie either. "No, I don't. I never told you where I come from, did I?"
    "No," he smiled wryly, "you deflected that one by trying to weasel it out of me." Minkfur laughed, but it was tired.
    "I suppose that I did, that sounds like me," she nodded slowly, "I was deputy of a clan, before I came here. Youngest cat to ever achieve it, actually. I worked so tirelessly for it, I wanted to make my father proud. My mother and my littermates all died in birth, and I think he resented me for it forever after that, so I wanted to prove I was worth living for. But... my leader was not a good cat. He used fear and hatred as tactics to obey. Some of the older warriors organized a resistance and war broke out. So many cats died... when the dust settled, the rest of us decided to go our own way. I don't know what question I could ask about all of that."
    "I don't think the question is meant to be about what happened in your old clan," Minkfur gave Thunderjaw a curious look, "I am... truly sorry for everything you've experienced, Minkfur. I can't imagine ever going through something so difficult. But it seems to me it's not a question of why such a thing happened to your clan, but a question about yourself. It seems to be a story about worth, if you ask me. Rejected by a father, working hard to be accepted in the eyes of the clan... and now you are here. You have to start from scratch. Are you asking yourself if you're worthy?" Minkfur looked away. She was silent.
    "Sometimes," she said, after a long period of time, "I wonder why it was me who survived. We lost a lot of good cats that day. And I-"
    "I don't think Sleetstar has the answer to that question either," he said gently, "but I do. Death isn't discriminatory. One day, sooner or later, we all find our way back to the earth to begin again, some of us sooner than others. You survived because you are strong, and because you worked for it. Perhaps you don't see it in yourself, but I see someone worthy of greatness whenever I look at you, you know. You're passionate, brave. Sometimes I think you're untouchable, like a hero. But even heroes get lonely sometimes, don't they."
    "You talk good," Minkfur said, shoving his shoulder with his own, "thank you."
    "You're welcome," he said, "Sleetstar already has a lot of questions she has to answer for herself. I promised her I'd be by her side to help her answer them, and the same courtesy applies to you, okay?"
    "Okay," Minkfur mewed, as she got to her paws. Thunderjaw followed after her, watching as her tail lifted just the slightest bit. Minkfur wasn't lying, that much was certain, but when he observed the way her eyes darted around Brackenstrike and Splitface, he got the impression it wasn't the whole truth, either.

    -

    "Are you sure a hunting patrol of two is efficient?" Summitksy's tone was amused as he followed Sleetstar higher into the mountains. Above the basin there was another stretch of forest, but the ground was often treacherous and prey was scarce that high up. Sleetstar turned to give him a brilliant smile over her shoulder. Howlingeye's warning nagged at the back of his mind, but Summitsky pushed it away. Howlingeye was a cynic, he'd decided. Sleetstar was hurting from what had happened in her previous rogue group, and she needed someone to open up to. That was that.
    "For anywhere else? No. But I'm already a little wary about hunting up here in the first place. More than two would be a waste of time, I think." She paused, still smiling at him. "And, admittedly, I wanted a little time with you to myself when there weren't so many prying eyes around."
    "Oh?" Summitsky looked amused.
    "I hear how they gossip," she rolled her eyes, "I know everyone thought Thunderjaw and I were... involved... but trust me, one of the first things we established was that neither of us were interested in a romance with one another. I suspect Thunderjaw has things in his own life that he needs to sort out and... well. He's not my type."
    "And I am?" Summitsky brushed his shoulder alongside Sleetstar's as he passed her, climbing higher toward the forest plateau. He could hear Sleetstar laughing behind him, letting out a teasing purr.
    "I didn't say that."
    "I'm wounded." He turned to look at her with a crooked grin.
    "Oh, how unfortunate. Perhaps I should send you back to Poppywish then." Summitsky laughed a little, rolling his eyes.
    "No, I'd like to spend time with you. Are you ever going to tell me how you came to join the Merchants?"
    "Now that is a long and embarrassing story."
    "We've got time." Something unknown flickered across Sleetstar's face, before she smiled at him, fondly.
    "Yes, I suppose we do."

