First Comes Thunder, Then Comes Rain

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  • #4694
    Jetstream
    Participant

    – W I S T E R I A S T A R – 

    The snow crunched underfoot and the chill of it sent shivers down her spine. The snow and ice was noisy and cold and Wisteriastar found herself feeling incredibly bothered by it. She never was a fan of Leaf-Bare, not only on the survival aspect of prey becoming scarce and sickness spreading easily, but also the complete lack of warmth and life around them was something she always found unpleasant. However, there was another reason aside from the weather that the RiverClan leader was harboring feelings of unease. She kept her amber eyes straight ahead, but she felt an immense need to glance back at her patrol, for she was leading them straight to another Clan’s territory, towards an outcome none of them could predict.

    After Heronflight had reported his findings of fish bones on their territory that clung onto the scent of ThunderClan, Wisteriastar had initially felt that their concerns of stolen prey was for naught. Especially for whom they had placed the blame. But it was Leaf-Bare now and prey was hard to come by for all Clans, they didn’t necessarily have the resources to spare and she couldn’t blame her clanmates for feeling uneasy or agitated for prey that was taken by cats other than themselves. So, to ease the tension that was building in her own clan, the leader went about the best course of action she felt that she could and decided to lead a small patrol of Heronflight, Sootstain, and Yellowtail to ThunderClan’s camp to speak personally with Hollystar. She hoped that this would put an end to the distrust her warriors held for ThunderClan’s new deputy once they found out that she was as innocent as Wisteriastar believed that she was.

    Once they had reached the border, the RiverClan leader stopped and turned to face her patrol. “We will wait here for an escort.” She told them, though it seemed like a somewhat unnecessary order, for clearly they all knew that they couldn’t just intrude on someone else’s territory and waltz straight into their camp. “I know it’s cold and miserable out here, but please bear with it until someone comes by.”

    #4699
    mahon [owl]
    Participant

    sootstain

    Sootstain silently followed the riverclan leader as she led a small patrol to the thunderclan border, his amber eyes filled with a mix of unease, animosity, and exhaustion. Every so often, the tall tom had to shake the snow off of his paws, a growing sense of discomfort harbouring within the tom. This wasn’t his first leaf-bare, though it was still an unfamiliar feeling to Sootstain. He vaguely remembered the sense of despair and struggle from his first winter, but it had never been quite as present as now. Especially with the rising tensions between the clans and even in the clans. Even so, the usually disagreeable tom was more agitated than usual. 

    The riverclan warrior stared ahead at Wisteriastar, the two had not been getting along as of late, namely due to the budding romance between the tom and her daughter – which for some reason she seemed very against. Feeling a small smile threaten to shine through his cold demeanour at the thought of the pretty molly, Sootstain shook his head to maintain himself. 

    However, the tom knew that with the current situation, his petty feud with the she-cat was unimportant. If there was a possibility of a conflict between thunderclan and riverclan, or any other clan, Sootstain had to show his support for his leader. Though he wanted to get on her nerves a bit, he still held a great deal of respect for her. (It wouldn’t stop him from trying to push her buttons even a teeny bit, though.)

    Suddenly, Wisteriastar stopped at turned towards the small group. Sootstain stared at her for a moment before silently settling down between Yellowtail and Heronflight, hoping neither of them would start a conversation. Letting out a shiver, he let out an almost inaudible grunt as the only verbal sign of impatience he had.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by mahon [owl].
    • This reply was modified 1 week, 5 days ago by mahon [owl].
    #4705
    Finch
    Participant

    Having already voiced his opinion on the matter at hand, Heronflight had been mostly silent on the trip back again to the border. Though he himself was fairly convinced that Kass was to blame for the circumstances, he still didn’t view the rival clan as a whole with any particular malice. It was a shame for one bad apple to spoil the lot, Yet, doing his best not to let his flooding distaste for the rogue deputy to dominate his thoughts, he settled down beside his leader while they waited for a patrol to find them, Sootstain taking a seat on his other side.

    If Wisteriastar thought this was the best course of action, he wouldn’t impede her choice. The most important thing during leaf-bare was unity, and as deputy he would fully support whatever decision she decided on regardless of his personal take on the matter. He only hoped Hollystar showed more common sense in this than she had at the gathering– the cowed ThunderClan leader might as well hand over the forest to Kass if she didn’t feel like upholding the codes of the forest any longer.

    #4707
    Bandit (Sonic)
    Participant

    The black tom stalked somberly after the patrol. He had been somber since then death of his dear mate, Rosethorn, as she kitted. The kits had been lost as well. Yellowtail knew they were in StarClan now but, alas, before he had been so proud and happy to become a father just to have it all taken away in the matter of one sunset.

     

    Shaking his head to clear it, Yellowtail turned his attention to the task at hand. He had been asked to join the patrol that would go to ThunderClan, so that Wisteriastar could confront them about the fish bones Heronflight found in their territory. Yellowtail did not like thieves or liars, but he also did not like unnecessary bloodshed. Now, now, you must have faith in Wisteriastar and Heronflight, as well as StarClan that what is meant to be, will be. You know Wisteriastar and Heronflight will do what they think is best for the Clan. It is not for you to cast judgement, but for you to follow orders. Yellowtail thought.

     

    Yellowtail came to a slow halt as Wisteriastar announced they would wait at the border for an escort. He dipped his head in agknowledment and settled onto his haunches, returning to his somber thoughts of Rosethorn.

    #4709
    Chris
    Participant

    All was silent as the grave in the winter wood. Intricate folds of ice lay over every surface of every plant or log, disturbed only by the occasional breeze that lifted tiny silver specks from the topmost mounds and sent them dancing through the bitter expanse.

    The lonely black stain of Hawkpaw’s shape moving through this frosted vista felt out of place. Dark, save for the dust of snow embedded in his fur. Noisy, his paws for all their deftness sank cacophonously into the ankle-deep sea of flakes. He could no longer feel his toes. Bitter work though it was, the young tom had his orders. Though he did not like them, he held the faces of his friends waiting back home the way one might huddle to a flame for warmth. When his thoughts drifted toward them, he forgot the cold. He forgot everything.

    Gradually, he became aware that his steps were too many. They were crunching before his footfalls were complete. It was only when he stopped completely and the sounds continued without him that he realized with creeping unease that they were not his own. He was not alone in the forest.

    He fell into a crouch seamlessly. A position that once seemed so foreign, was now as easy to the former rogue as breathing. He proceeded to glide over the snow, a black ghost in the night. When he passed beneath shadows, he vanished entirely.

    That was when he spotted them just ahead between the oaks, four anomalies standing in what he knew without a doubt was not their land. The strong arbor of water and reeds washed over him. RiverClan. Something about their presence there bothered him immensely. He did not know why- what should he care if RiverClan Warriors stood on ThunderClan land? But at the same time, their boldness after the gathering events irked him even as an uninvolved observer. They’d really insulted Kass. What if they were here to kill her? Fear thronged his heart like a white hot poker and he found himself acting without thinking. Stepping from his perch among the shadows.

    “Hey. You know you’re on our land right? What do you think you’re doing?” He shouted, sounding braver than he felt. His challenge dispersed into the air in a spray of icy vapors, amber eyes blazing like fire against the bitter winds. There was something familiar about the calico- had she not spoken at the gathering for RiverClan? He fixed his eyes on her with particular dislike. Though his words were fearless, if one looked close enough he was shaking, and not from the cold.

    #4710
    Jetstream
    Participant

    – W I S T E R I A S T A R –

    It would just be their luck that the one ThunderClan cat to find them along the border was a jumpy apprentice. Normally, the overbearing motherly instinct in the RiverClan warrior would give her a feeling of compassion and empathy for the young black tom but she unfortunately was not in the mood to deal with another cat that well lacked her experience blatantly disrespecting not only her but her warriors as well. “When speaking to the leader of another clan, it is best to hold yourself with dignity and respect.” She replied coolly, staring down at Hawkpaw with a clear and calm orange gaze. “I need to speak with Hollystar regarding matters that involve both RiverClan and ThunderClan. I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t mind guiding us to see her.” While her words themselves were even, her tone held an implication that the ThunderClan apprentice didn’t really have a say in the matter. 