    -

    "You don't have to look at me like that, you know," Poppywish continued humming to himself as he pushed between the underbrush, searching for a specific herb. When he didn't reply, Fallowstep huffed and sat down. "Okay, I get the point, you're not looking at me, specifics specifics. I'm not blind, I know everyone always watches me with half-pity and half tension, like they're waiting for me to try and fly from the top of the basin."
    "You do mope around an awful lot," Poppywish said, finally turning to the other tom and shaking out his pelt, "but I'm sure you have a reason. Everyone has their reasons for things, and I think most of this clan forgets that sometimes. Everyone seems to keep to themselves around here, from what I've seen. I don't suppose anyone's asked you what's eating away at you."
    "You and Howlingeye seem close." Fallowstep sounded petulant, almost. Poppywish smiled.
    "Howlingeye doesn't think he's cut out for friendship, so I suppose I wouldn't call us friends, but he is very entertaining." Fallowstep cracked a smile for the first time since Poppywish had met him. And then he laughed, a small chuckle at first, and then a full on laugh. His laugh was deep and throaty, and sounded a little bit like sunshine. Poppywish flicked an ear, looking amused.
    "I just got what you meant, sorry," he chuckled a little, before coughing, "he scares me a little, Howlingeye does. Not in that he's physically intimidating, but I just get the impression he kind of knows everyone's secrets. He has the countenance of someone who has eyes and ears everywhere. Perhaps that's why he's called Howlingeye."
    "Perhaps indeed," Poppywish said, "and you could always ask him yourself. He pretends he's not fussed with any of the interpersonal 'drama' of the clan, but he's lonely. He's just too proud to admit it. And, I think it would do him good to actually make a friend. He's a good listener, you know. If you ever want to talk about what happened in GraveClan."
    "I doubt it would interest him all that much," Fallowstep chuckled again, but this time there was no humour behind it, "I doubt many would. I'm aware it's all a bit trivial in the grand scheme of things but I..." he sighed, sounding miserable. Poppywish gave him what he hoped passed for a sympathetic look, twitching an ear in his direction.
    "You know, I'm not such a bad listener myself." Fallowstep hesitated for a moment.
    "When I was young... I made a bad decision. My mate was pregnant, and I was scared, and I left. We came back to each other eventually but I... I wasn't a part of the kit's life. She allowed me to tell them when they were old enough to understand but they... didn't really want anything to do with me. One of them passed away before I even got the chance to know her. When Hawkeyes and I decided to have kits, I wanted to be better. I wanted to be there for them, be a father, and then GraveClan disintegrated and I don't know where Ravencall or the kits are now. So, I suppose the universe just thinks I should stop trying to be a dad altogether."
    "I see," Poppywish said, "a series of unfortunate events indeed. But... if I can offer some advice? It's hard now and you're grieving for what could have been, but this is not GraveClan. This is a fresh start for you, if you're willing to take it. Just look at Sleetstar, she might as well be the very definition of starting again. Even if you believe in fate, in destiny, there are still the blank spots where you can reach out and grab your future, twist and pull and direct it anyway you like. This may seem like the end of the story, but it's only the end of the chapter."
    "Profound," Fallowstep was looking at him with gratitude in his blue eyes, "thank you, Poppywish. And I know this hasn't been easy on Hawkeyes either. He's done so much for me. For us. Really, he's been carrying this relationship."
    "Howlingeye took me up to a spot above the waterfall, about two miles south-east of the camp. It's rather romantic." Fallowstep grinned at Poppywish.
    "Thank you for the advice. I'll be sure to keep that in mind."
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` servings consumed
3/3 - 1 bird
` clan events
added fallowstep & hawkeyes from graveclan readopt
viridianpaw attempts her warrior assessment
poppywish searches for herbs
brackenstrike, minkfur and thunderjaw patrol
sleetstar and summitsky hunt together
splitface, hollyfeather, bearears, howlingeye and hawkeyes hunt
sleetstar requests a deputy


    ` leader
    `` sleetstar | 50 moons | ♀ |

    ` deputy
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |

    ` medicine cat
    `` poppywish | 41 moons | ♂ |
    ` medicine cat apprentice
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |

    ` warriors
    `` summitsky | 53 moons | ♂ |
    `` hollyfeather | 28 moons | ♀ |
    `` thunderjaw | 48 moons | ♂ |
    `` howlingeye | 31 moons | ♂ |
    `` brackenstrike | 59 moons | ♀ |
    `` splitface | 56 moons | ♀ |
    `` bearears | 23 moons | ♀ |
    `` minkfur | 46 moons | ♀ |
    `` fallowstep | 48 moons | ♂ |
    `` hawkeyes | 53 moons | ♂ |

    ` apprentices
    `` viridianpaw | 15 moons | ♀ |

    ` queens and kits
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |
    ↪ kit names

    ` elders
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |
` ally clans
none currently.

` enemy clans
none currently.

` borders
↑ | open | user
→ | open | user
↓ | two-leg village
← | ski slope

` medicine store
catmint [3] | greencough
poppy seeds [1] | pain
burnet [1] | strength

` fresh-kill pile
vole | x2 | 1 servings
rabbit | x4 | 2 servings
stoat | x1 | 2 servings
small fish | x1 | 2 servings
hare | x1 | 3 servings
bird | x0 | 3 servings

` mentors
thunderjaw | viridianpaw [4]
↪ battle, hunting, tracking, swimming

` deceased
name | cause of death

` family ties
fallowstep + hawkeyes - ravencall; surrogate
↪ batkit, racoonkit & beaverkit (snakeclan)
User avatar
solyn
 
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Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:43 pm
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[ `` northernclan !! ] [ 007 ]

Postby solyn » Sat Feb 16, 2019 9:00 pm

𝐍𝐎𝐑𝐓𝐇𝐄𝐑𝐍𝐂𝐋𝐀𝐍.
population: 14 cats [ 07 fem : 07 male ]
servings required: 04
𝙜𝙪𝙖𝙧𝙙𝙞𝙖𝙣𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙨𝙩
moderator: deimos - next moonstone: 21st feb
moons since last nonsense: 0