    #4711
    Chris
    Participant

    “Respect is earned. Kass taught me that.” He fired back, meeting her gaze without flinching. As he spoke truly, his fears melted away like the snows before a summer sun.

     

    “Fine. Follow me, and keep up.”  With that he bolted, swiftly loping over the white drifts toward home.

    He took them on a fairly direct route, though he could not resist taking a slight off turn just to watch them follow in a completely wrong direction for a few paces. Wow, they really don’t know where the camp is. He thought, righting himself, but warily.

    They reached the camp as the moon hung high overhead, it’s pale rays indifferent to the tense proceedings below.

    Hawkpaw sought Kass, his father, any Warrior who as much as he was loathe to admit, outranked him thus to whom he was obliged to pass off this burden. Not that it stopped him from puffing his chest out importantly as he led the troupe of RiverClanners in like a host ducklings.

     

    “Hysteriastar is here to see Hollystar.” He announced, lip twitching in an upward smirk as he purposefully butchered the other Leaders overly flowery name.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by Chris.
    #4714
    Hollystar
    Participant

    As Hollystar emerged from her den, she was greeted by an icy wind. The cold air sent shivers down her spine, causing the hair on her back to stand up straight. How many more days until New Leaf again? she asked herself. She focused her gaze upon the clan in front of her. Cats were busy preforming their daily tasks- hunting, training, maintaining camp. Everything seemed to be going smoothly today.

    Suddenly, a foreign scent made her whiskers twitch. The faint smell of fish drifted into the camp, and suddenly Hawkpaw marched into camp. Following him, was a Riverclan patrol. So much for today going smoothly, the leader thought to herself. Wisteriastar that is to you. You need to learn how to respect those above you,” snapped Hollystar towards the apprentice, her face hot with embarrassment. She wasn’t going to put up with an annoying apprentice meddling in clan affairs. “I’ll take it from here Hawkpaw,” Hollystar meowed, eyeing the apprentice angrily, “I think it’s time for you to go check on the elders. They have been complaining that their moss is damp,” she snapped.

    The leader shifted her attention from the pesky young tom, and turned to focus on the new problem at hand: Riverclan. “Hello Wisteriastar. I apologize for Hawkpaw; he will be dealt with accordingly,” Hollystar greeted, dipping her head respectfully. “What brings you to Thunderclan today?” she asked.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 4 days ago by Hollystar.
    #4717
    Tyler
    Participant

    “We need to get more snow to pack around the Fresh Kill Pile before our stock starts to stink,” Kass had commented idly to a couple warriors hunched over a bird or two for their mid-day snack. One of the toms happening to be Antlercreek, the previous deputy of ThunderClan. The two had never really seen eye to eye, but Kass wasn’t holding a grudge against the tom- in fact their old squabbles barely registered in her mind. He’d served his time in politics and now it was her turn. That being said, giving him the chores she didn’t particularly want to do herself was a good perk of the job. She eyed the group for a moment, bi-colored eyes making sure they read the ‘I actually want you to do this’ in her stance. “I’d hate for us to have to throw out some of our kills due to rotting and what not,” she hummed in a follow up before moving away from the group to let them finish their meal.

    Time sure had passed since the gathering, although the clan of Thunder hadn’t been all that hard to sway once they’d returned to camp and found themselves at the brink of the cold season with little to no resources collected since the storm had pretty much depleted the clan. Kass was a good leader, albeit a little selfish and quick-tongued, but once she’d given herself enough time to settle she’d finally taken a warrior name. Bluefire was, well, it fit her, but it still wasn’t exactly, her. Sure, some of the elder warriors had taken to calling her the title but those younger and less rooted in tradition hadn’t even batted an eye when she was still being called Kass the next day.

    It wasn’t long before she started to look for her apprentice in the clearing, hoping he wasn’t sleeping the day away in his den but rather out being a productive member of society. She didn’t have to wait long before she noticed him walking into camp leading an entourage of RiverClan warriors. ‘Oh? What’s this?’ Without a break in her relax gait the molly approached the group just in time to catch the tail end of his announcement, letting a good natured snort leave her body in amusement, even as Hollystar admonished him.

    The dilute calico rolled her eyes, “Oh come on, that was funny.” She hummed to the group, winking at Hawkpaw before he slunk off, silently hoping he wouldn’t actually follow his orders and stick around. “I was actually planning on taking him out tonight, he’ll be punished there I can assure you,” she dipped her head to her mate in leu of greeting. She eyed the group, feeling the heated glares of the RiverClan folk hot on her pelt. She smiled back at them cheekily, wiggling a kitty brow or two. “Wisteriastar,” she mewed in greeting, thinking back to their meeting on the bored a moon or so ago. Had she wandered too far this time? The ex-rogue decided not to comment on the matter. See? Learning.

    #4724
    Ribi
    Participant

    antlercreek
    senior warrior of thunderclan

    antlercreek was hardly paying attention to whatever kass was saying regarding the fresh-kill pile. after finishing up his bit of snack–a measly mouse or vole, he could barely tell the difference anymore between their scent–he instinctively piled snow along the edges of the pile. his mind wandered: he’d had to step down from thunderclan deputy, much to the dismay of himself, probably hollystar, and several of the older warriors. also to his dismay: kass was deputy. he couldn’t tell if it was a function of their involvement together, or what hollystar saw in the ballsy rogue, but antlercreek had been mildly surprised by her degree of leadership since she’d taken the helm. it was winter, but the clan managed to gain some semblance of youth; antler attributed it to the much younger fae’s influence. what he did not anticipate was her crowning with a warrior name. of course, he knew a deputy would be scorned lest they have a warrior name, especially since kass was a rogue. what a fiasco thunderclan had turned into. the biggest focus of antler’s ire lately was the fact that kass was given a warrior name.

    his curmudgeonly musings were crudely interrupted by the infiltrating scent of riverclan. antlercreek certainly held nothing less than respect for them, especially now that his colleague wisteriastar was leader. a fitting appointment, he hummed, whiskers twitching as he watched the crowd meander into camp, escorted by hawkpaw, a thunderclan apprentice. despite the pair’s mutual respect for each other, something heavy hung in the air when antler caught wisteria’s eye. a tension. was it real? he couldn’t tell; his mind had grown weaker on him, less strong when needed to perceive such subtle airs. instead of dwelling on it further, the large tom dipped his head in acknowledgement to the leader and her party–herself, her deputy, and a pair of warriors–before stepping up to meet them, offsides from holly’s shoulder.

    #4725
    Jetstream
    Participant

    – W I S T E R I A S T A R –

    Wisteriastar silently lead her patrol along behind Hawkpaw as he lead them through ThunderClan territory, choosing not to comment on the apprentice’s remarks about respect being earned as opposed to blindly given. She supposed that he had a point, but she left that behind her as she followed the oddly zig-zagged pattern the young tom lead them in initially. Irritation sparked beneath her pelt at his insolence in choosing now of all times to try and play a point at the RiverClan cats, when she had just mentioned not even a few moments ago that they had come to speak with his leader, but as soon as their path was righted, she chose yet again not to comment on the apprentice’s behavior. As soon as they were in ThunderClan camp and Hawkpaw was calling for Hollystar, the RiverClan leader narrowed her fiery amber eyes at him and his choice of words, considering, for just a heartbeat, if it would be worth sinking her claws into his tail just to teach the obnoxious little brat a lesson–