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    𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐠𝐨.
    "And that's the story of how Oneheart conquered the sun!" Bearears sat back proudly, grinning. Beside Sleetstar, Summitsky let out a chuckle as Hollyfeather glowered.
    "That is not the story of the sun," Hollyfeather said stubbornly. Summitsky purred, shooting her a curious look as Bearears stuck her tongue out at the black and white molly.
    "Could you tell it better, Hollyfeather?" Sleetstar missed Hollyfeather's snapped reply, as her eyes roamed over the gathered cats. It felt like the clan had come together, finally, in the afternoon sun. Poppywish and Howlingeye had retired to Poppywish's den earlier, the ginger tom prattling about herbs while Howlingeye nodded and nodded, as if he understood what he was saying. Thunderjaw lay stretched across the rock of the basin, warming his dark pelt in the late Newleaf sun. Fallowstep and Hawkeyes lay curled together, clearly enjoying the story. Sleetstar hadn't seen Brackenstrike or Splitface emerge for Bearear's tale, and Minkfur had excused herself a few minutes prior to use the dirtplace.
    "Sleetstar?" Summitsky's voice dragged her out of her pondering.
    "Sorry?" She asked, with a sheepish smile. "I was just thinking."
    "We're asking what you thought of the story. Surely it must be different from the ones that you heard with the Merchants."
    "I thought it was nice," Sleetstar said, without any dedication to conviction, "the Merchants weren't too big on stories, not stories like that anyone. Ones with moral lessons or things you were meant to learn about the world were practically non-existent. The Merchants believed in learning the hard way, I suppose. Fanciful things like that would just make us soft, all of those sort of reasons. If there were legends like that that the Merchants told, they'd have been before my time at the very least. Brackenstrike would know them, though."
    "So, wait, you never had storytellers who told your clan's history?" Bearears leaned forward, looking curious. Sleetstar shook her head, suddenly feeling shy. The she-cat perked up. "Well! I was going to be the best Keeper in my clan's history, you know, I have plenty of stories that I could tell you!"
    "I think another story would be wonderful," Hawkeyes said, "it's nice getting to know you, Bearears, and hearing about where you come from. You're lucky your clan placed such stock in remembering your heritage. A lot of clans just rely on bloodlines for that." Bearears purred, clearly happy with the praise. All eyes fell on Sleetstar.
    "Sure, why not?" She mewed, before her eyes caught a silhouette on the far side of camp. Minkfur's pelt slipped between a crevice in the rocks at ground level. "Start without me, alright? I just need to use the dirtplace." She touched her nose to Summitsky's cheek in a placating gesture, as she got to her paws. Summitsky stared after her for a moment, before he shook his head, tuning into Bearear's newest story, about the great running of so and so. Sleetstar made sure no one else was looking, before she ducked after Minkfur.
    She kept low to the ground in the crevice, hugging the shadows. The path war narrow, but she could hear voices up ahead: there was likely a small cavern. The first voice was familiar, easy to pick up as Brackenstrike. Then Minkfur. The third must have been Splitface, she surmised. She hadn't heard the she-cat talk all the much, but if those two were missing, likely Splitface was third party to whatever they were up to.
    "How long?" Minkfur asked, sounding agitated.
    "Soon," Splitface's voice soothed, "in the next moon or so, definitely?"
    "Splitface, I trust you," Brackenstrike said, "are you absolutely sure they're coming? We've had no signal whatsoever. I just... I just want to make sure, okay? I don't want this to suddenly go sideways and for you to end up in the middle of it. I also think whoever was looking for the rune won't give up too easily. Are you sure they'll be safe to leave with it?"
    "Yes," Splitface said, "yes on all counts. I know it must seem odd but I know they're coming for it, okay? The paragons are trained to keep the runes out of the paws of cats who would misuse them. Our brother Guild will come to collect the rune. If you're worried, you could always come with me."
    "I thought paragons were supposed to keep their identities secret?" Minkfur interjected.
    "They are- from those who wish harm to the rune. It would be impossible to hide ourselves from every cat. I believe Brackenstrike is pure of heart, and on my assurance, the other paragons will too. They wouldn't object to me bringing her along, for added security. That way, if there is an attack, at least I'll have protection. Back-up, so to speak. It'd greatly reduce the risk of grievous injury."
    "And just how would you explain any injury to Sleetstar? You'd have to either sneak out in the night, or sneak out during patrol. Either way, a group of cats attacking you, or any story about any other enemy isn't going to just go away. And that's just assuming you don't want Sleetstar to know a primordial rune was ever here in the first place-" Sleetstar flinched back, glowering at the ground, "-which severely limits your options on how you explain yourself out of that. And what happens if you die?"
    "I've been doing this a long time, Minkfur, I know how to handle myself."
    "And look where that got you." There was a hissing, and the shifting of paws.
    "Stop it," said Brackenstrike, authoritative, "fighting like this isn't getting us anywhere. I get that you don't want to be involved in any of this, Minkfur, but you are the one who pushed and prodded your way into it. At any rate, the primordial rune is more dangerous the more cats know about it. If it really has an aura of power, then it's already taking effect, if your fighting is anything to go by. We have to keep a level head. It's just for a little while longer, Minkfur."
    "Okay, fine," Minkfur sighed, heavily, "this is not a great way to make a debut into a new clan, you know."
    "Maybe if you'd minded your own business in the first place you wouldn't have had to get involved."
    "Splitface," Brackenstrike warned, "let it be. It's done now, we just have to deal with the consequences. We've been gone long enough, we should get going before someone notices we're gone." A pause. "Come on, both of you." Sleetstar startled, scrambling backward frantically as paws on stone moved toward her. There was nowhere to go. Minkfur rounded the corner first, and stiffened, Brackenstrike at her shoulder and Splitface nestled close to Brackenstrike's side.
    "Uh oh," said Brackenstrike.
    "A primordial rune?" Sleetstar asked, voice higher than she would have liked. "Is here?"
    "Yes."
    "And you just weren't going to tell me?"
    "Yes."
    "Why?!" Sleetstar took a step forward. "I trusted you, Brackenstrike! You're supposed to be my friend. We've known each other for so long and yet you keep secrets from me and- and for what? Your latest crush-fad? Well, she's a paragon so I suppose that nips that romance right in the bud doesn't it? I suppose I'll be rid of her from my clan within the moon anyway, so congratulations, Brackenstrike, you've just managed to take my 'beacon of hope' and weaken it against the very forces we're trying to escape from!" Brackenstrike, to her credit, didn't flinch.
    "Splitface can't go back," she said evenly, "the Riqis guild was attacked. She'll be in permanent danger if she returns to her post, because her face is known. She has to stay. Her status as a former paragon and her relationship with the rune is her business and her business only. I don't run around telling everyone about how or why you came to the Merchants, Sleetstar, and I only hope you don't go around telling everyone that my whole family died of a plague I narrowly escaped. I'm sorry that I kept it from you, but Splitface's trust means something to me too."
    "You just never learn," Sleetstar hissed, "don't you get it, Brackenstrike? There's no point in ever wishing for the trust of another cat like that. Love is fickle, and at the first chance she gets, I guarantee she'll trade you in for a better model. Perhaps she's already eyeing up Minkfur! After all, she was smart enough to figure out you two were pulling wool over my eyes, wasn't she?" Minkfur looked away, gritting her teeth.
    "You might believe that because you and Varvara couldn't talk your way through your problems," Brackenstrike said, voice still even, although a tremor lay behind the words, "but you and I have never been similar cats, and you know this. I can't believe in something so bleak and hopeless. Just because times have been bad for me, I won't lie down and give up. I won't resign myself to that, not now and not ever. If I did, I would have given up a long time ago. So again, I'm sorry, but I had to do this, whether it amounts to anything, or not at all."
    "You're a fool."
    "And you're a cynic." Sleetstar glowered at the towering brown tabby, her eyes flashing with emotion for all of a second, before they hardened. She turned, lashing her tail as she did.
    "Fine," she snapped, "do whatever you have to, get that rune out. But stay out of my sight. As far as I'm concerned, we're not friends anymore. Your loyalty was obviously shallow." Sleetstar stalked away, shoulders hunched up about her chin. Minkfur cast the pair a look, before she too hurried after Sleetstar with her head hung. Brackenstrike stared after her, aware of Splitface's golden eyes watching her.
    "You didn't have to do that for me," she said, after a long moment.
    "Yes, I did," Brackenstrike gave her a tired, strained smile, "Sleetstar is... rash. Emotional, impulsive. There's lots of words for it, and I've had a lot of time to think on them. We've known each other a while, and I'm not worried. She'll come around and understand why I did it, eventually, but a lot has happened in a short amount of time, and she... well. She's never been the best at coping. The best I can do is give her the space she needs and hope that she'll talk some sense into herself before the responsibility falls back onto me." She paused, realizing that Splitface was still staring, brow furrowed. "Something wrong?"
    "I want to stay," Splitface said, adamantly, "with you. For you. I know it's silly because I haven't known you very long, but I- there's something about you. It makes me afraid, because I've never... felt like that with anycat before but I... my life as a paragon is over, and if I'm to have any semblance of an existence beyond my duty, well. I think I'd like it to be with you, if that's okay." Brackenstrike's expression softened, fondly.
    "You don't need my permission to exist."
    "Perhaps not," Splitface said, "and you don't have to be so strong all the time. You said to me once that everyone needs a rock every now and again. Allow me to be yours." Brackenstrike smiled, and leaned forward to press her forehead against Splitface's. The pair of them stood like that for a long while, alone and at peace in the dim light of the cavern.