    When Hollystar appeared from her den. And it seemed that action from her was unnecessary, for the ThunderClan leader was immediately on disciplining the apprentice herself. The RiverClan leader watched silently as she dismissed him, refusing to let a smirk dawn on her face. It’s what he deserves, but this isn’t the time to be petty, she thought to herself. She was briefly aware of her old colleague, Antlercreek, joining them as they entered his camp, but she didn’t have the time to stop and chat right now. Her attention was focused elsewhere, as the ebony leader addressed her directly, Wisteriastar mimicked her show of respect with a low bow of her own head. “Greetings, Hollystar. I wish I could say that this is a fine visit, but I’m afraid that it’s not.” Her orange eyes flickered briefly to Kass as she approached the group, giving her a flick of her tail in acknowledgement to her presence. An expression akin to apologetic wrinkled her forehead as she continued, returning her eyes to Hollystar as she spoke. “My warriors found remains of fish along the RiverClan border of the river earlier today. My deputy, Heronflight, swears he caught scent of a ThunderClan warrior on the trail. He believes the scent he caught to be Kass’s.” The calico RiverClanner caught the ThunderClan leader’s eye firmly, as she knew the severity of the accusations that were to be made here. “Personally, I do not believe her to be responsible,” she admitted, “but I must put my warriors at ease.”

    #4726
    Finch
    Participant

    Assuming by the youthful appearance of the ThunderClan cat who first spotted them that he was an apprentice, Heronflight was mildly pleased to see the young tom offer an appropriate challenge to finding members of a rival clan on his territory. It was likely that he was not aware of who he was speaking to beyond ‘RiverClaners’, and thus could easily overlook the tone taken. A bold front to hide your nerves was better than running off and leaving your territory unguarded.

    Wisteriastar’s correction for the misbehavior was swift but expected, and Heronflight hadn’t thought things would begin to go south until they had at least spoken with Hollystar or perhaps if they ran into some more impulsive members of the clan early on. He certainly hadn’t been anticipating the apprentice to start spouting heretical rogue nonsense.

    Idiot. He thought angrily, taking a slow breath of the chilly air to stop his pelt from bristling at something a mere apprentice had said in ignorance. Though I suppose in ThunderClan kits don’t have a reason to realize that being the leader of a clan should already prove a cat worthy of respect.

    Mentally enjoying the idea of dishing out some corporal punishment to the ThunderClan apprentice for his continued rudeness, Heronflight had to follow the young tom regardless. He wondered if the tom had even considered that they obviously weren’t here for trouble or if he would have led them home without considering it. Without much delay, the arrived at the entrance to the forest camp.

    Dipping his head in acknowledgement of Hollystar, Heronflight’s gaze wandered the camp during the greeting shared between the leaders and Kass’ arrival at their little gathering. He recognized Antlercreek and gave the older tom a brief nod as well. If only he had stayed deputy longer.

    As his name and findings were mentioned, Heronflight sighed quietly. The phrasing Wisteriastar used was practically asking to be dismissed, but he supposed being in the other’s camp, and that she didn’t believe his conclusion to begin with… well, it was to be expected.  He made no addition to this regardless, having nothing additional to contribute asides from a more suspicious tone to the inquiry. He was sure Kass would deny it either way.

    #4727
    mahon [owl]
    Participant

    sootstain

    The riverclanner kept his mouth shut when the annoying apprentice thought it was his place to be rude. If respect is earned then no one should be showing you any. Sootstain could only roll his amber eyes and follow silently as they trudged towards the thunderclan camp, far away from riverclan territory. His evergrowing distaste for the other clan was only fueled by the unease of the unfamiliar territory accompanied by the rising tensions in the clans only added to his bad mood. Letting out a tired breath, he watched as mist appeared from his mouth, only emphasizing how utterly cold it was. A frustrated snort escaped his nose, but no words were said as they arrived at the camp. Blinking with curiosity, the small patrol followed the apprentice into the camp itself. Narrowed eyes watch as the younger tom spoke to the riverclan leader. Sootstain managed to once again keep his mouth shut at the obvious disrespect Hawkpaw held for Wisteriastar, though he felt his hackles raise. Thankfully, Hollystar came to speak to the patrol, and Sootstain couldn’t help but smirk when Hawkpaw was told to tend to the elders.

    Any good mood that could have been salvaged immediately disappeared when the deputy in question finally appeared.  Not only did she try and alleviate Hawkpaw’s punishment, but she also seemed rather arrogant about it too. With a frustrated shake of his head, Sootstain raised a brow as the two leaders began to interact. He couldn’t help but wonder why they had to be so friendly. Yes, being polite was find, but Wisteriastar seemed to be placing her trust in Hollystar, and even worse, in Kass. Heronflight swears that it was Kass’s scent and you still want to play nice? The grey tabby stared at the thunderclan deputy for a moment, analyzing the way she stood and stared at the patrol. She would never admit to her wrongs, at least not to us. While Sootstain would need more time to fully understand the outsider’s mannerisms and way of thought, he could make a couple of guesses about her nature. He was going to have to push some buttons. Turning his amber gaze over to Wisteriastar, he thought for a moment. And she would never want to risk good relations unless absolutely necessary. Though he had been recently in conflict with the riverclan leader, he still wanted to support her. However, Sootstain honestly believed that asking the thunderclan deputy if she stole some fresh-kill would not be the proper way to provide support.

    So this, along with his growing irritation, is why Sootstain decided to speak.

    “She’s just going to deny it, but who else could it be?” Sootstain rolled his eyes, his voice not terribly loud but audible enough for the group to pick up on. If no one else was going to do it, he might as well. “Unlike Heronflight, the distinguished thunderclan deputy is not above lying through her teeth.” Sootstain glanced at Wisteriastar for a moment, before turning his gaze to Heronflight. He was silently challenging Wisteriastar’s lack of trust in her deputy along with challenging Kass. Turning his attention back to the thunderclan deputy, he straightened his posture to let her know that he wouldn’t back down.

    #4730
    Bandit (Sonic)
    Participant

    It didnt seem to take long for a ThunderClan apprentice to find then at the border. Yellowtail lifted his gaze to stare almost unconprehendingly at Hawkpaw until Wisteriastar began to follow the tom. With a long sigh, Yellowtail got to his paws and followed. Much to his embarrassment, hYellowtail tripped over a root and crashed to the ground with a huff. Just as quick, Yellowtail jumped to his paws and pounded to catch up to the patrol. They entered the ThunderClan camp. He watched the felines without much interest but listened. The Apprentice made an effort to mock Wisteriastar then got scolded by a black she cat who appeared to be Hollystar. He turned his gaze from cat to cat to cat, observing.

    #4737
    Hollystar
    Participant

    A frown formed on the Thunderclan leader’s jaws as she listened to Wisteriastar’s accusation. She could tell the leader meant her words when she said she did not believe Kass was responsible. Hollystar understood the Riverclan leader’s need to come talk with her, and knew she would probably do the same thing if she was in the other she-cat’s paws. The ebony molly sat silently for a moment. Kass hadn’t come to her about any situation like this, and she trusted that her deputy wouldn’t keep any secrets from her. “I’m glad you’ve brought your concerns to me, however I can assure you that no such crime has been committed by any cat in my clan, including Kass,” Hollystar meowed, dipping her head. “If I were to find out any differently, there will be consequences for the cat who committed this.”

    As Sootstain spoke, the molly’s head snapped to look the Riverclan Warrior in the eyes. Anger burned in her emerald gaze, but Hollystar decided to stay silent and keep her cool. She didn’t want to start an unnecessary fight just because of one annoying Riverclan warrior. “I understand your concern, Sootstain, but I do not believe that she had anything to do with this,” the leader replied calmly. Hollystar turned to face Wisteriastar once more. “I hope you find whoever was hunting on your territory. If you have anymore concerns regarding Thunderclan, I am happy to help.”

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 3 days ago by Hollystar.
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