    -

    The sun set on the horizon as Sleetstar sat atop the great rock. Viridianpaw sat close to Thunderjaw, chatting excitedly with the smoke-coloured tom. He chuckled at something she said, raising a great paw to put between her ears and ruffle. She squealed a little, making Brackenstrike chuckle lowly where she was seated, not too far away. Anger broiled in Sleetstar's stomach, and her expression soured, before the feeling of guilt quickly swept it away. Brackenstrike always had a point. Always had to be so good, so kind. She knew, in her heart, that Brackenstrike had been trying to do the right thing.
    Near the bottom of the rock, the Northstar-sent deputy kept vigil. "I know what she asked you to do," he had said, eyes kind and tired but resolute, "I'm supposed to make sure you follow through." She had nodded. They'd left it at that. He was the reckoning, the consequence. But Sleetstar was working on it. There was no need to worry about the black and white tom who would be watching her every move now.
    "Thank you for gathering," she said, startling most of the clan out of their conversation, "today, NorthernClan gains another warrior, another cat who has proved she has what it takes to survive these lands. Virdianpaw, step forward. I, Sleetstar, call upon the warrior ancestors of NorthernClan to see you: for you have trained hard to understand the code. Do you promise to uphold this code and to defend your clan, even at the cost of your life?"
    "Yes," Viridianpaw said, voice ringing out across the clearing. Sleetstar hesitated.
    "The vow."
    "To my clan, to my home, to the blood that binds; I pledge myself to the cliffs and the snow. The North is all."
    "From this day forward, you will be known as Viridianfire, as StarClan honours your ferocity. You are welcomed by me, the Clan and the Stars as a full warrior of NorthernClan. Honour her!" Yowls rose around the campground as the warriors cried out for their newest addition. The grey and white molly beamed, bright green eyes glittering as her ears pricked forward. Thunderjaw nudged his forehead against her own, smiling proudly.
    "Congratulations, Viridianfire."
    "Watch out, old tom, I'm coming for your title of most coveted warrior," Thunderjaw purred, swatting her around the ears as she laughed. Sleetstar smiled at the affectionate display, as the clan converged on the newest warrior to give her their congratulations while the sun was still in the sky. Viridianfire would sit her vigil, and in the morning, Sleetstar hoped the clan would be back to normal. That she wouldn't see hurt swimming behind Brackenstrike's eyes when she looked at her. That she would feel as if she deserved to be able to even look at her oldest friend.
    "A charming ceremony," Sleetstar jumped, turning to find Midnightblaze staring at her. He was an odd tom, she'd decided. His eyes were gold with tinges of green, but the right one seemed significantly more green than gold, but if the light hit it right you could be fooled into thinking otherwise. It gave him a disjointed appearance. Sleetstar had already decided that she didn't like him.
    "Thank you," Sleetstar said, "apparently if I don't have kits, it might be your responsibility in a few moons."
    "My speeches aren't nearly so moving," he pushed himself to his paws, and shrugged languidly, "I'm not sure why you follow that she-cat. She seems a little unhinged. Appointing a complete stranger as a deputy seems a rather controversial move. It only serves to make me wonder what it is about this clan, and what it is about these cats that makes them not mind it."
    "I mind it."
    "I know," Midnightblaze grinned at her then, dazzling, "you hoped it would have been her." He nodded to Brackenstrike, where she was laughing at something Bearears had said. Sleetstar looked away. "But she has an effect on you, doesn't she? History there and all that. I suspect I'm meant to be the daily Northstar in your ear, which is an entirely unpleasant thought. I'm hoping that we can make this partnership... bearable, at least. I'd actually like to work with you, as hard as that may be to believe." Sleetstar evaluated him, cocking her head.
    "Why do you follow her? It seems you don't have an entirely positive opinion of her." Midnightblaze's maw curled up in a half-sneer.
    "She didn't give me much of a choice." Sleetstar opened her mouth to ask what he meant, but Midnightblaze was already drifting away, issuing shy congratulations to the newest warrior, and leaving her to ponder what exactly his comment had meant.

    -

    "You alright?" Minkfur startled, looking up from her paws to see Thunderjaw hovering a safe distance away. She tilted her head from side to side with a heavy sigh and, after a reluctant minute, the smoke tom came closer and settled next to her, crouching against the ground to minimize the amount that his fur would ruffle in the chilly night air. "What's going on, Minkfur? You don't seem like the kind of cat to sit around brooding."
    "You do."
    "I know, that's why it's odd that you're the one doing the brooding." Minkfur didn't say anything to that, so Thunderjaw fell silent, the pair of them watching the camp go about business. Poppywish and Howlingeye were laughing over something or other, Bearears and Hollyfeather were chatting excitably with Viridianfire, while Sleetstar and Summitsky spoke in hushed tones. The pointed molly touched noses with him, before she turned and vanished up the cliffside to her den. Thunderjaw's eyes trailed her, watching her as she went.
    "Nothing's wrong, you know."
    "Never said anything was, I just asked what was going on."
    "Would you believe me if I said nothing?"
    "Not in the slightest," Minkfur cracked a smile at that, but it was strained. Thunderjaw paused for a beat. "You can tell me, you know. Anything that you want."
    "You say that with remarkable ease for someone who's keeping a secret," Thunderjaw stiffened as Minkfur turned to him, a cool sharpness behind her eyes. Thunderjaw's spine prickled, and his fur bristled a bit, but he held her gaze, refusing to let his expression twitch away from impassive. Minkfur watched him, amber eyes evaluating every single second of his movement. Thunderjaw didn't speak until he was sure his tone wouldn't give him away.
    "I don't know what you mean," he said, "you think I'm keeping secrets?"
    "It's written all over you," Minkfur shrugged, with a humourless laugh, "you're good at hiding it, I'll give you that. The first time I met you... you intrigued me because you were just so... neutral. A lesser cat might have called you unremarkable, but that would be false and a discredit to you. You are quite incredible: handsome, strong, bigger than any cat I've ever seen, but you have this countenance about you. Troubled yet carefree, aloof yet involved. You're every kind of dichotomy wrapped into one and you have everyone here fooled."
    "And what about you?" Thunderjaw's head tilted, his tone cool. "You have everyone thinking you're iron-willed and iron-fisted, dedicated and absolute, and that's how you achieved your role as deputy in your other clan. To your credit, some of that is probably true. In fact, I'd wager most of it is, because I see the fire come alive in you when you act like that. You love a challenge, don't you Minkfur? But you're also afraid. You fear. What it is you fear, I haven't figured out yet, but there's something."
    "I am afraid," she said, quietly, "always afraid of what comes next. I thought I knew, once upon a time. But now, I'm not so sure."
    "And do the secrets make you more or less afraid? Are you afraid of me?"
    "Yes," her gaze met his, "I think I could cut your throat in less time than it took you to blink, but that's not the context in which you frighten me. You scare me because I'm intrigued by you. I'm invested. I didn't plan to be, I didn't even plan to consider you, but here you are, with your dichotomies and your challenges and your even gaze. I think I would hate if something happened to you and that is dangerous."
    "You're afraid that I have power over you."
    "Yes."
    "I only have as much power as you'll afford me."
    "I'm afraid that I'm too willing to hand too much of it over," she looked away then, with a wry smile. "This clan is a mess. Sleetstar is hiding just as much as you are. Howlingeye sees all but no one will listen to him. Viridianfire is young and foolish, and that's a deadly combination when her foolishness is paired with her bravery. You have tragedy behind your eyes, and I... well. I'm a failure, aren't I? I let my clan die. I let it fall apart."
    "None of that is your fault," Thunderjaw said, moving closer, "you're one cat, Minkfur."
    "A cat who was supposed to be a leader. What good is a leader if they can't even lead? If everything falls apart before them?"
    "What is this really about?" Minkfur's eyes met Thunderjaw's, finally, feeling watery. There was a storm raging behind them, a million emotions colliding in a way that made her want to crawl against his flank and curl up there, as if she were a kit curling against her father's side again. She got the impression that Thunderjaw wouldn't push her away, like he did. Thunderjaw was strong, and good, and stalwart. A bastion to cling to in tumultuous seas.
    "Brackenstrike and Splitface are hiding something," she said, lowering her voice, "a primordial rune. Riqis. Apparently Splitface is the last paragon. Sleetstar knows, but not by choice. She and Brackenstrike are on the outs, and the rune threatens more and more fractures with every day it remains here, and I can't tell anybody, because the rune's power comes from fear and from hatred of that which you can't explain. I'm afraid it's happening again, the downfall. And that deputy... that deputy-"
    "Minkfur," Thunderjaw's voice was gentle, as he rested his jaw on the top of her head, "I'm sorry you've had to go through this alone. I know it's likely not much consolation but... I trust Brackenstrike. She cares for Sleetstar, and she cares about this clan. She wouldn't do anything to put it in danger. As for the deputy, I promised Sleetstar I would try and make good of Northstar's riddles by her side, so I'll be keeping an eye on him. You are diligent, and good, and you care, and that's important, but you can exhale now. You are not doing this on your own." He paused.
    "What is it?" Minkfur asked, barely a whisper. The air felt fragile enough to shatter with one wrong breath.
    "I don't want there to be secrets," he whispered back, "not between us. But I'm afraid too."
    "You are not doing this on your own," she placed her paw over Thunderjaw's, but he pulled away, squeezing his eyes shut.
    "I very may well be, after this," he said, tone strained, before his eyes met Minkfur's again. He took a deep breath. "I did something. Something very bad. I sleep every night and wish StarClan would tell me it's forgivable so I could believe it for myself. Maybe you kept something from Sleetstar, and maybe your last clan fell apart and you feel responsible, but those things can be forgiven. You can be forgiven, because you are just trying to do the best that you can, and if that is not enough for you to earn forgiveness, then what hope is there for me?"
    "Thunderjaw," Minkfur was still whispering, pressed closed to him now, "what did you do?" There was pain, sadness behind his eyes.
    "I hope one day you'll forgive me for burdening you with this secret," he said, before he took a deep breath, and said it.
    "I killed someone."

    -

    "Hey, Howlingeye, wait up," Howlingeye paused, halfway up the cliffside path to the dens. Summitsky broke away from the group of cats who were giving their last pieces of advice to a nervous yet excited looking Viridianpaw, scaling the path behind him. Once their were face to face, Summitsky paused, ears flattening just a bit, as if the wind had been taken out of his sails. "Listen, I just wanted to say..."
    "That you're sorry?" Howlingeye blinked at him. "I'll bet."
    "I am sorry," Summitsky said with a nod, "what I said was... hurtful and insensitive and I... didn't consider your feelings in the matter. And listen, this whole thing? It doesn't have to stop us being friends." He gave Howlingeye a reassuring smile, eyes twinkling. The pointed tom, on the other hand, just looked incredulous, before he was outright furious.
    "Are you still somehow chugging with the rail-monster of thought that I'm in love with you or something? Good StarClan, I thought we'd moved past that." Howlingeye took a step closer, lowering his voice. "Get this through your thick head, Summitsky. I don't care about you. I flirted with you once, but that does not mean I have any attachment to you whatsoever. I was trying to be a good friend to you, and watch out for you so you wouldn't get hurt, but clearly-"
    "It's not like that, please," Summitsky waved his tail rapidly, "I promise, Howlingeye, I don't think that of you! I know, I know that was a mistake, that I ever said that but I-"
    "Hey!" Both toms looked up to see Poppywish at the end of the ledge beyond the medicine den. His eyes were twinkling merrily, and he was looking at Howlingeye as if he'd hung the stars in the sky. "Are you just going to stand around chatting or are you coming up?" Howlingeye smirked, and that seemed to be all the confirmation Poppywish needed. He turned and vanished back into the den. Dread settled in Summitsky's stomach as he slowly lowered his gaze back to Howlingeye, who was looking at him with cold indifference.
    "I have things to do," he said.
    "Howlingeye, please," Summitsky hung his head, "I just want to make things better. To make things right."
    "If you want to make things right, Summitsky, open your eyes," Howlingeye turned then, casting him a look over his shoulder, "I'm not above saying I told you so, but you're nice enough, and in this case, I really don't want to have to say it- or even think it. Just... watch your back. If you want to prove to me that you're sorry, maybe take my advice to heart instead of acting like I never warned you in the first place." He was gone before Summitsky had a chance to respond to that, but in his place, silhouettes outside Sleetstar's den. Summitsky ducked closer to the path, quickly, hoping the overhangs would shield him from view.
    Sleetstar and another cat- Thunderjaw, he thought, no other cat in this clan is that big- were too far away for him to hear what they were talking about, but their stances seemed relaxed and their tones fond, especially as Sleetstar reached up to touch Thunderjaw's cheek with her nose. Thunderjaw moved away then, casting her one last look over his shoulder, before he descended the path, and vanished into the warrior's den. Sleetstar's blue eyes tracked him as he went, skipping over him in the dim light. It wasn't until she turned away that Summitsky stepped out of his hiding place, casting a look toward the medicine den. Howlingeye's words rung in his ears.
    Howlingeye was probably paranoid. But if it made things right, he'd keep his guard up.


    𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐦𝐨𝐨𝐧.
    "Teams of two," Splitface allowed Brackenstrike to haul her up a particularly difficult incline by the scruff of her neck, "quick thinking on such short notice." Brackenstrike nodded resolutely, eyes on the rune that Splitface clutched delicately between her teeth. It hadn't been figuring out a reason to get the hunting patrol to split up that had been hard, it had been doubling back around and collecting the rune that had been.
    "You're sure it was them?"
    "I'd know them anywhere," Splitface assured her, smiling at her.
    "Good to know the old steel trap hasn't gotten too rusty, my darling," the two she-cats spun around to search for the voice, eyes lighting on a dazzling ginger cat. Splitface purred, placing the rune down and taking a step forward. The other cat surged to meet her, the pair of them tangled around each other in a fierce embrace.
    "It's so good to see you again, Celica," she sighed, pressing her cheek to theirs. The ginger purred, rubbing their cheeks together contentedly.
    "Shroud," he said happily, "when I heard of the sisters... well. I had hoped that you were the one to survive. I'm sorry for all you lost. I know they meant a lot to you." Splitface looked away for a second, before she smiled, nodding to Brackenstrike.
    "They were an important chapter in my life, but my story isn't over yet. I have a new family. This is one of the cats- Brackenstrike. A proper clan, follows StarClan and everything. She helped me recover the rune, so I promise it's safe that she knows you. Brackenstrike, this is Celica, my sibling." Brackenstrike gave them a smile.
    "It's nice to meet you," she said, "I didn't know Splitface had family beyond the paragons."
    "And I didn't know my sister had such good taste in mollies," Splitface swatted at them, but they stepped back nimbly, "thank you for your help, Brackenstrike. You must know the importance of the runes. It takes a good cat not to try and twist that to their advantage."
    "I've seen what happens to those drunk on power," she said, "I won't let that be me."
    "Cautionary tales do make the best exemplars," Celica nodded, turning to their sister, "how long can you stay? Perhaps it's selfish of me to ask, but... well. You know what happens once I leave."
    "I know."
    "If I never see you again... well. I want to make sure I take every moment I can with you. You are, after all, my last remaining sister, both in name and in blood. After this... we truly do go our own separate ways." Their expression was sad, worried. Splitface turned to Brackenstrike momentarily, before she turned back with a fond smile. She pressed close to her sibling again, with a gentle sigh.
    "I'll be okay," she said, "I'm safe here, and I'll be happy. Brackenstrike has already proven a good friend, and I am optimistic for the future. I think I can stay a while, and make sure you're completely caught up."
    "I'll cover for you," Brackenstrike said, with a nod, "just make sure you're back at camp before sunfall, and bring prey if you can. It'll probably go over easier that way. It was nice to meet you." She gave Celica a final smile, before she turned, and disappeared over the edge of the cliff, the sound of her scrabbling paws fading from earshot. Celica gave their sister an encouraging smile, bumping her shoulder as she picked up the rune again.
    "So, where to start? Fill me in on everything that's happened."

    -

    A familiar scent was awaiting Thunderjaw on the southern border. There were many things that surprised him about this: the fact that the scent was there at all was the least surprising, with the fact that he recognized it with ease being the most. He turned, casting a look of casual curiosity over his shoulder, where Varvara was lounging against the back fence of a two-leg place, clearly unbothered to see him.
    "This is what Sloane- oh, sorry, Sleetstar- counts as a patrol these days, is it?" He maw curled into an unfriendly sneer. Thunderjaw simply shrugged, before glancing up to the sky: blue, sunny, a few clouds. Typical Newleaf day. He looked back to Varvara. She looked irritated that he hadn't replied to her so quickly, watching him. Waiting. Evaluating. She reminded him then, of Minkfur, who wouldn't even look at him these days.
    "Hunting's good," he said, "so it takes priority. The rest of my patrol doesn't really like me all that much right now, so here I am, covering more ground and dashing your hopes and dreams of chasing some sort of connection that just isn't there anymore." Varvara startled, and then she laughed, ears flicking forward. With a fluid motion, she pushed herself to her feet, wandering closer to Thunderjaw. He refused to budge, watching her calmly as she walked in a circle around him.
    "You're kind of mean," she said, "I like you. I can see why she likes you, too."
    "And you seem a lot mean, so I can see why she loved you." Varvara's smile faltered.
    "Yeah, well," she said lamely, "I don't know if I would call what Sleetstar felt 'love'. That seems to grandiose a term for it."
    "What else would you call it, then? Whatever you two had, it clearly came attached to some history and some very intense emotions that neither of you bothered to resolve." Varvara glared at him, looking put out. Thunderjaw didn't so much as flinch under the weight of her stare. She looked at him for a few moments, before she scoffed, taking a step away and casting her glance indifferently at a mouse trying to scurry away from under one of the fence posts that was just a bit too low to the ground.
    "And what do you care? Mad that Sleetstar's just sooo messed up that she won't love you back because she's too busy loving me, or Summitface or whatever that guy's name is-"
    "Summitsky?"
    "Why do you sound surprised?" Varvara rounded on him again, as Thunderjaw's expression slammed shut like a metal airlock door closing on an approaching enemy. Varvara's eyes widened anyhow, and then narrowed. "She lied to me, didn't she? He's not her mate. Oh, of course! Of course it was a lie. I go up there to bring her home and all she does is lie, lie, lie! She's never been able to be honest with me, you know that? With anyone, so I'd watch your back uh-- uh. Oh. Oh, you're him, aren't you? You're Summitsky. Well sorry to ruin your surprise!"
    "Thunderjaw, actually," he seemed amused at that, "actually, I told the girl I like that I'm a murderer, so that's how my love life is doing." Varvara recoiled in shock, shaking her head as if she hadn't heard him properly.
    "What? Wait, isn't that against like, the warrior code or whatever you religious freaks call it?"
    "That's the long and short of it, yes."
    "And what's the long and long of it, then?"
    "That's between me and another fraud," Thunderjaw took his first steps forward, turning to look over his shoulder at Varvara, "I'll see you around. Something tells me I haven't seen the last of you yet."

    -

    "You're getting pretty good at splitting up these patrols," Sleetstar turned to give Summitsky her best pout, at the top of the waterfall, "should I be getting concerned? Maybe you're normalizing this so I won't see it coming when you take me out." She rolled her eyes, splashing water from the creek at him, before she bent down to lap at the surface of the creek.
    "Very funny," she said, watching him as he stooped to drink as well, "I like spending this time with you. It doesn't really feel like we're alone, not at camp and I... wanted to talk to you about something." Summitsky paused, shifting his eyes to evaluate her calmly, tilting his head to the side. Finally, he sat up straight, curling his tail over his paws.
    "Okay, shoot."
    "My life with the Merchants was... unhappy. I didn't really realize that until I came here. I thought being exiled was the end of it for me, and then Northstar offered me a second chance. A chance to live. You know, when I found Brackenstrike, she told me I'd turned into a beacon of hope. For most of the Merchants, there's nowhere else to go, and so they stay. I... never dreamed that this is where I'd be today, and if you'd told me who I was and how I'd be feeling at this exact moment six moons ago, I'd have laughed in your face. But... things have changed. I have changed, and I think that's a good thing. Part of that change is... coming to understand some emotions I haven't felt before. Not... really felt, at least."
    "Sleetstar-"
    "Please, let me finish. I just... I love you, Summitsky. I know it might seem sudden, and maybe it doesn't make much sense but you're kind, and understanding, and being with you is... freeing. Like I don't have to pretend." She smiled at him, feeling her heart going a million miles an hour in her chest. Summitsky looked taken aback, but not aghast. She counted that as a win. "I suppose I'm asking if you'd be my mate?"
    "I... Sleetstar... yes! Yes, this isn't a no because nothing would make me happier but I just- I have to know... there's nothing going on with you and Thunderjaw, right? I know, it's a dumb question but I just... it's nagging at me."
    "Summitsky, I swear. If you're talking about my den the other night, he was up there grousing about Midnightblaze. He doesn't like him all that much, he thinks he's untrustworthy, but whatever issues they have are between them to sort out. Thunderjaw's just a friend. You are the only cat I'm interested in."
    "Then yes. Yes, of course. I love you, so much. Of course I'll be your mate! You have-- you have no clue how happy this makes me." Summitsky surged forward, pressing their foreheads together. Sleetstar was quick to drag a purr from her chest to match Summitsky's as he nuzzled against her, tail held high in excitement. Over his shoulder, Sleetstar caught a flash of white. Her eyes lighted on Northstar's glittery form, hanging in the treeline. Their eyes met, and she smiled, before she turned, and vanished into the shadows.
▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

` servings consumed
4/4 - 2 rabbits
` clan events
sleetstar and summitsky become mates
poppywish searches for herbs
` patrols
hunting-
1 - splitface, brackenstrike, fallowstep, hawkeyes, bearears, hollyfeather
2 - sleetstar, summitsky, howlingeye, viridianfire, midnightblaze
border-
3 - minkfur, thunderjaw


    ` leader
    `` sleetstar | 51 moons | ♀ |

    ` deputy
    `` midnightblaze | 57 moons | ♂ |

    ` medicine cat
    `` poppywish | 42 moons | ♂ |
    ` medicine cat apprentice
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |

    ` warriors
    `` summitsky | 54 moons | ♂ |
    `` hollyfeather | 29 moons | ♀ |
    `` thunderjaw | 49 moons | ♂ |
    `` howlingeye | 32 moons | ♂ |
    `` brackenstrike | 60 moons | ♀ |
    `` splitface | 57 moons | ♀ |
    `` bearears | 24 moons | ♀ |
    `` minkfur | 47 moons | ♀ |
    `` fallowstep | 49 moons | ♂ |
    `` hawkeyes | 54 moons | ♂ |
    `` viridianfire | 16 moons | ♀ |

    ` apprentices
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |

    ` queens and kits
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |
    ↪ kit names

    ` elders
    `` name | age | ♀/♂ |
` ally clans
none currently.

` enemy clans
none currently.

` borders
↑ | open | user
→ | open | user
↓ | two-leg village
← | ski slope

` medicine store
catmint [3] | greencough
poppy seeds [1] | pain
burnet [1] | strength
lamb's ear [1] | strength
lovage [1] | coughs; c

` fresh-kill pile
vole | x2 | 1 servings
rabbit | x4 | 2 servings
stoat | x2 | 2 servings
small fish | x3 | 2 servings
hare | x1 | 3 servings
bird | x0 | 3 servings

` mentors
none currently

` deceased
name | cause of death

` family ties
fallowstep + hawkeyes - ravencall; surrogate
↪ batkit, racoonkit & beaverkit (snakeclan)
sleetstar + summitsky
↪ trying
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solyn
 
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